Caffeinated News & Gossip

1. Feminist Seattle Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard, Queen Anne) introduced a (kinda '90s) bill yesterday to the Commerce & Labor Committee to change gender-specific language throughout state statutes so, for example, titles of public service jobs (such as fireman) are changed (to firefighter.)

Republican Sen. Mike Hewitt (R-16, Walla Walla), pointing to the long list of statutes listed in the bill, wanted to know how time-consuming the process would be.

Kyle Thiessen, the State Code Reviser, who was sitting next to Kohl-Welles, told Hewitt with comic aplomb: "We have computers."

Out in the hall afterward, he told Fizz: "We also have word search."

Computers! Gender neutral language! It's a new world Sen. Hewitt.

"We also have word search."—Washington State Code Reviser, Kyle Thiessen2. Later in the hearing, the Republican-controlled committee voted 4-3 along partisan lines to scale back workers' comp payouts, sending the controversial legislation to the Rules Committee. 

3. State Sen. Mike Padden (R-4, Spokane Valley) says he plans to amend legislation he is sponsoring, along with prolific bill sponsor Don Benton (R-17, Vancouver), that would require women under 18 to notify their parents before getting an abortion, so that it would not outlaw all abortions in the state nor eliminate women's right to reproductive privacy.

As we reported last week, Benton and Padden's original bill would have repealed one law guaranteeing "a fundamental right of privacy with respect to personal reproductive decisions," including the "fundamental right to choose or refuse to have an abortion," and another ensuring that "the state may not deny or interfere with a woman's right to choose to have an abortion prior to viability of the fetus, or to protect her life or health." 

Padden tells PubliCola that the part of his legislation repealing those rights was due to a "drafting error," and says those sections will be removed from future iterations of his parental notification legislation. 

4. Speaking of Sen. Benton: The Vancouver Republican is sponsoring three bills aimed at preventing the state from building light rail between Vancouver and Portland on the proposed new I-5 bridge, AKA the Columbia River Crossing. 

In addition to a bill that would withhold state funding from the project if it includes light rail, Benton has proposed: A bill that would require voter approval of any light-rail line between Portland and Vancouver, and a bill that would expand the boundaries of a potential Vancouver-area transit district to all voters within the area that would be served by that transit agency, effectively diluting the urban pro-transit vote along the corridor. 

5.  A crew of Seattle transplants now living in D.C. sent Fizz a photo last night; they were at the Washington Wizards' game at Verizon to cheer on the visiting Sacramento Kings, the future Sonics.

Jeff wrote: "Grew up going to Sonics games and moved to DC after college for a job. Been out here for over a decade now. When the Sonics moved to OKC, some friends and I would wear our Sonics stuff to Wizards vs. Thunder games in protest. Then when talk of Kings moving to Seattle started, we went to the game last year and this year to show support for the Sonics returning to the NBA." 

The Sonics fans must have been good luck. The Kings won 96-94 on Isaiah Thomas' last-second shot snapping a four-game Kings losing streak and handing the Washington Wizards their first home loss after they'd won five straight at home. 

Fizz had to inform the excited Sonics fans, though, that Josh is from D.C. and the cruelty of gleeful Sonics fans in D.C. watching this Washington take down that Washington is not lost on him.

Sonics, 1979