ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Spin Control

Brown: Bipartisanship real right now, major reforms iffy

OLYMPIA – There’s more cooperation between the two political parties than previous years, but not much chance that some of Gov. Chris Gregoire’s major reforms will make pass this legislative session, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown said Friday.
Speaking with reporters at the end of the first week of the 105-day session, the Spokane Democrat said members of both parties are consulting and working together more than they have in years. Republican leaders made a similar statement on Tuesday.

“That’s real. That was true even before the tragedy in Arizona, that in difficult times like now… the public expects us not to focus on partisan differences,” she said. One move to give minority Republicans more say on the budget happened on the first day of the session, when the Senate changed rules to end a requirement that amendments to the general operating budget have a supermajority.

Neither party is willing to support Gregoire’s call to end state-sponsored Basic Health program or the Disability Lifeline that provides temporary payments to disabled residents. Gregoire told Senate Democrats Friday morning to come up with alternative cuts and “wished us well,” Brown said.

Asked how those programs are likely to survive, she replied: “It’s too soon to tell.”

While Democrats may agree to streamline and consolidate some natural resource agencies, they aren’t likely to support setting up a new system to govern and raise taxes for Puget Sound ferries, Brown said. And they’re skeptical of Gregoire’s plan to consolidate all state education programs from pre-school to graduate degrees into one massive Department of Education, although they don’t know the details.

“We haven’t got the bill yet. There is interest in the Senate in not having so many agencies involved in education,” she said. It’s not clear yet what major changes can be proposed, debated and passed in a session so focused on the budget, she added.


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Spin Control

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Spin Control.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here