Archive for June 29, 2013
There are things one learns after 153 days watching the Legislature.
Well, technically not 153 days of watching, because there were big stretches of time in the 105-day regular session, the 30-day first special session and the 18-day second special session that there really was no Legislature to watch. Most of the honorables were gone home and the few leaders and budget negotiators were squirreled away from the prying eyes of the public. But even when they are gone, there were lessons to be learned. Such as:
OLYMPIA – After 153 days, the Washington Legislature decided Saturday it had had enough, even though Gov. Jay Inslee wanted it to do more.
OLYMPIA — The Legislature passed a $3.6 billion capital projects budget this evening as its last action of its protracted session.
In quick succession, the House and Senate both passed the list of projects and gave the state the authority to sell bonds to build them.
With a plan to spend an extra $10 billion on transportation projects dead, the capital budget was the final thing on the Legislature's plate and adjournment is expected soon.
OLYMPIA — Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, holds Henry Schlicher while his father, Sen. Nathan Schlicher, D-Gig Harbor, handles a motion on the Senate floor. The extended special session prompted Schlicher to bring his son to the Legislature Saturday.
OLYMPIA — That sound you heard was the last gasp death rattle of a $10 billion plan to raise gasoline taxes to pay for new road projects, fix existing roads and bridges and boost mass transit.
Despite a plea from Gov. Jay INslee earlier in the day to pass the package, which was declare dead but then moved to life support late Friday night, the coalition that controls the Senate said there were too many questions about the list of projects, the cost of doing them without further reforms in the state Transportation Department or rules for building roads and bridges.
Senate Democrats tried to force the bill onto the floor through a parliamentary maneuver. Inslee had predicted if the predominately Republican coalition would allow a vote, it could pass.
Before the vote on the maneuver, technically known as a motion to move to the Ninth Order, Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, asked to reject it as a “procedural vote.” In case anyone missed his point, Schoesler used the word procedural four times. The coalition has always held its 25-24 margin on procedural votes.
It did this time, too. The motion failed 26-21.
Legislature expects to adjourn later today.