Support The Wire

Green Sheet for March 9 – Climate Change Ruling Forthcoming, While Another Key Deadline Looms

With the house of origin deadline looming on Wednesday, both the House and the Senate should have marathon days ahead of them this week. The House Democrats made noise like they were in for a long night Friday, and a session Saturday, but they ended up adjourning for the weekend early in the afternoon on Friday.

The Senate adjourned with a little more intrigue: for the second week in a row, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen has to make a ruling on a significant bill. On Friday, Democrats tried to introduce an amendment during consideration of SB 5735, which revamps Initiative 937 to focus on carbon reductions, that states humans are causing global warming. Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale and the prime sponsor of SB 5735, challenged the amendment as beyond the “scope and object” of the original bill. Owen is expected to rule on that question Monday morning. The Senate reconvenes at 10 a.m. Monday.

One other thing to watch for this week: House State Government takes up a Senate Republican bill implementing accountability measure for state contracts, while House Finance takes up accountability and wage standards for companies seeking aerospace tax breaks. As the old saying goes, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”


“Everybody knows more money is going to McCleary. Nobody knows how much more than that,” House Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, tells the Daily Herald’s Jerry Cornfield, in reference to the gaggle of education bills that have made it out of committee in the respective chambers but don’t directly relate to the McCleary funding mandates.

“If you think social media and digitized message sharing moves comments around the capitol today, trust me, when a freshman lawmaker called Adele Ferguson, ‘Adella the Hun’ you can double the speed,” Wire Editor Jim Boldt wrote in a tribute to the longtime Bremerton Sun political columnist, who died last week at age 90.


Bremerton Sun columnist Adele Ferguson and Superintendent of Public Instruction Frank Brouillet / Courtesy the Secretary of State’s Office


The News Tribune’s Melissa Santos examines how the Legislature can address regional disparities in teacher-pay models: “As state lawmakers look to overhaul how much they contribute to teacher salaries, they realize they’re trying to solve a problem that looks different in Omak than it does in Seattle. Right now, the state gives local school districts a set amount of funding per teacher, no matter where they live and work. That leaves local school districts paying the difference between what the state kicks in for salaries and what hiring a teacher in their areas actually costs — a state of affairs the state Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional.”

The Los Angeles Times takes you to the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” and the march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama: “The route was the same, but the conditions were far different. Instead of enduring tear gas and billy clubs on what came to be known as ‘Bloody Sunday,’ visitors crossed the bridge with smiles and songs. On the weekend marking the 50th anniversary of the demonstration that led to the Voting Rights Act’s passage, some marchers locked arms and some knelt to pray as they crossed the bridge — named for a Confederate general who was also a leader of the Ku Klux Klan.”


Debate over low-carbon fuels standard fires up in Washington, Oregon Legislatures

Adele Ferguson, “Adella the Hun,” a freshman mistake that had to be cleaned up. 1975.

House passes minimum wage increase to $12, paid sick leave

$15 billion transportation package clears first hurdle as Lt. Gov. sweeps aside 2/3rds rule


Both chambers passed a number of key bills last week. Here’s some of the ones you might not have read about:

HB 1174: Bans a series of chemical flame retardants from commercial products, and passed the House 95-3 on Thursday.

HB 2150: Overhauls the state’s business and occupation tax code. Sponsored by Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, it also features Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater as a co-sponsor. It will receive a hearing before the House Finance Committee Friday morning.

HB 1896: Relates to utilities confidentiality policies for energy usage measured by customers’ smart meters. Sponsored by Reps. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, and Zack Hudgins, D-Tukwila, it passed the House by a 98-0 vote on Thursday.

HB 1449: House Democrats’ version of the oil train safety legislation. The Senate has an alternate, but the House voted its legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-Seattle, over to the Senate 60-38 on Thursday night.

HB 1472: Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon’s legislation to shift regulation of certain chemicals from the Legislature to the Department of Ecology moved out of the House Rules Committee onto the second reading calendar on Thursday.

SB 5874: Legislation from Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, to end the use of coal-by-wire electricity – that is, coal-fired electricity created in Montana and consumed in Washington – moved out of the Rules Committee in the Senate on Friday. It’s awaiting a vote on the floor.


Another week dominated by floor action. The key thing to watch for Monday will be Owen’s ruling on the amendment to SB 5735, which is likely to pass either way.

The long-awaited employment numbers for January will be issued Tuesday morning by the Employment Security Department. The department skipped a release last month in favor of two reports this month.

The hearing on accountability in state contracts is slated for Wednesday at 8 a.m. before the House State Government Committee. The hearing on adding wage standards to aerospace tax incentives will be heard before the House Finance Committee at 8 a.m. Friday.

Your support matters.

Public service journalism is important today as ever. If you get something from our coverage, please consider making a donation to support our work. Thanks for reading our stuff.