Expect tumult, taxes and a caucus or two when lawmakers begin

Washington’s Legislature starts its 2013 session at noon today.

In the House, expect events to unfold in a pretty orderly fashion with Rep. Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, re-elected House Speaker and Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, re-affirmed as Minority Leader.

Soon after they’ll be talking taxes in a House committee. It’s scheduled to happen at 1:30 p.m. in the House Finance Committee when the revenue-raising ideas in Gov. Chris Gregoire’s farewell budget proposal will be discussed.

In the Senate, seats may be at a premium to watch the rise of the 25-member Senate Majority Coalition (Can we call it the SMaCo caucus for short?). Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina should ascend to majority leader when all the rhetorical dancing is done.

The other matter to resolve today, maybe, is the choosing of leaders for the committees. The question to be answered is whether any of the soon-to-be minority caucus of Democrats will join the coalition by accepting a chairmanship.

Finally, there are several familiar faces you won’t be seeing in the two chambers today because of retirements, defeats and electoral promotions to higher office.

One of those is Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, who last week authored a final post on the Democratic Caucus blog. You can read it here.

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