City of Seattle
City officials released their income tax proposal on Monday—a 2 percent tax on income above $250,000. There was widespread support for it at the public hearing Wednesday, where residents spoke out against the state's regressive tax system, and city officials said its income tax would affect less than 5 percent of Seattle's households. Council members are shooting for a July 10 vote.
Delvonn Heckard, the man who accused Murray of sexually abusing him in his teens, dropped his lawsuit against Murray on Wednesday; his attorney said he plans to file the case again next year, when he has a better chance of winning. Three other men made similar claims against Murray, and all four accusers stand by their allegations. The lawsuit effectively ended Murray's reelection campaign, but at a press conference Wednesday, he wouldn't rule out a write-in candidacy.
Seattle Public Schools will change bus schedules again, to a two-tier system, for the 2017-2018 academic year now that the city council has committed a $2.3 million one-time grant from Seattle Department of Transportation funds.
The King County Council on Monday approved the 46th Legislative District's new state representative—Javier Valdez. He was the Democratic precinct committee officers' top pick to replace Jessyn Farrell, who resigned on June 1 to focus on the mayor's race.
Valdez is taking over at a time when the legislature is into the second week of its second special session, still without an agreement on the state budget. Still stalled on how to meet the Supreme Court's mandate for the state to fully fund basic education, legislators still have until midnight on June 30 before a government shutdown would go into affect. The Seattle Times reported on possible compromise areas, including a property-tax adjustment and real-estate excise tax. The last partial government shutdown occurred in 2015.
Seattle Versus Trump
President Donald Trump might have decided to forego the Paris climate accord, but Seattle won't be held back. The city council passed a resolution on Monday to uphold or exceed the goals of the international agreement. Los Angeles, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia have also all voted to uphold the agreement standards. In a released statement, Murray said, "As the Trump administration disavows facts, shrinks from responsibility, and retreats from leadership, Seattle is committed to being carbon-neutral by 2050. We are putting America first by putting clean air, clean water, public health and safety first."
Council member Mike O'Brien, committee chair on sustainability and transportation, introduced the resolution:
The @SeattleCouncil maintains committing the City of Seattle to uphold its portion of the Paris Climate Accord, even if Trump does not.— Mike O'Brien (@CMMikeOBrien) June 12, 2017
Attorney general Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, less than a week after former FBI director James Comey's testimony. Sessions adamantly denied having a meeting with the Russian ambassador. Saying he was there "defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations," Sessions continued to maintain that his recommendation to fire Comey had nothing to do with the investigation into Russia's collusions in the presidential election.
"This much is clear: We still don’t know the full extent of the Russian government’s relationship with Trump and his associates," congresswoman Pramila Jayapal wrote on her Facebook page. "What worries me about this hearing are all of the questions that the Attorney General refused to answer. Now, it’s on us to follow the facts and we must continue to seek the truth that the American people deserve."
Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell were busy with something else this week—the GOP's attempt to rush the Republican health care bill through the Senate with a hearing.