Posts tagged: Mike Baumgartner
Somewhere in the great beyond, James “Big Jim” Farley is having a good day.
The former Tammany Hall boss and political strategist for Franklin Delano Roosevelt may have been pulled out of celestial poker game late last week when word drifted heavenward about a press release from state Sen. Mike Baumgartner. The Spokane Republican came up with a solution to the fix Washington could find itself in after Boeing’s union machinists voted down a contract extension that would have guaranteed the 777X be built in the state.
Call a special session to turn Washington into a “right-to-work” state, Baumgartner said.
Such a suggestion must’ve made Farley spit out his cigar, if smoking is allowed in whatever suburb of the afterlife old pols inhabit. . .
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In the wake of the Boeing machinists’ rejection of a contract extension the company said would assure the 777X would be built in Washington, a Spokane legislator said the state needs to take a bold step to become more attractive to manufacturing.
Make Washington a “right-to-work” state, which would make union membership and its dues optional.
That would be part of making the state “a welcoming overall environment” with a lower possibility of strikes, Republican Sen. Mike Baumgartner said. He wants Gov. Jay Inslee to call a special session to consider and pass such legislation.
“That’s not going to happen,” a spokesman for Inslee said. Boeing never mentioned right-to-work legislation as something it was seeking to guarantee the plane would be built in Washington, David Postman said. . .
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Before heading to Olympia for the start of the special session, state Sen. Mike Baumgartner wants to hear from constituents. He's holding a “mobile office” session in Airway Heights on his way out of town.
“I want to answer questions and receive feedback about what is on the minds of the voters,” he said in a press release.
Baumgartner will be at the Buckhorn Inn, 13311 W. Sunset Highway, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday. That means he'll miss the official start of the session, which is scheduled to kick off at 9 a.m. But Thursday is expected to be “pro forma” in the chambers, so he won't miss much.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday afternoon that he was calling the Legislature into a special session on Thursday morning.
The head of a local movie production company said he will challenge an incumbent senator in Spokane’s 6th Legislative District next year.
Democrat Rich Cowan, chief executive officer of North by Northwest, said Tuesday he will run against Republican Sen. Mike Baumgartner, contending the incumbent’s views on some issues are too extreme for the district.
One of his main goals if elected, Cowan said, would be to find a way to complete the North Spokane Corridor, a roadway that has been discussed for more than a half century and under construction for more than a decade. . .
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OLYMPIA — Sen. Mike Baumgartner's annual Flag Day Potluck is the latest casualty of the Legislature's inability to get a budget.
The potluck, scheduled for Friday at Comstock Park, was cancelled because Baumgartner can't attend. He's in Olympia with the other legislators (most of them anyway) with the second special session which began Wednesday.
Baumgartner said the food will go to the Union Gospel Mission.
OLYMPIA — The state Department of Transportation shouldn't let trucks with oversized loads on routes where the bridges are too small, state Sen. Mike Baumgartner said Thursday.
The Spokane Republican introduced a bill that would require the DOT to better label the height of state bridges, and refuse to issue permits to truckers whose oversized loads aren't going to fit through bridges that are too low or too narrow. It's a response to the collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River, which fell after being struck by an oversized load.
This wasn't the first time the Skagit River bridge was struck by an oversized load, Baumgartner said. The solution to the problem is not more transportation taxes to fix bridges, but better oversight so trucks aren't allowed on bridges that are too small.
Sens. Mike Baumgartner, left and Doug Ericksen hold beer steins while addressing a demonstration against the a new tax on microbreweries. The mugs were empty.
Sen. Andy Billig argues in favor of allowing small theaters to serve beer and wine.
OLYMPIA — Small theaters would be able to sell beer and wine during movies under a bill that narrowly passed the Senate today.
Over objections from some senators that it represents a further “desensitization” of the dangers of alcohol, House Bill 1001 passed 27-21 and was sent back to the House to approve one change that did pass the Senate: The new rule is limited to theaters that have four or fewer screens.
Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, said the change in state law would provide a bit of commercial help for neighborhood movie houses like North Spokane's Garland Theater, that are struggling to compete with the large multiplexes. It allows them to sell a glass of wine or beer to adults to take into the theater, even when children are present in the room. Theaters who receive a license to serve beer and wine from the state Liquor Control Board must have plans to ensure minors aren't served and face double the fines for violations that a bar would receive.
Sen. Jeanne Darnielle, D-Tacoma, said the bill doesn't have enough accountability, and the state doesn't need to expand places where alcohol can be served: “We're just in a race to decide (alcohol) is not a health problem. We begin to think it's all right, that it doesn't have more consequences.”
Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, said he rarely drinks but beleives the bill represents one of the few areas where he thought the state could be more liberal. “It's a step toward moving our culture to being more comfortable with these issues.”
The bill now goes back to the House for agreement on an amendment that limited the number of screens a theater can have to four to be eligible for the license. Multiplexes are currently able to sell beer and wine with a special license in a theater that's restricted to adults.
Sen. Mike Baumgartner and Rep. Jeff Holy, two Republicans who represent Spokane's 6th Legislative District, are holding a town hall meeting by phone this evening.
The session will feature a live poll of those on the line and a chance to ask questions of the legislators.
The one-hour session begins at 7 p.m. to those who call 1-877-229-8493 and enter the ID number 17921.
Friday’s four-hour budget debate in the Senate was mostly about programs that get cut or taxes that don’t get raised. But there were brief detours into other topics, including cigar lounges and Spokane Indians baseball. . .
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Lilac Queen Brett Rountree addresses the state Senate.
OLYMPIA — The Senate and House took a not too controversial stance this morning, passing resolutions in support of the Spokane Lilac Festival and it's 75-year anniversary.
With Lilac Queen Brett Rountree of Central Valley High School on the rostrum and the rest of the court in the gallery, the Senate approved Resolution 8646, which recounts some of the history of the festival and explains some of the projects the groups behind it support.
“In general, it's a celebration of awesomeness,” Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane and the resolution's prime sponsor, said.
Added Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane: “It's one of those things that make Spokane better every year.”
A few minutes later, the House also voiced support for the festival.
Spokane-area residents will have chances to ask their legislators what’s going on in Olympia this weekend at several town hall meetings scheduled for Saturday.
Sen. Andy Billig, Reps. Timm Ormsby and Marcus Riccelli, all Democrats from central Spokane’s 3rd District, have a 10 a.m. meeting at Shadle Park High School Auditorium, 4327 N. Ash, and a 2 p.m. meeting at Emmanuel Family Life Center, 631 S. Richard Allen Ct.
Not sure what legislative district you're in? For a detailed map of Spokane-area legislative districts, click here.
OLYMPIA — The state should reduce its Supreme Court by four members to save money, Sen. Mike Baumgartner says.
In a bill introduced today with two Republican colleagues, the Spokane legislator said the state could save as much as $2 million a year by reducing the court to five members.
In what might be considered a bit of pique over last week's decision overturning the two-thirds majority requirement for tax increases, Baumgartner said the reduction would also be in line with the court's admonition against adding requirements to clear constitutional mandates.
“The constitution clearly says that the Supreme Court shall consist of five judges,” he said in a prepared statement.
That's a reference to Article IV, Section 2, but only part of that section. The whole section says:
The supreme court shall consist of five judges, a majority of whom shall be necessary to form a quorum, and pronounce a decision. The said court shall always be open for the transaction of business except on nonjudicial days. In the determination of causes all decisions of the court shall be given in writing and the grounds of the decision shall be stated. The legislature may increase the number of judges of the supreme court from time to time and may provide for separate departments of said court.
Over time, the Legislature did increase the number of judges to the current nine.
As to how to decide which justices would stay and which would go, Baumgartner's bill suggests they draw lots.
“Based on their recent rulings on McCleary (requiring the state spend more to improve public schools) and their rationale behind the decision to throw out the will of the people regarding the two-thirds tax rule, I expect the court will support this approach,” he said in a prepared statement. If not, they can lobby for a constitutional amendment.
The bill is introduced so late in session that deadlines for new bills have passed and it has almost no chance of passing. But it could get a hearing in the Senate Law and Justice Committee, Chairman Mike Padden said, if a case can be made that the bill is necessary to implement the budget.
A House committee held a hearing this morning on a bill to abolish capital punishment, in part on a claim that such a change would affect the budget by saving money on the costly appeals for death row inmates, Padden said.
State Sen. Mike Baumgartner returns to Spokane today for a pair of town hall meetings.
He has a 10 a.m. session at the Cheney Middle School, 740 W. Betz Road.
and a 2 p.m. session at the Museum of Arts and Culture in Browne's Addition, 2316 W. First.
OLYMPIA — Sen. Mike Baumgartner would serve as vice chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee next year under the proposed “coalition” majority in that chamber.
The Spokane Republican, who is halfway through his first term, said he thinks the coalition of the Senate's 23 Republicans and two Democrats which was announced earlier this week will lead to greater consensus and a better budget.
