Halfway there, budget committees dive into a pile of bills

It’s Day 30 of 60 of the 2020 session of the Washington Legislature in Olympia.

Halfway there, budget committees dive into a pile of bills

2020 Washington Legislature, Day 30 of 60

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

Want this in your inbox Monday-Friday? Subscribe here.

OLYMPIA, Feb. 11, 2020 — We’ve reached the halfway point of the 2020 session. Which means it’s all downhill from here. We can only hope.

It is cutoff day for fiscal bills, which means marathon meetings of the budget committees in the two chambers. Check out the agenda for the Senate Ways and Means Committee. It has 63 bills up for votes. Starting Wednesday, lawmakers in both chambers will spend many hours on the floor passing bills for the other chamber to consider.

• The Legislative Ethics Board on Monday dismissed a complaint against Democratic Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos of Seattle that was filed by a former legislative assistant. But it was a pretty close call. As the AP’s Rachel La Corte reports, the board did find reasonable cause that the veteran lawmaker violated a rule regarding release of confidential medical information about the ex-employee.

• Tragedy at Western State Hospital Sunday morning where one patient died and another was found unresponsive. An investigation is under way.

• They’ve been voting in New Hampshire’s presidential primary since 12:01 a.m. EST. Among Democratic candidates, Pete Buttigieg began the day with 13 delegates as a result of his performance in the Iowa caucuses. Bernie Sanders had 12 and Elizabeth Warren 8.

• It’s a special election day here in Washington. School districts around the state are asking voters to support construction bonds and enrichment levies. I’ll be covering the action in Snohomish County, where voters are deciding the fate of roughly $1.7 billion worth of construction.

• There will soon be a new leader of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. On Sunday, in the tribe’s Senate election, 27-year-old Alana Quintasketdefeated incumbent Brian Cladoosby, according to a news release. Quintasket, whose campaign slogan was “Make Shift Happen,” unseated a 35-year senator who was chairman for 23 of them. The Swinomish Indian Senate will elect a new chair at its next meeting, according to the news release.

What we’re writing and reading

• Gov. Jay Inslee signed the session’s first new law Monday. It’s also the first tax increase of 2020. Jim Camden of The Spokesman-Review reports on the law, which will fund an expansion of the state’s college financial aid programs.

• Is Seattle cooling on Bernie Sanders? Gene Balk of The Seattle Times charts increasingly strong fundraising support for other Democratic presidential candidates.

• The U.S. Department of Justice sued King County on Monday to overturn the county’s ban on immigration deportation flights at Boeing Field in Seattle. Martha Belisle of The Associated Press writes about this legal battle.

What’s happening

• It’s Christian Family Day at the Capitol. The highlight will be the Rally for Religious Freedom hosted by the Family Policy Institute of Washington. It is to start at 10 a.m.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate will hold their weekly confab with reporters at 10 a.m. TVW will stream.

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, however, will not hold a confab with reporters this week.

Here is today’s abbreviated lineup of committee meetings.

Legislative agendas, schedules and calendars


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.

TVW schedule | Current and recent video | Archives | Shows


Contact your legislator | District lookup | Bill lookup

Legislature home | House | Senate

Caucuses: House Democrats | House Republicans | Senate Democrats | Senate Republicans

Office of the Governor

Laws and agency rules

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)

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2018, semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee is joining state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to propose limits to magazine capacity and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Democrats advance assault weapons ban, new rules for gun buyers

The measures passed a House committee without Republican support. They are part of a broader agenda to curb gun violence.

A person and child watch seagulls on the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Cold weather returning to Western Washington

Nightly temperatures in the 20s with highs in the 30s were expected this weekend. Cold weather shelters will be open.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring is this year's winner of the Henry M. Jackson Award given by Economic Alliance Snohomish County. Photographed in Marysville, Washington on April 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Marysville State of the City address set for Feb. 1

Mayor Jon Nehring will highlight 2022 accomplishments and look to the future. Questions from the audience will follow.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A move to require voting and a bicameral chasm on vehicle pursuits

It’s Day 19 and the mood is heating up as the third week of the 2023 legislative session comes to an end.

Lynnwood County Council candidate Joshua Binda is the subject of two complaints with the Public Disclosure Commission. (Josh Binda campaign photo)
Binda fined $1,000 for misuse of campaign contributions

The Lynnwood Council member’s personal use of donor funds was a “serious violation” of campaign law, the state PDC concluded.

Juniper DeCasso, 17, prepares groceries for pickup at the Edmonds Food Bank in Edmonds, Washington on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. Scriber Lake High School student Juniper works at the Edmonds Food bank as part of an on-the-job training class that teaches students about career options and goal planning, while also paying them for a part-time internship. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
School program gives Scriber Lake teens class credits — and paychecks

The on-the-job training program offers paid internships and career planning assignments with a real-world feel.

Dr. Robert Carsrud from the 2015 King County Voters Pamphlet. (King County Elections)
State to pay $600K over psychologist’s harassment at Monroe prison

In a federal lawsuit, Tressa Grummer alleged persistent sexual harassment as an intern by her supervisor, Robert Carsrud.

Construction crews work on the Lynnwood Light rail station on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Sound Transit asserts Bellevue-Redmond line won’t delay Lynnwood light rail

Its board approved $6 million to study an East Link “starter line.” Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell said: “Snohomish County wants to ride, too.”

FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at the state Capitol in Olympia, Wash. An effort to balance what is considered the nation's most regressive state tax code comes before the Washington Supreme Court on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, in a case that could overturn a prohibition on income taxes that dates to the 1930s. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Justices weigh legality of tax aimed at rebalancing state’s tax code

The state Supreme Court heard arguments about whether to overturn a prohibition on income taxes that dates to the 1930s.

Most Read