Redistricting nearly done; a big reveal on transpo spending

Here’s what’s happening on Day 24 of the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature.

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

2022 Washington Legislature, Day 24 of 60

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

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

OLYMPIA, Feb. 2 — Welcome to Wednesday.

Pickleball alert: Senators are expected to vote today to make it the official state sport.

Now to the day’s other developments.

Redistricting in the shadows

Notwithstanding legal challenges, the redrawing of Washington’s political maps is nearly finished.

The embattled Redistricting Commission drew up new boundaries for 10 congressional districts and 49 legislative districts. The House could vote as early as today on a concurrent resolution amending some of the lines before they become official. The Senate will get a crack at it next.

Good luck figuring out what those changes are.

Under the rules, lawmakers may amend the maps within the first 30 days of the session by a two-thirds vote of both chambers. Any changes to individual districts may not exceed 2% of the total population.

The 131-page resolution lists affected Census tracts and blocks, and any increase or decrease in a district’s population. No maps. No staff report. And no public debate, as these types of resolutions typically receive no hearings.

This isn’t unexpected. It happens every decade. But this time a Senate bill aims to shine more light on how the Redistricting Commission operates. It is a direct response to concerns the commission did too much of its work in secret.

The bill would require proposed new maps be publicly available for a few days before any action is taken. And last-minute amendments would get a public airing, as well. The point is to give folks a shot at weighing in.

Regarding the line-drawing resolution in front of lawmakers, here’s what I’ve discerned.

Many proposed adjustments, if not all, are said to come directly from a “Trapped Polygon and Problematic Boundary Analysis” produced by county auditors, which offers fixes for “problematic” situations where less-populated areas are caught between legislative and congressional districts in the commission maps, or lines don’t match up well with city and county borders.

Some changes are small. Outside Sultan in Snohomish County, a line appears to pass through a single building, leaving it sitting in two legislative and two congressional districts. A tweak resolves that.

Some changes aren’t as small. The town of Moxee in Yakima County is in two legislative districts, the 13th and 15th. Auditors suggest it be in one by moving 1,825 residents from the 13th into the 15th, then, for balance, 1,821 people are moved from another part of the 15th into the 13th.

This might be spelled out in the resolution, if you know what Census tract you live in.

A one-party package

The big reveal on a proposed transportation package should occur next week. Don’t be surprised if a little hell breaks loose.

Democrats are crafting it without Republican input and are primed to push it through without GOP votes.

“We’re really curious what they’re working on,” Senate Minority Leader John Braun said Tuesday.

It will spend around $15 billion over 15 years, similar in scale to the 2015 Connecting Washington package.

About a third of the revenue will come from the sale of carbon emission allowances under the Climate Commitment Act. Federal dollars will cover a chunk and several hundred million dollars will come from the general fund. Some vehicle fees will rise. There is no gas tax increase.

No new bonds will be sought to finance it. Therefore, no pressure to horse trade with Republicans, whose votes they might need to get to the 60% threshold needed to pass a bond bill.

Sen. Marko Liias, D-Everett, the first-year chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, and Rep. Jake Fey, D-Tacoma, his House counterpart, are drawing up the blueprint.

On Tuesday, Liias explained why they’ve not engaged much with Republicans yet. With a short session, it made sense to get the Democratic caucuses on the same page first, he said. And, he noted, Republicans opposed the Climate Commitment Act and aren’t likely to share the Democrats’ view on how to spend those dollars.

“Once we have more definition we’ll share with them,” he said.

A retiree caucus

The number of lawmakers who’ve decide to make the 2022 session their last is growing.

I reported Tuesday on Everett Rep. Mike Sells’ decision to not seek a 10th term. Back in December, Rep. Steve Kirby of Tacoma said he’s hanging up his legislative cleats.

Sen. Reuven Carlyle of Seattle issued his announcement last week. And last October, another Seattle senator, David Frockt, gave early notice of his legislative retirement.

Are there others I’ve forgotten? Let me know.

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 Wshington 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 (Herald) | Rachel La Corte (AP) | Joseph O’Sullivan (Times) | Jim Brunner (Times) | Austin Jenkins (NW News Network) | Melissa Santos (Crosscut) | Shauna Sowersby (McClatchy newspapers) | Laurel Demkovich (Spokesman-Review)

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Ariel Garcia, 4, was last seen Wednesday morning in an apartment in the 4800 block of Vesper Dr. (Photo provided by Everett Police)
How to donate to the family of Ariel Garcia

Everett police believe the boy’s mother, Janet Garcia, stabbed him repeatedly and left his body in Pierce County.

A ribbon is cut during the Orange Line kick off event at the Lynnwood Transit Center on Saturday, March 30, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘A huge year for transit’: Swift Orange Line begins in Lynnwood

Elected officials, community members celebrate Snohomish County’s newest bus rapid transit line.

Bethany Teed, a certified peer counselor with Sunrise Services and experienced hairstylist, cuts the hair of Eli LeFevre during a resource fair at the Carnegie Resource Center on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Carnegie center is a one-stop shop for housing, work, health — and hope

The resource center in downtown Everett connects people to more than 50 social service programs.

Everett mall renderings from Brixton Capital. (Photo provided by the City of Everett)
Topgolf at the Everett Mall? Mayor’s hint still unconfirmed

After Cassie Franklin’s annual address, rumors circled about what “top” entertainment tenant could be landing at Everett Mall.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Stanwood in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Stanwood man gets federal prison for selling fentanyl on dark web

In 2013, Christerfer Frick was sentenced to nine years for trafficking drugs. He began selling online upon his release in 2020.

Molbak's Garden + Home in Woodinville, Washington closed on Jan. 28 2024. (Photo courtesy of Molbak's)
Molbak’s, former Woodinville garden store, hopes for a comeback

Molbak’s wants to create a “hub” for retailers and community groups at its former Woodinville store. But first it must raise $2.5 million.

A fire at a home near Alderwood Mall sent one neighbor and one firefighter to the hospital. (Photo provided by South County Fire)
Officials: Residents returned to burning Lynnwood home to rescue dogs

Five people and six dogs were displaced in the Thursday afternoon house fire, according to South County Fire.

Featuring a pink blush over a yellow background, WA 64 combines qualities of Honeycrisp and Cripps Pink (aka Pink Lady) for a firm, crisp, sweet and tart bite. A naming contest for the new apple runs through May 5, 2024. (Photo provided by Washington State University)
Hey Honeycrisp, this new breed of apple needs a name

Enter a naming contest for WA 64, a hybrid apple with the same baby daddy as Cosmic Crisp.

Police respond to a wrong way crash Thursday night on Highway 525 in Lynnwood after a police chase. (Photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation)
Lynnwood woman, 83, killed in wrong-way crash following police pursuit

Deputies said they were chasing a man, 37, south on Highway 525 when he swerved into northbound lanes, killing an oncoming driver.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

People walk along the waterfront in front of South Fork Bakery at the Port of Everett on Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port of Everett inks deal with longtime Bothell restaurant

The port will break ground on two new buildings this summer. Slated for completion next year, Alexa’s Cafe will open in one of them.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

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.