1. Funny news from the weekend: You know how we've been reporting that Mayor Mike McGinn is at odds with housing advocates (they're sparring over the status of Seattle's vacant housing director spot). Well, on Saturday night at Futurewise's fancy fundraising dinner at the Seattle Center, McGinn's table assignment had him stuck between two vocal advocates for filling the vacancy—Anna Markee and Rachael Myers, the Outreach Director and Executive Director of the Housing Development Consortium and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance respectively.
By the end of the night McGinn, who's been vague about the housing director position, was seated two tables away.
2. The already-crowded race to take state Rep. Sharon Nelson's (D-34, W. Seattle, Vashon, Maury Island, Burien) seat will get a new candidate today. Watch for Nelson aide, Joe Fitzgibbon, to jump in the race today.
UPDATE: Fitzgibbon, 23, has now issued a press release hyping some impressive endorsements including, Reps. Nelson, Dave Upthegrove (D-33, Sea-Tac, Des Moines, Kent, Tukwila), Geoff Simpson (D-47, Covington, Black Diamond), Marko Liias (D-21, Edmonds, Mukilteo), King County Council Member Bob Ferguson, and the mayor of Burien (where Fitzgibbon is a member of the planning commission), and sevearl Burien City Council Members.
From his press release:
“I am running because the 34th District needs new ideas, a fresh perspective on the challenges facing our communities, and real Olympia experience to hit the ground running,” said Fitzgibbon, a longtime 34th LD resident making his first run for public office. “I am the only candidate in this race with local and state experience, and I plan to campaign full time for the job.”
3. Thanks to the special session, State Rep. Marko Liias' (D-21, Edmonds, Mukilteo, Lynwood, Mountlake Terrace) transit funding bill—it would give Snohomish, King, and Pierce counties the ability to send a $50, voter-approved car tab fee to voters to raise millions for strapped bus agencies—is still alive.
The bill never got a floor vote in the House this year, and then, when it showed up as an amendment to a Senate bill, it was promptly shot down.
This time, however, its chances look good. The reason the House didn't vote on it during the regular session (according to Liias) is because leadership thought it was a waste of time to send it to the Senate. (The House passed it last year only to have the Senate kill it.)
However, this week's special budget negotiations have given it new life: Sen. Rosa Franklin's (D-29, Tacoma) district is slammed for transit (Pierce Transit is facing 60 percent cuts in service).
She could be hold out vote against the operating budget—which she voted against during the regular session thanks to the massive cuts which affect her working class district—if the transit bill doesn't get support. Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane) is likely to sign off on the transit funding bill to if Franklin makes it an issue.
4. There was lots of legislative action this weekend: Locally on the state budget and Federally on health care.