1. The Seattle Times reports that Mercer Island city council member Tana Senn is likely to be tapped to replace former state Rep. Marcie Maxwell (D-41, Mercer Island), who left the legislature to join Gov. Jay Inslee's team as an education advisor.
The appointment would represent a relatively meteoric political rise for Senn, who was appointed to her current council seat just this past January.
2. The Columbian blasts the governor's proposal to pass a statewide transportation package today because Inslee suggested that it might be OK to pass a package without funding for the Columbia River Crossing, a new bridge connecting Portland to Vancouver that's controversial (among conservatives in the legislature) because it includes light rail.
After a series of particularly tortured football metaphors (the governor was "tackled on the last line of scrimmage" and is now "trying an end around," or perhaps a "flea-flicker" or a "Hail Mary"), the paper's editorial board gets to the point: Inslee's proposal would force Clark County "to pay for the rest of Washington's major projects without receiving any consideration for their most pressing transportation need. Sound fair? Of course not. And it demonstrates a lack of ingenuity on the part of the governor."
It's Clark County's own elected representatives, including extremely conservative Reps. Ann Rivers (R-18, La Center) and Don Benton (R-17, Vancouver), who have opposed the new bridge, and voted against funding a statewide transportation plan that was approved by the house.
According to the New York Times, since the city has installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes, travel speeds have actually increased by 7 percent—confounding conventional wisdom that more bike lanes equals slower traffic.
3. The News Tribune's Peter Callaghan—the paper's sometimes-reporter/sometimes-editorialist—grouses today that the legislature's recent report on its compliance with the McCleary decision (in which the state supreme court found that the state was failing to fufill its constitutional "paramount duty" to fully fund education) still fails to outline a blueprint to get to full funding and compliance with McCleary. (And as Josh noted last week, breaking down the numbers, also failed to fully fund it this time.)
Although it has stopped complaining about the ruling, the legislature, Callaghan writes, hasn't "begun the hard work of reducing reliance on local school levies. It has done nothing to tackle the politically explosive task of restructuring how teachers are paid, shifting costs to the state and away from local sources. And it has not been able to agree on a clear demand of the court — a funding source that is 'regular and dependable.'”
Democrats, he argues, have relied on closing tax loopholes, while Republicans have said that if the state fully funds education, there will still be plenty of money for other state expenses.
5. And Josh wanted me to link this one: NYC has reached a (supposedly) surprising conclusion: Where the city has installed bike lanes, cars are able to get around more quickly.
According to the New York Times, since the city has installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes, travel speeds have actually increased by 7 percent in the city's central business district—confounding the conventional wisdom that more bike lanes equals slower traffic.