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Eye On Olympia

Posts tagged: Matt Shea

Cap and trade bill clears a key committee, but is much stripped down…for now, it’s mainly cap, not much trade…

In tomorrow’s paper:

A controversial “cap and trade” plan that would put Washington at the forefront of efforts to combat global warming has been dramatically watered down under pressure from businesses and rural Republicans.

Nonetheless, proponents say they remain optimistic. The bill, requested by Gov. Chris Gregoire, cleared a key House committee Tuesday.

“It’s still viable. It establishes a real cap” on greenhouse gases, said state Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish. “That’s a critical first step.”

Among the sharpest critics of the bill: Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda. Saying that the plan will destroy rural industries, he’s blasted it as “cap and extort” and says that trading pollution credits would spawn cronyism. He’s publicly suggested that disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich would be a good fit to run it.

“He’s well-suited to run a system like that,” Kretz said in an interview Wednesday. “And he’s looking for work.”

House passes first bills…

Local Reps. Matt Shea and John Driscoll made their opening floor speeches Monday, making the case — although it didn’t have to be made, judging by the unanimous voice vote — for passage of a resolution honoring the state’s National Guard troops.

Shea, a former company commander in the 81st Brigade, recounted the death of one of his soldiers, killed by a 500-pound bomb detonated a few feet from the Sgt. Jeff Shaver’s humvee. He talked about getting a letter shortly after that from the 26-year-old’s fiancee, a woman named Charity. She said she took comfort knowing that he’d found true love before he was killed.

“Charity sacrificed her future husband on the altar of freedom,” said Shea, R-Mead. ” And I think we need to each ask ourselves: what price will we pay?”

Driscoll, D-Spokane, also said he was proud to honor the troops for putting their lives and families on hold out of their sense of duty.

“Our state, our nation and our world is a better place because of what you do,” he said.

House lawmakers on Monday passed their first bills of this year’s legislative session. Among them:

-HB 1049, which lets National Guard veterans tap local relief programs,

-HB 105, which changes the state hiring preference for veterans,

-and HB 1034, which allows more public use of National Guard armories.

Large anti-abortion rally at capitol…

Forgot to post this before going home last night:

More than 4,000 people crowded the Washington state Capitol steps Tuesday to decry abortion.

“Let’s make sure the Supreme Court can hear all of us today,” newly elected state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Mead, said. He dismissed the dozen counter-demonstrators on the state Supreme Court steps as “static” and led the crowd in a chant: “Life, life, life, life!”

Organizers have long held annual anti-abortion rallies at the Capitol, but Tuesday’s gathering was the largest in recent years. Buses crowded the Capitol lawn, and the crowd spilled over the Capitol steps. Many people came with church groups.

“If your neighbor is thinking about abortion, talk her out of it,” said state Rep. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace. “… Because the economy’s in the tank, the abortion problem is going to get worse unless we work to prevent that.”

At Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest, public policy director Jet Tilley said she’s not anticipating any major efforts to restrict abortion in the statehouse this year.

“We have a pretty solidly pro-choice House and Senate,” she said. The main issue, she said, will be trying to protect funding for family planning. It’s particularly critical in rural parts of the state far from other health care, she said.

“We’re really looking to protect patients and protect the family planning safety net,” she said.

Also speaking at Tuesday’s rally was new state Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy. She recounted the story of a woman who kept a child even though the doctor said the baby probably wouldn’t live.

“That young mother is now my mother-in-law,” Short said, and the baby is her husband, Mitch.

Across a small lawn, the dozen abortion rights demonstrators shouted back at the crowd.

“I love my rights!” they chanted.

“If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one,” one woman said.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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