Morning Fizz: Caffeinated News & Gossip

By Josh Feit March 5, 2009

fizz241. Each day, the House and Senate in Olympia start things off with an invocation. Yesterday's got a little weird when the pastor who was invited to do the invocation, House minority leader Richard DeBolt's (R-20, Centralia, Chehalis, Morton) personal pastor, condemned the House for attacking the institution of marriage—a reference to the series of domestic partners bills the legislature has passed over the last three years giving gay couples the same rights and responsibilities that married couples get, like visitation rights. 

2. WEA Vice President Mike Ragan sent out a Dr. Seuss-style poem to WEA reps on Monday afternoon ridiculing the education reform bill that the WEA is supposedly working on with other stake holders, like the state PTA and state Superintendent. (Indeed, also on Monday afternoon, while they did flag some concerns, the WEA was in Olympia testifying in support of the bill and negotiations.)
From: Mike Ragan
Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 4:55 PM
Subject: Horton Lays an Egg

Those bills-we-are
Those bills-we-are
We do not like
Those bills-we-are!

Do you like
Green dregs and scam?
We do not want them
They should scram!

Would we like them here or there?
We would not like them here or there
We would not like them anywhere.

Would we like them in the House?
Will we take them with no rouse?

We do not like them in the House
Click here now to get them doused.

We do not like them here or there
No House, no Senate anywhere
We do not like green dregs and scam
We do not like them
They should scram!

Would we change evaluation?
Would we change our compensation?

Not right now
No way, no how
Not evaluation
Not compensation
Not accountability
Or certification
Not in the House
Not in the Senate
Not with $1 billion in cuts
No ifs and or buts.

Tell legislators we don’t want to spar,
But it’s time for them to get rid of these

3. Largely along party lines (Democrats 'yea,' Republicans 'nay'), the state Senate passed the "Proven Programs" bill yesterday 33-14—which repealed state rules mandating that public schools must apply for abstinence only education programs. 

"It's simply hard to argue against the idea that we should ensure that state resources go to support programs that are proven to actually work," Jennifer Allen, Planned Parenthood's director of public policy said after the vote. 

4. The Senate also passed the $2.8 billion tunnel plan. And the House and Senate passed bills laying out how the state will spend $341 million in federal stimulus money for transportation projects.

Even though Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels had an agreement with Governor Gregoire that there would be $50 million in the package to fix Mercer St. and $25 million for Spokane St., the Seattle money was not included.

Offering zero reservations about the final bill, Gregoire issued this statement: 

"I applaud the hard work of House and Senate leadership in passing this vitally important stimulus funding with bipartisan support. There is no doubt we need to pump money into our ailing economy as soon as possible to save and create jobs. Like so many others, our state faces great economic challenges, and it is commendable to see members from both parties working together to get Washingtonians to work and our economy moving. 

“I look forward to signing this legislation and launching this effort to jump-start our economy.

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