1. The Everett Herald reports that state schools superintendent Randy Dorn has asked the state legislature to amend Initiative 1240, the charter-schools initiative voters approved last November, to give the state, rather than an independent commission, the authority to oversee the 40 new charter schools the initiative authorizes. Previously, Dorn threatened to sue to overturn the initiative, which the state attorney general's office has said it will defend.
2. Meet your new Washington State house transportation committee, featuring six newly elected Democratic representatives: Jessyn Farrell (D-46), Jake Fey (D-27), Cyrus Habib (D-48) Marcus Riccelli (D-3), Gael Tarleton (D-36), and Roger Freeman (D-30). Transportation Issues Daily profiles the six new Democratic members; up next: The committee's new Republicans.Hopefully Inslee will be more mindful of diversity than President Obama, whose top positions are currently going almost exclusively to white male candidates
3. Meanwhile, the News Tribune reports that governor-elect Jay Inslee is cleaning house, hiring a headhunting firm to fill some of two dozen spots in his cabinet, including transportation secretary, a spot currently held by Paula Hammond. Hopefully he'll be more mindful of diversity than President Obama, whose top positions are currently going almost exclusively to white male candidates.
4. Cross-lake commuters who try to escape tolls on 520 by driving across I-90 instead, your time's running out: According to KOMO, the state is now planning to add tolls on I-90, meaning that the only way you can get across the bridge for free is by swimming. (At $2.50 for a two-hour pass, a bus ride is much cheaper and more comfortable).
5. The Washington State Wire says retailers are unhappy with Tim Eyman's latest "initiative on initiatives," I-517—not because it gives initiative sponsors more time to gather signatures, but because it gives them new rights to petition outside individual stores. Currently, retailers can ask petitioners not to gather signatures on their property.
6. Despite a referendum that legalized same-sex marriage last November, one Thurston County judge says he will refuse to grant same-sex marriage licenses based on his personal religious beliefs, the Olympian reports. Other judges, the paper reports, will perform the marriages instead.