An odd elections proposal gets a hearing today

It’s Day 10 of 60 of the 2020 session of the Washington Legislature in Olympia.

2020 Washington Legislature, Day 10 of 60

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: jcornfield@heraldnet.com | @dospueblos

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OLYMPIA, Jan. 22, 2020 — An abandoned election practice is getting another look from Democratic lawmakers.

They want to eliminate statewide elections in odd-numbered years, a move which would effectively require that all initiatives appear on the ballot in years when voters are electing legislators and members of Congress, and sometimes the governor and president.

Odd-year elections for statewide issues and candidates are relatively new. They didn’t occur until a 1973 law opened the door to such possibilities.

Supporters think statewide are so important they should be in front of voters when more of them will participate. That’s in even years.

Some opponents contend that Democrats are reacting to what happened this past November, when their interests took a beating from a conservative electorate. Voters passed the latest car-tab-slashing measure pushed by initiative salesman and purported gubernatorial candidate Tim Eyman. And they retained a ban on the state’s use of affirmative action.

The House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee will hold a hearing at 1:30 p.m. today on a bill to make the change.

• Not long ago, I wrote about efforts to allow out-of-state investment in the marijuana industry. No more. It’s dead, says its biggest booster, the Washington Cannabusiness Association.

• No earth-shattering revelations emerged from Tuesday’s sit-down with Democratic leaders in the House and Senate about Rep. Matt Shea. They did say to expect a dump of documents soon. House Ds aren’t likely to take any action against him, writes Jim Camden of the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

Expect to hear more today when Republican leaders of the House and Senate meet with reporters. That’s at noon, and TVW will stream.


What we’re writing and reading

• Ugh. It’s here. The News Tribune moves to digital-only distribution on Saturdays starting Jan. 25, writes Dale Phelps, one of the paper’s execs.

• ICYMI: A Snohomish County man is the nation’s first case of the new coronavirus from China.

Sen. Patty Kuderer has apologized for describing a moment of confusion at a hearing as a “Chinese fire drill,” writes Leona Vaughn in the Edmonds Beacon. But it might not be enough to satisfy those who filed a complaint against her for making what they considered a racist comment.


What’s happening

At noon, Republican leaders of the House and Senate meet with reporters. TVW will stream.

Here’s the Wednesday committee line-up.

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