1. The legislature finally adjourned on Saturday (here's Josh's analysis of the final budget bill), but not without one last fight.
The senate Democrats tried to force a vote on the $10 billion, 10.5-cent transportation funding package, which came with local transit options so voters in King County, for example, could approve new taxes to help fund Metro, which is facing a 17 percent cut to service. (The Democratic house sent the bill over on Friday).
It was not to be. The Democratic bid to pull the bill to the floor for a vote failed (Sen. Nathan Schlicher, D-26, Gig Harbor, who's up for a special election after being appointed this year, broke with the Democrats against the gas tax.)
The final indignity? The Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus simultaneously passed a bill that would give rural communities more flexibility on how to regulate off-road vehicles or ORVs, giving flowery speeches about local control "so communities can decide" as Sen. John Smith (R-7, Colville) put it. And Sen. Linda Evans Parlette (R-12, Wenatchee) added: "There's local control in this bill. If the communities choose ... that will be their choice."
Not so for transit money.
2. Another thing that frustrated the Democrats, particulalry transportation co-chair Sen. Tracey Eide (D-30, Federal Way), was that the last-minute ORV bill, first introduced to the senate on Saturday, never had a hearing, while the transportation package did—in April.
Watch Eide school Sen. Joe Fain (R-47, Auburn), who made the motion to bring the ORV bill for a special vote, on transparency.
And watch Fain's piqued response. (Parliamentary lingo: a "boost" is a special vote to bring a bill to the floor even though it hasn't followed formal timing rules.)
The attempt to boost the ORV bill failed at first, but it passed after the senate returned from caucus; it was apparently part of the budget deal.
Sens. Fain and Eide continued their scrap offstage at the break.
3. The Democrats did get one thing out of the ill-fated stand, though: Republicans, including supposed moderates such as Sens. Steve Litzow (R-41, Mercer Island) and Joe Fain (R-47, Auburn)—who lobbied the house Republicans against helping the Democrats send the bill over (for this very reason)—are now on record siding with the hard right's anti-tax zealotry against investing in road maintenance and construction.
The Republicans are also on record thumbing their noses at their business community backers, who desperately wanted the bill to pass.
It's an exemption that Democrats, and particularly environmentalists, are cheering.
4. Carryn left one tax exemption out of her tax break roundup on Friday; Yes, in addition to rejecting the Democratic proposal during the budget showdown to close a batch of corporate loopholes, the Republican-controlled Majority Coalition Caucus passed a bunch of their own.
One of them is an exemption that Democrats, and particularly environmentalists, are cheering, though. The break (it was actually added to the package by Democratic Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-44, Lake Stevens) gives a break for renewable energy companies.
5. Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis is running for Port Commissioner against incumbent John Creighton. What's Lewis' platform? What's his critique of Creighton?
It's a bit hard to tell from his website design:
6. What's Mayor Mike McGinn's favorite political movie? And why? Don't miss PubliCola's Mayoral Movies series at the Northwest Film Forum this coming weekend.
We asked the main candidates for mayor to program a political film fest at Seattle's independent movie house by picking their favorite political films and introducing them (with an explanation about why the movie packs an important and personal political punch).
Full program and times here, but it begins this Friday with McGinn's pick, To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), which he'll introduce at 8 pm.