This Washington

Best of Olympia, Week #5

By Josh Feit February 11, 2011

Surprise of the Week: Medical marijuana bill passes the senate health care committee 7-2 with bipartisan support.

Republican Sen. Jerome Delvin (R-8, Richland) co-sponsored the bill with Seattle liberal Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard, Queen Anne)

Runner Up: Rep. Eric Pettigrew's (D-37, S. Seattle) direct assault on the teachers unions, a bill that would make layoffs based on evaluations rather than seniority, actually gets scheduled for a hearing. The house Democrats put it on the calendar for next Tuesday.

Be there. Should be a brawl.

Loser of the Week: The Growth Management Act.

Two house bills, one that allows cities to delay Growth Management Act deadlines and another that allows small counties to bail on GMA guidelines altogether, passed out of the house local government committee.

Footnote: State Sen. Sharon Nelson (last week's noted all-star) stymied the senate version to delay the GMA.

Runner Up: Labor took a hit when both the senate and house Democrats bailed on them for a Republican (and business)-preferred version of the unemployment insurance bill (the governor signed it today).

The UI bill gave a whopping tax break to business and—while it did get some temporary relief to workers—it axed labor's preferred version (the original house bill) that included a permanent children's benefit.
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