License plates, the X-file, and a tribute to lawmakers who’ve died

It’s Day 64. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112

2023 Washington Legislature, Day 64 of 105

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

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

OLYMPIA, March 13, 2023 — Welcome to Monday. Back to the grind we go.

Gov. Jay Inslee hosts British Columbia Premier David Eby this afternoon. The two will lunch together ahead of private talks involving delegations from the state and Canadian province. Then the two leaders will meet with reporters.

A week ago Inslee hung out with Finland President Sauli Niinistö. Any bets on which foreign dignitary will be here next week?

In the meantime, lawmakers’ focus is sharpening as they separate the chaff from legislative wheat. And issues in need of negotiating are coming into sharper focus.

One of those — remember, I am only a messenger — could be special license plates. Which new ones will be approved could become quietly contentious.

The Senate Transportation Committee last week advanced bills creating special plates recognizing pickleball, the official state sport; Mount St. Helens, the state’s most active volcano’ and LeMay-America’s car museum, where classic cars are always on display. Traditionally, lawmakers lean to giving a thumbs-up to no more than two new special license plates a session. And there are other ones out there.

People care about these plates. Thousands sign petitions to get them in front of lawmakers. Usually there’s a solid lobbying effort behind each. It’s why this could be a matter for closed-door dealmaking before this session ends.

The X-file

An email arrived Friday confirming Senate Joint Resolution 8202, the proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing access to abortion, is now in the “Senate Rules “X” file.” Translated, it is done for the session like dozens of other legislative creations.

Not a surprise. This was the most ambitious piece of the majority Democrats package of legislation to protect and defend those who seek and those who provide reproductive services. Inslee and Democratic leaders knew it lacked votes to pass. Senate Democrats could have brought it to the floor anyway for the debate. They opted not to spend the time. Likely, they needed it for caucusing and passing the vehicle pursuit bill.

Those who served

The House and Senate will hold a joint session at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday to remember 61 former lawmakers who have died since 2019, the last year the Legislature gathered in-person for such a tribute.

It’s an impressive roster of public servants whose tenures span decades.

Jim Moeller, of Vancouver, who passed away March 8, is the most recent addition. He served in the state House from 2003 to 2017. Known for his love of colorful bow ties, Moeller was one of the state’s first openly gay lawmakers and was a trailblazer for the gay community in Vancouver and the state, Shari Phiel wrote in The Columbian.

Slade Gorton, whose political journey ultimately led to the U.S. Senate, and Doug Ericksen, who died after a battle with COVID, are among those to be remembered. So too are Cliff Bailey, Paull Shin and Karla Wilson, who each served in Snohomish County for a stretch in the last half-century.

You can watch live on TVW.

To subscribe to the Cornfield Report, go to www.heraldnet.com/newsletters. | Previous Cornfield Reports here.

News clippings

Compiled by: House Democrats | House Republicans

On TV

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 | Shows

Links

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 (Everett Herald) | Tom Banse (NW News Network) | Jim Brunner (Seattle Times) | Laurel Demkovich (Spokesman-Review) | Joseph O’Sullivan (Crosscut) | Melissa Santos (Axios) | Shauna Sowersby (McClatchy newspapers) | Claire Withycombe (Times)

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

A house fire seriously injured two people Friday evening, June 14, in Edmonds, Washington. (Courtesy of South County Fire.)
1 killed, 1 with life-threatening injuries in Edmonds house fire

South County Fire crews pulled the man and woman from the burning home around 6 p.m. Friday, near 224th Street SW and 72nd Place W.

Melinda Grenier serves patrons at her coffee truck called Hay Girl Coffee during the third annual Arlington Pride event in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Hidden costs, delays crush hopeful food truck owners in Snohomish County

Melinda Grenier followed her dream to open Hay Girl Coffee. Thousands in fees later, it has cost her more than she bargained for.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

Lynnwood
New Jersey auto group purchases Lynnwood Lexus dealership land

Holman, which owns Lexus of Seattle in Lynnwood, bought property on which the dealership resides.

Marvin Arellano (Photo provided)
Family: ‘Manic episode’ preceded trooper shooting man on I-5 near Everett

“It’s very, very unfortunate how he was portrayed in his final moments,” Gilbert Arellano said. “He was just such a good person.”

Two visitors comb the beach at Kayak Point Regional County Park on Friday, June 14, 2024, in Tulalip, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Kayak Point reopens ahead of schedule

The county’s most popular park reopened Friday.

Grauates throw their caps in the air at the end of Arlington High School graduation at Angel of the Winds Arena on Thursday, June 13, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘So worth it’: Snohomish County graduates step into their futures

Alyssa Acosta, who is Harvard-bound, was one of thousands to walk the stage at Angel of the Winds Arena this month to get high school diplomas.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.