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With help from Emily Boerger and Kylie Walsh
1. Podcast: Sen. Guy Palumbo on carbon
Senator Guy Palumbo was only elected to the Senate in 2016, but he has already become a leader in the legislature, serving as Vice Chair on three committees. He’s also become a strong advocate for carbon, working on the carbon tax bill that ultimately did not pass last session.
He joins us in this podcast to talk about his background, walk us through the 2018 session and share his thoughts on what the future of a price on carbon would look like. He also provides us some insight on the pollution fee initiative that is likely headed to the ballot this fall. Take a listen here, and be sure to subscribe!
“If you think about this policy, it’s even bigger than the Medicaid expansion. It affects every single person in this state should it pass at the ballot or legislatively. So the short session hurt us, the election year hurt us…you know ultimately, I don’t think that the Republicans in the Senate really felt any worry at all about the initiative.”
2. Nancy Pelosi in town to fundraise
House Democratic Leader Nancy Peloisi was in town over the weekend to raise funds for the DCCC. She also spoke in the rain at the March for Science event with Rep. Pramila Jayapal.
Her visit shined a light on three key observations about Pelosi that are worth bearing in mind in 2018. Among those is this: if she retakes the Speaker’s gavel next session, she’ll be 80 years old in 2020 at the end of the next House term. She’s 78 now, and still very much going strong, it would appear.
3. Wire Insider: Stuart Elway, Elway Research
Stuart Elway is the President of Elway Research, which was rated one of the top six pollsters in the country. We’ve recently featured two of his polls. One shows a tight race in the 5th CD with Cathy McMorris Rodgers only 6 points ahead. The other shows that while Dems are leading the midterms, Reps have been closing the gap.
In this episode of “Wire Insider” Elway joins us to discuss how to overcome partisanship. “Working across the aisle and working together means compromise. Compromise isn’t you agree with me and then that’s a compromise. A compromise is we each have to give up something in order to get something and that seems to be a hard thing to do, but that’s what it’s going to take in any given legislative body.”
4. More calls for Rep. Sawyer to step down
Following accusations of inappropriate behavior and crossing professional boundaries, 17 Pierce County politicians sent a letter to Representative David Sawyer last week asking him not to seek reelection. The letter also comes after the 29th LD Democratic Party Organization approved a resolution calling for Sawyer to either step down or not seek reelection. Rep. Sawyer maintains he has acted lawfully and professionally and says he will still run for his seat in 2018.
The letter is signed by Representatives Jinkins, Fey, and Kildruff, as well as Senator Darneille. Congressmen Derek Kilmer and Denny Heck joined five members of the Tacoma City Council and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards in signing the letter as well. You can read the full letter here.
5. Stuckart announces run for Spokane Mayor
On Friday, current two term Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart announced he will run for mayor in 2019. Stuckart filed to run against Cathy McMorris Rodgers in 2018 for the Eastern Washington congressional seat but ultimately withdrew from the race due to family health issues. Lisa Brown’s successful candidacy launch last fall may have helped his decision.
Stuckart is something of a Bernie Sanders Democrat, according to local observers. He would be a stark contrast from current Mayor of Spokane David Condon who previously served as deputy chief of staff for McMorris Rodgers. Stuckart has drawn criticism from conservatives for pursuing policies like taxing guns and ammunition and mandating paid sick leave. Both Condon and Stuckart are set to reach the term limits of their current positions in November 2019.
6. Student homelessness highest in state history
New data out of OSPI shows that the number of students experiencing homelessness in Washington is the highest in state history. In 2016-17, 40,934 students were considered homeless in Washington. That’s a 3.2 percent increase from the previous year and the 9th year in a row that saw an increase. This amounts to about 1 in every 25 K-12 students in the state.
The largest increase in students experiencing homelessness are among those who live unsheltered. The number of students living in parks, cars, abandoned buildings, or on the streets rose by 29 percent from 2,134 in 2015-16 to 2,753 in 2016-17.
7. Prime Air now has 33 planes
Amazon’s fleet of air cargo planes is growing. It’s up to 33 aircraft now, making it a substantial but still modest network of cargo containers relative to other transport carriers. For comparison, FedEx has 650 aircraft; UPS has 242.
Incidentally, 242 is the number of aircraft in the Alaska Air fleet. Horizon Air’s 59 aircraft is more closely comparable to Amazon’s fleet in terms of total units. But, those Horizon Air planes don’t quite seem like the same looming disruptors as these Prime Air craft do, do they?