1. The Washington Post singles out U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, as one of two members of Congress (the other is U.S. Paul Ryan, R-WI, the house budget committee chair) needed to pull together a budget deal and avoid a shutdown of the federal government. 

As both leaders roll out their separate plans, the Post hopes against hope for a conference committee to work out the differences. 

The Post reports: "If lightning strikes, both sides hold out hope that a Ryan-Murray conference committee could become the forum for litigating the partisan dispute over taxes and spending."

However, the paper also notes that Murray's plan for saving the government from financial ruin will likely include some new taxes, whereas Ryan only supports spending cuts, making it "hard to see how Murray and Ryan [will] reconcile their divergent visions." 

2. In a somewhat parallel battle, the Seattle Times reports that state house Republicans in Olympia have said they won't even consider house Democrats' proposal to pass a comprehensive transportation funding package unless the Democrats agree to enact a half-dozen "economic and transportation reforms," including a bill requiring state agencies to grant all permits within 90 days (otherwise, the permit would be granted); a bill Fizz covered here suspending Growth Management Act environmental protections in counties with persistent unemployment; and a bill eliminating all sales and use taxes on state transportation projects. 

Today's must-read: Sightline's Alan Durning continues his series on "legalizing sustainability."

3. ThinkProgress, the national progressive web site, highlights state Sen. (and failed U.S. Senate candidate) Michael Baumgartner's (R-6, Pullman) proposal to reduce the Washington state supreme court from nine members to five by requiring all nine to (literally) draw straws. 

4. And today's must-read: Sightline's Alan Durning continues his series on "legalizing sustainability" with a piece about Vancouver, B.C.'s approach to "accessory dwelling units," also known as mother-in-law apartments.

Vancouver has had a far more permissive approach to ADUs than Seattle, where neighborhood activists view them as unwanted incursions of density (despite the fact that, in their currently permitted form, they literally involve a single small apartment in a backyard). We're looking forward to the rest of what Durning says will be a three-part series.

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