“One of my main goals in the Senate has always been to reform state government: make it leaner, more efficient, less costly and more service-oriented,” he said in a prepared statement.
As vice chairman, he will be helping with the development of the operating budget, the spending plan for most state services, programs and salaries. In recent years, the Senate Ways and Means vice chairman is focuses on the capital budget, which deals with construction projects, but that job under the planned coalition majority will fall to Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside.
Democrat Maria Cantwell easily won a third term in the U.S. Senate in the statewide vote, but is running only slightly ahead of Republican Mike Baumgartner in Spokane County. If trends hold, Baumgartner's home county would be the only Eastern Washington County she carries.
For a closer look at the Spokane County map, click on the PDF document below
One of the dozens of e-mails in today's Inbox had this tantalizing subject line: “Cantwell/Baumgartner tied in Social Media Buzz”
A nice person from a public relations firm said she had some data on that race that might interest us: “According to a new media index from Temple University and LexisNexis, Maria Cantewell and Michael Baumgartner are in one of the tightest races in the country. The candidates are tied in social media buzz, as well as print and broadcast media mentions of the candidates.”
Wha-what?? as Scooby Doo might say.
Joe Biden and Paul Ryan aren't the only debate on the schedule tonight for Washington voters.
In a sense, they are the opening act for Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna, who will debate in Seattle at 9 p.m. (Although some people might argue the governor's debate is more like the second movie at the drive-in double feature, the one many people don't bother to stay up to watch all the way to the end. But it's all about personal preferences.)
The debate is such a huge deal in Seattle that it is on most of the city's broadcast stations, and most are supplying a moderator or questioner to the show. In Spokane, KREM-TV is carrying it.
Ryan v. Biden is a 90 minute event, which starts at 6 p.m. local time. McKenna v. Inslee is scheduled for 60 minutes.
Speaking of debates, what is likely to be the only debate of the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell and Republican challenger Mike Baumgartner occurs Friday, also in Seattle at KCTS-TV, the public television studio. The Spokesman-Review will be there for same day coverage on the web and print coverage the next morning. It will air in Spokane next Tuesday, on KSPS-TV, channel 7.
The folks at KSPS worked mightily to bring a second Senate debate to Spokane, but the Cantwell people have so far only agreed to one debate, total.
There's a precedent for Cantwell agreeing to a late debate in Spokane. That happened in 2000, in her run against incumbent Slade Gorton, when no one was sure until the last minute whether she'd appear at a Rotary-sponsored debate. Her campaign said no, then it said yes, but she almost didn't make it because fog was delaying flights that morning at Spokane International Airport.
If something similar happens this year, it may not appear on the tube. Late commitments are hard to work into a television schedule.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell raised more than three times as much money for her re-election campaign in the last quarter as her Republican challenger, state Sen. Mike Baumgartner, raised in his effort to unseat her.
The Cantwell campaign reported last week she had raised more than $1 million in the three-month reporting period that ended Sept. 30. That brought her total to about $11.5 million for this election cycle, and she has about $2 million on-hand for the last five weeks of the campaign.
The Baumgartner campaign said today he had raised almost $312,000 in that same three-month cycle, which would bring his total contributions for the campaign to slighly over $1 million. Totals for expenses aren't yet available, a campaign spokeswoman said.
The two U.S. Senate candidates are scheduled to debate on Friday at the studios of Seattle's public television station, KCTS-TV. The debate will be taped, and will air in Spokane on KSPS-TV, Channel 7, on Oct. 16, after the second presidential debate. It's the only debate in the U.S. Senate race scheduled thus far.
Early last week, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mike Baumgartner may have raised some eyebrows by endorsing I-502, the ballot measure that would legalize marijuana for adults in Washington. Later in the week he offered up another surprise.
He backed a tax increase. Seriously. A Republican. Not making this up.
Baumgartner said he would support a 1 cent per gallon tax on gasoline, provided the money went to a special fund for veterans care. The Spokane Republican made the statement after a visit to Joint Base Lewis McChord’s Madigan Medical Center, and said would help ensure returning troops get the care they need.
“Equally important, this small tax will remind each and every American every time they fill up at the pump there is still a war going on with nearly 70,000 troops in harm’s way,” he said. “War isn’t free.”
With the way the price of gas fluctuates these days, drivers might not notice an extra penny. But the no-new-tax crowd probably would. He may get a nasty-gram from them.
Maybe he’ll get a chance to talk about it later this week in the one debate he has scheduled with Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell. That debate will air Oct. 16 on KSPS-TV.