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On Other Blogs Today: Budget Negotiations, Rail Debate, and More

Our daily roundup.

By Erica C. Barnett December 6, 2013


1. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that in the first year same-sex marriage was legal in Washington state, 17 percent of all marriages were same-sex marriages.

In related news, the world did not implode, nor did Armageddon erupt. 

2. Good news, I guess.What's "a few billion dollars." Politico reports that U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the lead budget negotiators from the senate and house, are "only a few billion dollars" apart on a federal budget deal.

The two budget negotiators, who each chair their respective budget committees, will "work through the weekend to try to craft the ever-elusive budget agreement," Politico reports—not by raising taxes, but by increasing "user fees" for government services. Without a deal (Congress's self-imposed deadline is December 13), the government will face major mandatory spending cuts. 

3. After an unusually large number of departures from the state house this year, the News Tribune reports, the state house clerk's office is planning to hold an unusual orientation for new members, the first time it has done so since 2008.

Among those leaving (some with replacements, some without): Rep. Jan Angel (R-26), who's going to the senate; Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43), who's replacing Seattle mayor-elect Ed Murray in the senate; and Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-33), who's joining the King County Council. 

4. Water wet, sky blue: the Seattle Times' Bruce Ramsey thinks a $15 minimum wage is a bad, job-killing idea.

His evidence? A 22-year-old UW study of a 1968 ballot measure raising Washington state's minimum wage to $4.25 an hour by 1990. That study was based on a survey of employers, not actual data, and not surprisingly, it found that they said the minimum wage increase forced them to make cuts.


5. Back in the fact-based world, Seattle Transit Blog reports on Sound Transit's revised options for light rail to Ballard, and expresses disappointment that the alternatives no longer include a high bridge across the Ship Canal; instead, they're limited to a tunnel (expensive) and a drawbridge (inconvenient). They write:

Unsurprisingly, the tunneled options (Corridors A and D) have the best ridership, the best reliability, the best travel time improvement over current conditions, the least disruption to other modes, the most TOD potential, and the least environmental impacts. At $3.2 billion, they are also by far the most expensive. Meanwhile, the lone elevated corridor (B) offers the fastest trip to Ballard, clocking in at just 11 minutes.

Check out STB's much more detailed analysis here

6. Finally: RIP Nelson Mandela.

You've almost certainly read many memorial pieces about the great South African leader by now; here's Jezebel's take on what he accomplished for South African women.


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