Afternoon Jolt

1. McGinn loses and wins today.

Here's the statement Mayor Mike McGinn's office just released ahout his ugly battle with City Attorney Pete Holmes over proposals to reform the Seattle Police Department:

"Today the mayor had a good conversation with [outside police monitor] Merrick Bobb in which he addressed a number of the concerns that the city of Seattle has had with the proposed monitoring plan. Based on that conversation, the mayor indicated to the monitor that the City accepts the monitoring plan submitted to the court with the mutual understanding that the plan is a living document that can be amended and that the parties will work together on timelines for adoption and implementation of reforms detailed in the Settlement Agreement.
The mayor and the monitor also agreed to hold regular meetings so as to better align the work of the City and the monitor on reform, which the City Attorney will also attend. The Mayor’s Office and City Attorney staff will be working on a pleading for the court consistent with the mayor’s conversation with the monitor."

Jolt thinks the mayor caved because he realized his fight with Holmes was political suicide. Not necessarily because he was wrong (as Jolt pointed out yesterday, he had a strong legal hand), but because he realized—or maybe his political consultant told him?—that the fight was only confirming his reputation as a bully. He needed this one to be over.

He lost his fight with Holmes by signing off on the DOJ monitoring plan, but at least he stopped digging his political grave by pursuing this childish battle. 

McGinn lost his fight with Holmes, but at least he stopped digging his political grave by pursuing this childish battle.

2. No losers yet, but a Jolt nonetheless—to workers and to Seattle.

The Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus voted a bill to repeal the paid family leave law and a pair of bills to undo Seattle's own paid sick leave law out of the rules commitee along partisan lines, with renegade Democratic Sens. Tim Sheldon (D-35, Potlatch) and MCC leader Rodney Tom (D-48, Medina) joining the Republicans. 

This queues the bills up for a potential floor vote at any moment. 

The bills to effectively repeal Seattle's paid sick leave law bump up against conservative ideology by scoffing at local control. We asked Tom about this earlier in the session, and he said the interests of business should trump Seattle's law.

All three bills are sposored by Sen. John Braun (R-20, Centralia) and, with the exception of Tom (who's a co-sponsor on all three) and Sheldon, have no Democrats on board. The Democrats, in fact, have sponsored a bill to make Seattle's paid sick leave law the standard statewide and one to fully fund family leave.

The Democrats' family leave bill, sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33, Des Moines), and the paid sick leave bill, sponsored by Sen. Nick Harper (D-38, Everett) are stalled in committee. 

3. The Washington state economy loses. 

The state's revenue forecast isn't due until March 20, but the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council's latest economic forecast isn't exactly optimistic. It concludes that while state employment grew faster than expected (nearly 17,000 new jobs since the last forecast in November), total employment has gone down by 8,400.

Higher taxes, which will start in January thanks to the "fiscal cliff," will cost Washington state workers about $3.5 billion in income in 2013 alone. And the council revised its estimate for personal income growth down—from 4.9 percent, on average, to 4.7 percent.
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