The grandest event in the state takes place Wednesday night at the state Capitol — and while we might not want to make too much of a fuss about the controversy over the location, it demonstrates how important the inaugural ball has become in the state’s public life. Fancy dress and dancing shoes are advised, and lindy hoppers, mark the day. Tickets are available online and at the door.
The Senate Democratic Caucus, to be booted out of power on the opening day of the Legislature next week, won’t reach for the olive branch, Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray announced Thursday. A new majority coalition is taking over — the 23 Senate Republicans are being joined by two Democrats. And the Dems are turning down an offer to share power with the coalition in the form of committee chairmanships. Will individual Dems take the deal?
State Rep. Chris Hurst says the Legislature ought to reopen debate on the marijuana-legalization measure voters passed last November — meaning big battle in the Capitol over the future of the state’s new billion-dollar industry. Hurst, the point-man on the issue in the House, says license fees ought to be pegged higher. But that would require an amendment — and if lawmakers start tinkering with I-502, where will they stop?
State schools chief Randy Dorn says he won’t take Washington voters to court to challenge last year’s charter-schools initiative – as long as lawmakers do a big rewrite on I-1240 during their upcoming legislative session. In a letter to lawmakers Tuesday, he says he’ll hold off for now, as long as the Legislature puts him in charge of the new charter school system. Now it’s up to lawmakers to decide — will they take the deal?
This may not come as a surprise, but the Washington Education Association says it will sue to overturn Initiative 1240, the charter-schools measure approved by the voters last November. Now begins the final play in the 18-year effort to launch charter schools in Washington, where opposition from K-12 interests has made this state one of the last to give a green light. But what about state schools superintendent Randy Dorn? After hinting at a challenge of his own, no decision yet.
It’s a Christmas miracle! The state’s biggest labor organizations are going to court to defend the Building Industry Association of Washington. A progressive lawsuit aimed to break BIAW’s power, but an appeals ruling makes unions gulp — they could be required to air all their dealings in public. They have particular reason to worry.