Morning Fizz

A Knockout Performance

By Morning Fizz April 25, 2011

1. In case you missed it, late on Friday afternoon Erica got word from Republican King County Council member Jane Hague that she would vote against approving a $20 vehicle license fee.

Last week, the house and senate in Olympia passed legislation giving the county council the authority to either pass a $20 vehicle license fee to help stave up devastating Metro cuts (200,000 hours of service) with a two-thirds vote of the council, or send it to the public with a simple majority vote.

Without Hague's swing vote—she says she wants the public to decide—it looks likely that the five Democrats on the council will have to send the fee to a public vote.

P.S. We also checked in with the governor, who vetoed a similar piece of legislation two years ago, to see where she was on the bill.  Her staff told us she was "still reviewing" the language.

[pullquote]Without Hague's swing vote, it looks likely that the five Democrats on the council will have to send the fee to a public vote.[/pullquote]

2. The Seattle Times published a piece over the weekend looking at the bipartisan budget team up between state senate ways and means chair Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Seattle) and ranking Republican Sen. Joseph Zarelli (D-18, Ridgefield). It's worth a read for some insight into this year's session.

Sen. Murray boils it down:
"We have a group of conservative suburban Democrats in our caucus, and the only process they were willing to participate in is a bipartisan process," Murray said. "Either Joe Zarelli was going to write a budget with a group of our conservative Democrats or I was going to write a bipartisan budget."

Murray said he would have included Zarelli in the budgeting process regardless, but the reality is "there was very little choice."

3. Speaking of the GOP clout in the senate, as we head into the special session tomorrow, watch for a big battle over workers' comp. The conservative bloc in the senate was able to pass a bill earlier in the session effectively scaling back workers' comp payouts.

The house Republicans tried in vain on Friday to bring the bill up as the regular session wound down. But now, with budget negotiations starting in earnest this week, Fizz expects the bill to be the main bargaining chip.

4. Fizz had the good fortune to check out the Seattle Shakespeare Company's opening night production of The Merry Wives of Windsor on Friday night. It took us a couple of acts to get the swing of the 17th century rhyming couplets, but by ACT IV, we were laughing hysterically as Falstaff, dressed as a woman to escape the jealous rage of Mr. Ford, almost gets outed because of his beard.

It's playing through May 15. Highly recommended, with knockout performances by John Patrick Lowrie as Falstaff and Leslie Law as Mistress Page.
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