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

Spring start set for big Everett apartment complex

The building will be eight stories tall, with seven of those visible from Broadway.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Clues in recovered backpack help identify robbery suspect

Police find a ticket with the man’s name on it after an attempted shoplifting at a Safeway.

Police presence returns to Edmonds School District

Jacob Hubby is set to walk the halls of Meadowdale High School as a school resource officer.

County budget takes effect without Somers’ signature

The council passed its version with unanimous support and could have overridden an executive veto.

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Suspected escort charged with felony assault, robbery

She allegedly told police she shot the man in the head “because he was performing (a sex act) wrong.”

Mukilteo crabber missing; his boat was found at Hat Island

Frank Urbick set out Thursday morning but did not return.

Police looking for leads in case of missing Snohomish man

Henry John Groeneveld, 63, was last seen on Monday, when he said something about going to “the river.”

Most Read