Morning Fizz

Morning Fizz: He Doesn't Want to Go There

Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring legislative brinkmanship, Planned Parenthood, and tasteless jokes.

By Morning Fizz April 16, 2013


1. The state senate Democrats' pledge to force a vote on the Reproductive Parity Act has evidently spooked senate majority leader Rodney Tom (D-48, Medina); Tom called Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest director Elaine Rose yesterday to discuss the bill.

"We had a frank and open discussion," Rose says, though it sounds like most of the frank talk came from Rose, who told Tom the bill has been through enough rigmarole this session (it was introduced three times on the senate side; denied hearings; finally given a hearing after the house sent over its own version; and then tabled again), "and it needs to get done now."

Rose says she told Tom "the Ninth Order [a parliamentary move to force the vote to the floor] is the only path."

Tom is pro-choice and has said all session he supports the bill, but his Republican-dominated coup caucus has kept the bill (along with another Democratic priority bill, the DREAM Act) locked up in committee.

There are reportedly enough votes (with Tom and moderate Republican Sen. Steve Litzow, R-41, Mercer Island) to force the bills to the floor through the Ninth Order and pass them. However, Tom, the senate majority leader, and Litzow, have said they will not help

Tom told Rose yesterday that he "doesn't want to go there [the Ninth Order]."

"I think he believes it will make life difficult in his caucus," Rose says. "I asked him if he had another idea," Rose says, but their conversation was cut short, and she was trading phone calls with him for the rest of the day. (We have a call in to Tom as well.)

According to the Democrats, Tom threatened to adjourn until Thursday—which would kill all the house policy bills that are left—if the Democrats go to the Ninth Order.

Rose said Tom warned her that if the Democrats force the RPA to the floor "that opens up the possibility that the parental notification bill" may also get forced to the floor in a retaliatory move by the Republicans. (The senate's parental notification bill got a hearing early on in the session—pissing off the sponsors of the RPA but has not moved out of committee.)

Rose was undeterred—Republicans don't have the votes to pass the parental notification bill (nor would it pass the house). "He needs to walk the talk," Rose said.

Wednesday is policy cutoff day.

According to the Democrats, Tom threatened to adjourn until Thursday—which would kill all the house policy bills that are left—if the Democrats go to the Ninth Order. 

2. Speaking of the house and priority bills that are MIA: The Democrats, for their part, have tabled a Republican priority—the batch of bills scaling back workers' compensation guidelines that the senate passed back in February.

3. City Council member Bruce Harrell, who's running for mayor, is holding a second event "to honor the life and legacy of Former Seattle City Councilmember Richard McIver," who died earlier this year. The event, once again, is a fundraiser for Harrell. Although McIver endorsed Harrell before he died, and his family reportedly gave Harrell their blessing to hold the McIver-themed fundraisers, turning tributes to McIver into mayoral campaign events is a little unsettling. We have a call out to Harrell to ask him about the event.

At an unrelated McIver tribute at the Four Seas (McIver's "second office"), Harrell reportedly joked, "We are all gathered here today, and I want to make a few remarks ... about me running for mayor." 

4. In case you missed it, Erica posted a report late yesterday on Monday's South Lake Union council meeting; the council couldn't drum up the votes for any of their competing proposals to make developers pay more for height increases.

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