1. The News Tribune isn't optimistic that the state house and senate will come to agreement on a budget by the time the regular legislative session ends two weeks from now. Writing that lawmakers are "running out of time," the TNT's Brad Shannon notes that the Democrat-controlled house and the Republican-dominated senate remain far apart, with both sides accusing the other of budget gimmicks.
House Democrats say the senate budget triple-counts savings and relies on funneling capital money for schools into school operations, while senate Republicans accuse house Democrats of banking on fund raids and tax cuts that may not have the votes to pass.
2. When people explain why they don't ride the bus more often, one common reason is that they don't like to transfer—they'd rather have a one-seat ride than deal with waiting for another bus that might not come on time at a stop that may not have weather protection or feel safe.
Seattle Transit Blog offers a contrarian point of view: Tranfsers, STB's Frank Chiachiere argues, are the best way to get more people to more places more often.
To vastly oversimplify, the argument goes like this: Given limited resources, providing one-seat service between major residential destinations and major employment centers, say, necessarily means giving other routes short shrift. If, instead, we had a grid system, with many parallel routes going all over the city, people would have to transfer more, but more of the city would be covered more frequently.
The Catch-22, of course, is that it's hard to generate enthusiasm for transfers when transfers currently don't work that efficient way Chiachiere dreams up. Chiachiere mentions a bunch of things Metro could do right now to improve transfers without expanding the system, but the one I would emphasize most is: Make transfer points feel safe. That could be as simple as adding lights to stops, or factoring safety in to Metro's trip planner algorithm. A lot more people would ride the bus if they didn't feel vulnerable while they wait for the next one to arrive.
The AP reports that gun-control proponents in Washington state are gearing up to propose an initiative requiring universal background checks for gun sales
3. The AP reports that gun-control proponents in Washington state are gearing up to propose an initiative requiring universal background checks for gun sales if Congress fails to pass gun-control legislation this year. Washington state legislators proposed a gun control bill earlier this year, but it failed to win enough votes to pass the house.
4. Shockingly, Washington state still has a law on the books that makes marriage an absolute defense against a charge of rape; that is, a husband who rapes his wife can't be charged with rape.
The AP reports that the senate voted unanimously today to bring the law into the 20th century by eliminating the marital-rape exemption; the bill, which the house already passed, is headed to Gov. Jay Inslee's desk.
5. Finally, the Boston Globe is live-blogging the latest updates on the Boston Marathon bombing that killed two and injured at least 134.