Today's (early) winner: Seattle city council member Richard Conlin.
Overwrought handwringing from the Seattle Times notwithstanding (actual headline: "Conlin's healthful-snack proposal may not be easy to swallow"), city council member Richard Conlin passed legislation out of his planning and land use committee yesterday that will require all vending machines in city buildings to include at least 50 percent "healthier" or "healthiest" options.
As Conlin noted yesterday, the proposal (which will go before the full council Monday) "preserves choice"—people are free to buy bananas or banana-flavored Gummi bears, but now they'll have more options.
Granted, those "healthier" options include things like baked chips and chemical-laden diet soda, but it's better than nothing (or, more specifically, Cheetos and Ding-Dongs.) And of course, the real problem King County's "healthier choice" program is designed to address is childhood obesity—and there aren't many 10-year-olds working at City Hall. Still: Baby steps.
And just a Jolt: In one of the oddest pairings of ideological opponents we've seen recently, liberal Seattle city council member Sally Clark paired up with conservative Bellevue mayor Conrad Lee yesterday in a Seattle Times op/ed oppose legislation that would take business and occupation tax collections out of cities' hands and consolidate it at the state level—an idea Seattle's budget office has estimated could cost the city as much as $43 million. (Lee, of course, opposes light rail; Clark, of course supports it).
The state's largest cities are proposing an online "portal" that would allow businesses to pay all their B&O taxes in one place without taking away local control; Gov. Jay Inslee (unlike his predecessor, Chris Gregoire, who proposed the state takeover) has praised the proposal.