2 parties to share power on Senate education panel

Choosing collaboration over confrontation, Democrats in the state Senate on Tuesday agreed to share power with Republicans on a new panel dealing with the critical issue of public school funding.

The proposed Select Committee on Education Finance &Results would have an equal number of members from each party. It also would have a co-chairman from each party. Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, is the Democrats’ choice to run the panel while Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, is apparently going to be one of the members.

In another move reflective of the Democrats’ fragile 26-23 majority, they are proposing to shrink their numeric advantage on all committees to a single vote. For example, Democrats now outnumber Republicans 13-9 on the Ways and Means Committee. Under the change, the split would be 11-10.

“In the Senate, we’ve shown a collaborative approach can get results,” said Senate Majority Leader Ed Murray, D-Seattle in a statement. “These proposals will help that collaboration continue in a chamber that often has fluid majorities. They reflect the diversity of our caucus and our state and the commitment by Senate Democrats to finding practical solutions to the issues facing Washingtonians of all walks of life.”

As expected, Democrats also confirmed moderate Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, as chairman of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Vashon Island, a liberal member of the caucus, will serve as vice-chairman and be in charge of writing the Capital Budget.

Other appointments of note include:

Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, will continue as chairwoman of the Senate education committee. However, it’s got an awkward new name: Pre-K-12 Education.

Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, will lead the Transportation Committee with Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, serving as vice-chairman. The two engaged in a spirited competition for the chairmanship.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Inclusion super important to Monroe High senior

Sarah Reeves worked to make homecoming more representative of the student population.

Man, 60, in critical condition after Bothell crash

Police believe the driver may have been speeding when he hit a rock wall.

FBI operation arrests 3 linked to exploitation of 32 women

The sting focused on Everett and other cities in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Skagit and Spokane counties.

Man arrested in Monroe Walmart robbery; second suspect flees

The pair fled in a stolen Mitsubishi Lancer with a distinctive green spray paint job.

Fugitive convict, missing more than a year, surrenders

Charles Coggins, 60, turned himself in Monday. He could now spend up to 30 days behind bars.

Former homeless camp needs needles and garbage cleaned up

The Hand Up Project will lead a volunteer effort this weekend on wooded land south of Everett.

County Council postpones vote on conservation programs

A decision on funding agricultural and water-quality programs will come after the budget process.

A Q&A with the candidates running for Snohomish County Council

Republican incumbent Sam Low faces Democratic challenger Kristin Kelly in District 5.

Gang member sentenced as an adult for first-degree assault

Seth Friendly was 16 when he shot at a 17-year-old girl who was dating a rival gang member.

Most Read