Conspicuously absent in the Legislature’s waning days is Senate Majority Leader Jim West. The Spokane Republican is home, undergoing chemotherapy treatments in Coeur d’Alene for the colon cancer that doctors discovered about a month ago. He’s not expected back before the Legislature wraps things up early next week.
“His heart is here, but he has to do what’s most important for his health,” said one of West’s lieutenants, Sen. Pat Hale, R-Kennewick.
Still, knowing West’s workaholic tendencies, his colleagues figured that he was probably watching Wednesday night’s budget debate on TVW, Washington’s public-affairs TV network.
“God bless you,” Sen. Bob Oke, R-Port Orchard said in a brief floor speech intended for West’s eyes back in Spokane. “We’re praying for you every day.”