1. Local political consultant Lisa MacLean confirms that Maud Daudon, President & CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, is "exploring the possibility" of running for mayor. Daudon, who was Deputy Mayor during Paul Schell's amdinistration from 1998-2001, would be the first female mayor since Bertha Knight Landes, who was mayor from 1926-1928.

Daudon would be veiwed as a conservative in the current pack. In addition to being the chamber leader—which fought liberal Seattle City Council member Nick Licata's paid sick leave ordinance—Daudon is the former CEO of Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation (SNW), a locally owned investment banking firm.

Daudon served on the recent panel that oversaw the NBA arena deal.

There are currently seven candidates in the mayor's race, including incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn; two City Council members, Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell; former City Council member Peter Steinbrueck; and state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill).

There is currently one female candidate in the pack, neighborhood activist (and McGinn's former nemesis from the Greenwood community council) Kate Martin—a longshot candidtate who's raised very little money. Real estate broker Charlie Staadecker is also running a longshot campaign.

2.  As the legislature begins trying to figure out how to meet the state Supreme Court mandate to fully fund K-12 education—which a legislative task force priced at between $1 billion and $1.4 billion extra this biennium (the state already spends about $14 billion per biennium), here's something to keep in mind: the baseline costs for K-12—that is, paying for what the state is already on the hook for—has increased by $983 million.

This includes restoring one-time salary reductions and a higher percentage of kids who are now eligible for free and reduced lunch.

 

For more on the pending budget debate, check out Josh's story on the fundamental disagreements between the state senate's lead budget writer, Sen. Andy Hill (R-45, Redmond), and the house lead budget writer, Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48, Medina).

3. Wondering whether the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus is only focused on the budget (as Sen. Rodney Tom, D-48, Medina, says)—or if they'll stall the Democrats' social agenda?

This week brings a major test: The senate ingored Washington Voting Rights Act during the first half of the session, but the house version, which the Democratic house passed earlier this month, has landed in the senate's lap. It's up for a hearing tomorrow in  the senate government operations committee, which is chaired by Sen. Pam Roach (R-31, Auburn). 

This is one to watch.