1. After the Republicans in the state senate passed their own version of the DREAM Act (AKA the Real Hope Act) 10 days ago, one Republican who had abstained, introduced new legislation late last week that Democrats complain contradicts the landmark civil rights legislation.
The Real Hope Act—which truth be told, only 10 Republicans out of 24 voted for anyway, while the entire Democratic caucus, which has been pushing the legislation for three years, supported—makes children of undocumented immigrants eligible for college financial aid, known as the State Need Grant.
One of the Republicans who didn't vote for the bill, Sen. Janea Holmquist Newbry (R-13, Moses Lake)— she abstained because she complained the bill moved too fast— introduced a bill last Friday that puts an asterisk on the hope for student aid.
Republican senator introduces asterisk on last week's Real Hope Act.Her bill would move "Dreamers," as the children of undocumented immigrants are called, to the back of the line. Her legislation says: "Priority for state need grant funds shall be given to legally present resident students as defined over any other category of student."
We put a call out to Sen. Holmquist Newbry on Friday.
Holmquist Newbry introduced the bill too late to meet Friday's policy bill deadline in the senate, but it is still a strong political statement.
2. Speaking of deadlines, the Democratic house appropriations committee has until tomorrow to pass the progressives' priority minimum wage bill. The bill sponsor, Rep. Jessyn Farrell (D-46, N. Seattle), will need all the Democratic votes she can get to pass it out of committee, and the fact that two Seattle reps—both on the powerful committee—have not added their names to the long list of liberal co-sponsors is making labor advocates antsy.
The two Seattle legislators in question are Reps. Reuven Carlyle (D-36, Queen Anne) and Eric Pettigrew (D-37, SE Seattle), both considered moderates in the caucus. (Seattle itself elected a socialist city council member and bleeding heart mayor, who both pledged on the campaign trail to raise Seattle's minimum wage to $15 and hour; Farrell, who supports Seattle's push for $15, is proposing a statewide minimum wage floor at $12.)
Fizz has learned that Rep. Carlyle is a 'Yes' on the bill; we have not heard back from Rep. Pettigrew.
However, the bill is on the long list of legislation cued up for a vote in this morning's house appropriations committee—which is a good sign it has the votes to pass.
3. Given the opinion piece we ran on Friday about the sweet (and instructive for the NFL) irony that a gay mayor led last week's gargantuan Super Bowl victory parade—which came with the headline: "Yeah yeah, it's no big deal that Seattle has a gay mayor, but it is a big deal that no one like him is out on an NFL team," we are savoring this morning's New York Times story about Michael Sam.
Sam, a University of Missouri college football star and a hot NFL draft prospect, announced this weekend that he's gay.
Sam's powerful video interview on the NYT website is a must see.