1. Erica posted a parade of tweets from Saturday's public safety mayoral forum at city hall, and she'll have a full report later today.
Here are some of the tweets:
• Joey Gray gives odd closing statement about why she doesn't have a smartphone, how she showed courage by playing Ultimate in NYC after 9/11.
• [Kate] Martin, in dig at McGinn: "I'm looking out there at [city attorney] Pete Holmes, and I have to say, if you can't get along with that guy, there's a problem."
• McGinn says since youth violence initiative launched, no murders have been committed by people under 18.
• Staadecker says he feels safe on 3rd and Pine, but recently heard a hotel concierge urging tourists to completely avoid the area.
2. Legislators did not reach a budget deal this weekend in Olympia, which made angry Democrats take their case public; they want the Republicans to agree to close a landline phone tax loophole worth $109 million now and potentially $1.1 billion later, according to a Dept. of Revenue analysis, if you include likely future lawsuits from cellular companies that don't get the loophole.
The bill has actually passed the house twice—once during the regular session and again in the first special session, with heavy GOP support, 74-22 and 74-18. But the Republican-controlled senate, wanting to prove they can pass a budget with no new taxes and still add $1 billion to K-12 education, won't budge. Playing hardball, the GOP has made the Democrats' budgeting bill contingent on unrelated policy legislation to pass business-friendly workers' comp changes. And playing hardball themselves, the Democrats say the tax change is necessary in its own right.
Late yesterday afternoon, the Democrats' lead budget negotiatior Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48, Medina), linking a Seattle Times editorial supporting the telcom fix and accusing the senate Republicans of being "anti-tax purists," updated his Facebook status:
We should get this bill done. Rep Reuven Carlyle and I have worked on this policy for three years. All the companies in the industry agree that it is good policy and should be adopted. The House has passed it several times, the last time with 70-some votes. It's a bipartisan bill that fixes a technical problem in the tax code and avoids substantial financial and legal risk for the state. It's hung up in the Senate because it raises some money. Remember I said that the entire industry supports it...
And Democratic senate minority leader Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill), who, in addition to warning of a government shutdown (the current budget expires on July 1), has worries of his own about a delayed deal, which would sideline him in fundraising for the mayor's race), sent out an angry press release documenting services that are threatened by a shutdown and thr GOP's budget proposal—aid to working families with kids, early learning programs, and state food assistance, for example (he's right, check out our budget analysis here).
“Our public schools don’t know what their budgets will be for the next school year,” Murray said. “This makes it impossible for them to plan for our kids’ education. Our public universities are in the same boat – they don’t know how many students they can admit, how much tuition to charge or how much financial aid they can make available. It’s not Democrats that Republicans will be harming if this comes to pass – it’s our young people and their ability to meet and create the opportunities of tomorrow.”
Murray said there are plenty of immediate impacts from a Republican shutdown of state services that will be felt today. “Our state parks will close – right at the height of the summer vacation season,” said Murray. “Next week, nearly 7,000 families who made reservations at our state parks for the first week of July will receive notice that the parks may well be shut down when they arrive.”
3. The Democrats were also badmouthing the GOP in private. You'll remember on Friday we posted state Sen. Don Benton's (R-17, Vancouver) formal complaint (to the secretary of the senate) against his own colleagues, which included some pouting over the fact that leadership had changed his caucus room seating assignment.
This pic just in from the Democratic house caucus room:
4. Meanwhile, some non-budget-related drama from the legislature. Facebook reportedly censored conservative state Rep. Matt Shea's (R-4, Spokane Valley) FB page after he posted a Freedom Foundation article advising state workers how to blow the whistle on mismanagement.
House Republican spokesman John Handy tells Fizz Shea did not contact Facebook to demand an explanation, but he did speak out about the corporate superstate censorship on a right wing blog called the Charleston Voice (which claims to stand up to "the NY Fed and Rothschild banking syndicate.") Sigh. But given post 9-11, "War on Terror" snooping, Shea's got a totally legit point.
"As the voices of Freedom and Liberty grow louder and more effective on social media, there will in turn be a squelching of the internet,” said Shea.