Morning Jolt: Tom Is a No Show, DREAMERS Make a Big Show, and Background Checks at Gun Shows
Jolt will probably be back after Gov. Jay Inslee announces his new Department of Transportation director—who, we hear, may be good news for environmental advocates. But here's a mini morning Jolt in the meantime; a couple of quick winners and losers.
Loser: Rodney Tom
The renegade Democrat who's leading the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus didn't show up to the Democrats' annual crab feed in Olympia last night.
That might not sound like shocking news given Tom's status as a pariah in the party (party chair Dwight Pelz, always a big presence at the crab feed, is actively recruiting candidates to challenge Tom.)
But Tom is adamant that he's a Democrat. He hypes his Democratic status, calling it a key component of the MCC's legitimacy as a force for bipartisanship in Olympia.
We have a call in to Tom to ask him why he didn't make it to the annual Democratic event in Olympia.
Winner: The DREAM Act
110 people signed up in favor of the bill; zero people signed in opposed.
Whoa. At this morning's house hearing on Rep. Zack Hudgins' DREAM Act bill, which would allow students whose parents are undocumented immigrants to get state need grants for college, 110 people signed up in favor of the bill; zero people signed in opposed.
Watch the hearing in the higher education committee, starting at around the 25-minute mark.
"These are kids that have grown up in our communities, grown up in mine, and have gone through our school system. And I absolutely believe that every student that graduates from Washington state high school ought to be given the same chance," Hudgins's Republican cosponsor, Rep. Bruce Chandler (R-15, Granger) told the committee to start the hearing.
Next up, a long list of "DREAMERS"—as the kids are called—who testified in favor. (Go to the 51:04 mark in particular, for some amazing testimony.)
Another Winner this moring: Gun control advocates
Rep. Jamie Pedersen's (D-43, Capitol Hill) bill for univeral background checks passed his judiciary committee this morning. The Seattle Times has a report on the 7-6 vote, with one Democrat voting No and one Republican—police officer Rep. Mike Hope (R-44, Lake Stevens), voting in favor.