We have lots of budget content for you this week, as well as a great conversation with Sen. Annette Cleveland for our podcast subscribers. If you haven’t signed up for our Daily Wire email, you should get on the list! You’ll get our original reporting delivered to your inbox each morning to start the day. And, as always, thank you for reading our stuff at the Wire.
With help from Emily Boerger and Marjie High
1. Podcast: A Conversation with Sen. Annette Cleveland
Senator Annette Cleveland represents the 49th Legislative District which covers central and west Vancouver. In the state Senate, Cleveland serves as the Chair of the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee as well as a member of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Transportation Committee.
I sat down with Sen. Cleveland for this podcast to talk about her district, her views on the upcoming 2018 elections, and some of her key healthcare priorities heading into the 2019 legislative session. If you don’t know her well, this is a great conversation with her that gets to the heart of how she approaches the job of legislating. Take a listen here, and be sure to subscribe!
2. Constantine budget sent to King Co Council
Executive Dow Constantine transmitted his 2019-2020 Proposed Budget to the King County Council Monday to kick off budget season. The budget looks to address the needs of explosive population growth, both within and outside urban areas, while balancing the need for fiscal caution as anticipated economic slowdown looms.
While adding funding to address transportation (over $260 million to the $2.5 billion Metro Transit budget) and homeless as anticipated, the executive proposes to shift supervision for youth detention to the Public Health Department and pledges $2.375 million for upstream prevention work to reduce incarceration. The budget also includes $12.5 million to fix culverts under county‐owned roads and trails to improve salmon runs, yet notes that constraints in the county’s revenue collection ability has left a General Fund deficit of almost $24 million. The County Council will address the proposal in a series of meetings over the next months, with a final vote expected in mid-November.
3. What’s next in the Manweller process?
Following a new allegation of sexual misconduct over the weekend, Representative Matt Manweller announced Monday afternoon that he will resign if re-elected. On Friday, Republican House Leadership called on Manweller to resign after an allegation that he had a sexual relationship with a minor in the late 1990s came to light.
In a Facebook post, Manweller wrote to the Kittitas County Republican Party that he will resign his seat if he wins, but will not drop out of the race so that voters can still have a Republican candidate to vote for in November. During the primary election, Manweller outpaced his Democratic opponent Sylvia Hammond by nearly 27 points. If Manweller wins, and then resigns, his seat will be filled by an appointment process, which we explain here.
4. Agency “decision packages” out, a window into the politics of budgeting
OFM has posted the “Decision Packages” submitted by various state agencies to be reviewed for inclusion into Gov. Inslee’s proposed 2019-2021 budget. The governor’s budget comes out in December, at which point all state agency staff will only be able to support the budget asks included in that budget.
But if you want to know what they really think, and how they are playing the process, it’s these decision packages you want to review. We highlight a few from three state agencies: HCA, DOT, and DCYF. Some agency asks try to jam the governor by citing collective bargaining agreements as a rationale for extra money. Others cite the need to prevent juvenile rape. In short, this part of the budgeting process is a window into what agency leaders really think they need for funding, and how they will position their asks against other competing agencies in order to garner support from the governor.
5. Landlord/tenant fights and implications for leg
King County Superior Court Judge Susan Amini ruled this week that a Seattle ordinance capping the amount move-in fees is constitutional. Seattle City Council approved the ordinance in response to the city’s housing affordability crisis. Meanwhile, a new report on evictions in Seattle showed 86 percent of all evictions filed were for non-payment of rent. Three quarters were for less than $2500 and over half for less than one month’s rent.
As communities continue to grapple with housing and homelessness issues, pushing the boundaries of policy into constitutional questions, the question is whether the Legislature will move to limit the ability of cities to take such actions. There is early talk about a push for a pro-landlord bill in the Legislature next session that might limit cities like Seattle from taking action. But, stakeholders say it’s not clear that the politics of a potential “blue wave” will support such a bill next year. In fact, it could well be the opposite.
6. Reviewing Seattle Mayor Durkan’s budget proposal
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan released her 2019-2020 Budget Proposal yesterday. Key increases would boost transportation by adding 30 percent more Metro bus service and new bike lanes, while public safety would be enhanced with the addition of 40 new police officers and 120 fire recruits. The mayor also proposes increases of $2.8 million for a total of $89.5 million to fight homelessness in the city. The budget indicated the expected announcement of over $70 million in new affordable housing projects to come later in the year.
The $5.9 billion budget for 2019 is largest city budget ever, yet the mayor indicated a cautious approach to spending given anticipated economic cooling. With revenue forecasted to plateau, the mayor highlighted her “scrubbing” of the budget to re-prioritize $49 million in savings. Seattle City Council will meet to review and rework the budget over the next couple months with a final vote schedule for November 19th.
7. NYT live polling in the 8th Congressional District
The New York Times is running a series of live polls in competitive Congressional races around the country. In Washington, they are polling the 8th CD where Republican Dino Rossi is facing off against Democrat Kim Schrier. It’s always interesting to watch the real-time data trends as polling takes place. This poll has 91 completes from over 5,000 calls. It’ll take a few days to complete its run to likely at least 400 respondents.
It’s also a very interesting use of data visualization. The poll includes a map displaying the geographic location of each poll response, estimates of voter turnout based off polling, the demographics of responders and their voting patterns, as well as additional polling questions on issues like health care and the Kavanaugh nomination. Sampling errors will continue to shrink as more respondents complete the polling.
8. #HackingWashington: Not quite what Spokane wanted?
The City of Spokane has launched a new online campaign to draw residents and businesses to the city. From their website, www.hackingwashington.com: “While Seattle is still a special place, locals have to work hard to afford a lifestyle that hardly exists anymore… These trends have Washingtonians looking elsewhere for a better way, and they’re finding it in Spokane. That’s #HackingWashington.”
Maybe the ad agency in Spokane that came up with this could have thought more about the politics of the term before pitching their client. If you take a look at #HackingWashington on Twitter from before the campaign launched, the tweets are in reference to Russian hacking attempts of Washington DC. As one Twitter user put it, “This seems like an unfortunate choice of hashtag right now.” Other Twitter users linked the “hacking” hashtag to the city’s poor air quality in August – as in “hacking” and coughing…