2021 Washington Legislature, Day 82 of 105
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OLYMPIA, April 2, 2021 — We’ve reached another Friday. Only three of them left in the session.
Let’s begin with a developing story out of the other Washington.
The Biden Administration is looking for places to provide safe and secure housing for migrant children now living in overcrowded facilities in Texas. One option being explored is to bring some of them to this state, according to state and federal officials.
The governor’s office is aware of the possibility. So, too, is U.S. Sen. Patty Murray. And it’s a topic Latino leaders discussed with some state lawmakers this week.
There are tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors squeezed into facilities near the nation’s southern border. A few days ago, about 500 girls between the ages of 13 and 17 began sheltering at the San Diego Convention Center in California. There have been reports of churches and federal facilities preparing to receive children, as well.
Meanwhile, in Olympia, the low-carbon fuel standard bill advanced out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee late Thursday. House Bill 1091 will now go to the Rules Committee, according to Sen. Christine Rolfes.
That would mean it bypasses the Transportation Committee, where the chairman, Sen. Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens, killed this legislation the past two sessions.
This is the second bill with huge policy and revenue impacts on the transportation sector that Senate Democratic leaders are steering around Hobbs’ committee. Cap-and-trade was the first. Hobbs reportedly signed off on that one. Not surprising, since it guaranteed billions of dollars for a transportation package he’s pushing.
Setting the record straight
I messed up. Apparently, so did House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, Sen. Patty Kuderer and a whole bunch of other folks who thought the Washington State Patrol wanted the emergency clause on the open-carry gun bill. They were wrong, as was I in Wednesday’s Cornfield Report.
Turns out a misunderstanding from a virtual conversation led to an amendment no one requested, and which House Democrats approved. Michael Goldberg of Washington State Wire tells what happened here.
This isn’t the only flub associated with this bill.
Republican Rep. James Walsh refused to vote, but a mistake at the rostrum led to him being tallied as a “no.” On Thursday, he issued a statement on his decision to not participate.
“After a long and vigorous debate, it became clearer than ever to me that Senate Bill 5038 is unconstitutional,” he said. “Although House rules require every member to vote on every bill that reaches the floor, I felt in that moment that it was time to take a principled stand. So, I refused.”
A recall worth watching
Critics of Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s Socialist city council member, can start gathering signatures on their recall petitions. The state Supreme Court provided the go-ahead with a unanimous ruling on what charges can, and cannot, be included on the petitions. David Gutman of The Seattle Times breaks it down here.
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) | Austin Jenkins (NW News Network) | Melissa Santos (Crosscut) | Sara Gentzler (McClatchy) | Laurel Demkovich (Spokesman-Review) | Jim Camden (Spokesman-Review)