1. Gov. Jay Inslee, speaking before a crowd of pro-choice activists today, said the state senate has an obligation to vote on the Reproductive Parity Act, which would require insurers that provide maternity care to also cover abortions.
According to the AP, Inslee said, "We are going to insist that we are not going to let anybody close the door to democracy in this state."
Sen. Rodney Tom (D-48, Medina), whom liberal Democrats have decried as a traitor for heading up the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus in the senate, spoke in favor of the RPA, saying—in defiance of MCC members, like Republican Don Benton (R-17, Vancouver) who've argued for more parental oversight of their teenage daughters' reproductive decisions—that he was "making sure that my 17-year-old daughter has the kind of protections that we need in Washington state and that all of our kids have those same kinds of protections."By instigating this session's MCC takeover, however, Tom has jeopardized the pro-choice agenda.
2. Speaking of Sen. Tom, the PI.com reports that state Democratic Party chair Dwight Pelz threw him "to the wolves" this weekend, asking Democrats to donate $5 each to the "Rodney Tom Retirement Project"—which Pelz described as an effort to "recruit and support a true Democrat" to replace Tom.
3. Aubrey Davis, the 95-year-old former Mercer Island mayor who fought for transit funding as head of the Washington state transportation commission until 2004, died yesterday.
The Seattle Times has Davis' obituary.
4. Want another reason to support Seattle's paid sick leave law? According to Grist, about 12 percent of food-service workers reported going to work despite diarrhea or vomiting in 2011.
Meanwhile, 63 percent of restaurant workers reported showing up for duty while sick; not surprisingly some 88 percent of those same workers had no paid sick leave.
5. The Columbian reports that a "flurry" of bills have been filed that would impact the Columbia River Crossing bridge between Vancouver and Portland, including proposals to ban light rail on the bridge; make it harder for out-of-state steel companies to procure contracts for the bridge; and increase tolls on the bridge. Senate Republicans, including Vancouver Sen. Don Benton (R-17), oppose the CRC project as written because it includes light rail and tolls on drivers.