You’re never going to believe this one. On Monday, as he tried to make the case for a troubled transportation package and a highly controversial bridge project at Vancouver, Gov. Jay Inslee did his best to send chills down everyone’s spine by reminding them of “the bridge that fell down in Minnesota.” And four days later, guess what happens? Oh, of course it’s a coincidence — but this could be the game-changer that transportation and Columbia River Crossing advocates have been looking for.
The final fund-raising numbers are in, and they give just a hint of how hot things are going to be in this year’s numero-uno legislative race. During that brief two-week window earlier this month when sitting lawmakers were allowed to solicit contributions, Republican Jan Angel and Democrat Nathan Schlicher managed to raise a total $185K. The leader? Angel, by a two-to-one margin. But don’t read too much into that. The real question is whether this single campaign will break the state record — or rather, by how much.
Months after the president’s reelection, a variety of unions are publicly balking at how the administration plans to implement the landmark law. They warn that unless there are changes, the results could be catastrophic.If the administration were to expand the subsidies to cover the Taft-Hartley plans, it’s likely that the price tag for ObamaCare would rise, though it’s unclear by how much.
Gov. Jay Inslee is taking a breathtaking gamble on passage of a transportation tax increase in this year’s Legislature. In an attempt to force the Senate to swallow an $8.4 billion tax package, and with it a highly controversial new I-5 bridge at Vancouver, the governor has vetoed money in the transportation budget that might have been used to redesign the Columbia River Crossing. The money would have kept the troubled bridge project on life support, but Inslee says it’s his way or no way.
The starting gun has fired and the state’s big-enchilada, all-the-marbles Senate race on the Kitsap Peninsula is off and running. Washington’s marquee race between Republican Jan Angel and Democrat Nathan Schlicher is shaping up as a barnburner. Candidate filings last week also set up two cases of Republican-on-Republican violence in Eastern Washington as Senate appointees Sharon Brown and John Smith face challengers from within their own party. Aside from that little mayoral contest in Seattle, the three races are the top entertainment this odd-numbered election year. Here’s how they’re shaping up.
Inslee Chief of Staff Mary Alice Heuschel says the governor’s office will shortly roll out a new business-style planning process that will guide the administration over the next four years. Announcement comes at the annual meeting of the Washington Business Alliance, a relatively new business organization that is working on an even broader strategic plan of its own. Goes to show that lean management isn’t the only business concept that is being applied at the state level these days.
A labor-backed ballot initiative in the city of SeaTac would give airport workers and those in nearby hotels and car-rental companies the highest minimum wage in the country by nearly $5 an hour, the latest move in an effort to set the rules at North America’s 17th-busiest airport. It hasn’t made the ballot yet, but already it is causing yelps of pain from business groups. And it is looking like this local initiative might be one of the hottest items on the November ballot, anywhere in Washington state.
It was slam-bang action in the House and Senate Monday as gavels fell to open the first special session of 2013 — not that anybody was really paying much attention. There’s really nothing cooking under the Dome. Even the much-touted drunk-driving bill, if it passes this year, won’t see a vote until there’s a budget deal, say members of the Majority Coalition in the Senate. If there was any news, it was a subtle shift in the governor’s position on those hard-to-swallow partisan bills. It’s looking like the new special session of the Washington Legislature is off to a mighty slow start.