Since this morning's Morning Fizz was more of an essay on the situation in Olympia than the usual glass of gossip and caffeinated news, here are a few extra sips.

1. Yesterday, NARAL announced their replacement for  longtime, outspoken, ; ) krazy, effective, high-profile, often-controversial leader, Karen Cooper—who's leaving in May after 15 years at the helm of the women's advocacy group. The reaction in the pro-choice community to the pick—someone named Lauren Simonds—is a collective: "Who?"

2. There's a lot of focus on state Sen. Fred Jarrett (D-41, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Factoria) right now. Jarrett recently announced he's running for King County Executive. (I took a look at his recent voting record here.)

However, one recent vote I can't get a bead on is this one—his vote on a bill that would put millions of dollars into worker retraining programs. The vote? 48-1, with Jarrett as the lone 'nay.' I've asked the sponsor's office—Sen. James Hargrove  (D-24, Twilight Series)—about it, and they have no idea. I called Jarrett's office too. No answer yet. 

britney-spears-1013. Rumor is this: Tacoma's city lobbyist in Olympia, Randy Lewis, could get anything he wants this session (as long as he doesn't send out an email about it, I guess), if he'll just cough up some Britney Spears tickets to her April 9 show at the Tacoma Dome. I'm not making this up.

4. The payday lending bill—which would regulate the controversial quick, high-interest loan industry—is queued up for a hearing in the Senate on Monday. (The bill passed the House 84-10.) The state legislature has never been able to do this one; it's never passed either chamber before.

Rep. Sharon Nelson's (D-34, Vashon, W. Seattle) bill—it's being ponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard) in the Senate—isn't as strong as legislation proposed in the past, but by mandating the availability of installment plans to repay loans and putting a maximum on the number of loans a borrower can get,  advocates at the Statewide Poverty Action Network say the bill will address the cycle of debt that payday companies like Money Tree use to ensnare borrowers.  

5. Oh, and re: this morning's earlier essay were we said the state budge shortfall was likely to hit $9 billion. Yep. It's official now. $9 billion.

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