Caffeinated News & Gossip

1. In case you took the day off: Here's yesterday's Fizz, featuring some must watch video.

2. Just in the nick of time, as state Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-41, Mercer Island) plans to roll out her transportation funding package this week, Gov. Jay Inslee—according to Jerry Cornfield at the Everett Herald—is planning to announce his pick for WSDOT director today.

3.  One calendar highlight this week that Niki left out of her otherwise massive roundup of bills that are on the docket in the runup to policy cutoff this Friday (the last day policy bills can get voted out of committee) was Sen. Don Benton's (R-17, Vancouver) legislation to protect Washington from the U.N.

Referred to derisively by Democrats as the "Black Helicopter Bill," Benton's bill says Washington state can't cooperate with "Agenda 21"—a measure passed by the U.N. at the landmark Rio conference in 1992 that called for a global effort to promote sustainability.

The bill has a hearing tomorrow at 1:30 in the Law & Justice Committee. The committee is chaired by Benton's co-sponsor on the bill, Sen. Mike Padden (R-4, Spokane Valley).

4. Another legislative hearing this week: The state senate ways and means committee will hear Sen. Ed Murray's (D-43, Capitol Hill) bill to get rid of an obscure tax on dancing. The tax has been hauled out recently to cite clubs such as Neighbors and the Century Ballroom for hundreds of thousands of dollars in supposed back taxes. 

Along with Murray, Seattle state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard) has signed on to the bill. However, music club industry advocates are nervous that (weirdly) the state rep from club-centric Capitol Hill, Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43), the chair of the judiciary committee, does not support the bill. 

Murray lobbied Pedersen yesterday and reports that Pedersen is open to the legislation.

Pedersen himself tells Fizz: "I am open to considering it. [I] want to see the fiscal note" to see how much revenue loss there may be to the state.

The fiscal note says it would cost the state $892,000 in this biennium and slightly more than $1 million in the 2015-17 biennium 

5. Quick follow-up: Yesterday, we noted that just one senator, Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-23, Bainbridge Island), voted against Gov. Jay Inlsee's pet luxury jet repair business tax exemption when it passed out of the senate transportation committee 12-1 last week. 

Rolfes told Fizz why:

I’ve been working very hard this session advocating for more funding for our schools, particularly in light of the McCleary decision.  Given the budget constraints, we need to be very disciplined about new tax breaks, especially ones directed at luxury jet owners and industries that benefit from so many tax breaks already.  The bill might very well be good for jobs and result in increased state revenues, but it needs to be backed-up a little bit with some specific data, which the proponents didn’t provide yet. I’m hoping we’ll get more data before it hits the floor for a full Senate vote.

6. Contribution of the day: Onetime city council candidate Venus Velazquez, who lost to Bruce Harrell after being charged with a DUI in 2007 has maxed out to one of Harrell's rivals in the 2013 mayor's race, Peter Steinbrueck, campaign-finance records show.

Steinbrueck and Harrell are just two of seven candidates, so far, who are challenging Mayor Mike McGinn; council member Tim Burgess and state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43) are also in the running. 

7. Former Washington State Attorney General and 2012 Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna announced in a press release yesterday that he has joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, an international law firm that focuses on tech.

McKenna will work out of the firm's Seattle offices advising clients—such as Microsoft—on tech issues in state legislatures. McKenna, 50, said he's not interested in running for public office for "several years."

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