2020 Washington Legislature, Day 29 of 60
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OLYMPIA, Feb. 10, 2020 — Welcome to a new week. The early focus will be on moolah.
Meanwhile, at 3 p.m., Gov. Jay Inslee will sign the session’s first new law and the year’s first tax increase. Senate Bill 6492 plugs a projected shortfall in the state’s new college financial aid program. It ditches a complicated surcharge on a lot of businesses for a flat tax on far fewer — and the state still winds up with a lot more money. Here’s background from Joseph O’Sullivan of The Seattle Times.
The next key deadline is Feb. 19. That’s the last day to consider bills in their house of origin, other than those necessary to implement a budget. Or those which lawmakers later decide to draw up in the middle of the night.
Coincidentally, Feb. 19 is also when the next state revenue forecast will be issued. Lawmakers will use those figures to write a supplemental budget.
• Democratic Rep. Jared Mead of Mill Creek says he will seek appointment to fill a vacancy on the Snohomish County Council. The first-term lawmaker is hoping to succeed Terry Ryan, who resigned Sunday for a new job with the county. Also interested in the county council appointment are Mill Creek Councilwoman Stephanie Vignal and, reportedly, Mountlake Terrace Mayor Kyoko Matsumoto Wright.
• In search of remedies for worsening congestion on U.S. 2 between Everett and Stevens Pass, a bunch of civic leaders came to Olympia last week with a request of state lawmakers. Here’s my story about what they want.
• What the heck. Rep. Matt Shea, whom a House-sanctioned report accuses of participating in acts of domestic terrorism, wants the Legislature to call on Congress and President Trump to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and to investigate if Antifa has any ties to criminal organizations. He introduced House Joint Memorial 4017 and HJM 4018 last week. Even if they are subject to cutoff, they’re interesting to read.
What we’re writing and reading
• Two perspectives from Friday’s cutoff deadline for policy bills: Jim Camden of The Spokesman-Review writes about a few bills that died, while James Drew of the News Tribune chronicles 10 bills to keep an eye on because they are very much alive.
• A King County Superior Court judge could rule on the legality of Initiative 976 this week. Catch up on what happened in court Friday with this account by Gene Johnson of The Associated Press.
• Serena Williams and Sofia Kenin lost, yet the U.S. women’s team is going to the Fed Cup finals. Nick Patterson of The Herald covered an exciting two days of elite tennis in Everett.
• It’s Latino Legislative Day. A late-morning march culminates with a noon rally in the Capitol rotunda, where the Latino Civic Alliance will recognize a few of its staunch legislative allies. Lots of speakers, including the governor.
• You might notice a few oversized vehicles taking up spaces on campus. That’s because it is Washington Trucking Association Day on the Hill. The event organizer estimates attendance of 75.
Non-profit TVW covers state government in Olympia and selected events statewide. Programs are available for replay on the internet, and the channel is widely available on Washington cable systems.
Beat reporters: Jerry Cornfield (Herald) | Rachel La Corte (AP) | Joseph O’Sullivan (Times) | Jim Brunner (Times) | Melissa Santos (Crosscut) | Jim Camden (Spokesman-Review) | Austin Jenkins (NW News Network) | James Drew (News Tribune)