Morning Fizz

1. FIZZ DISLIKES that U.S. Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), along with U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA, 1), Doc Hastings (R-WA, 4), Denny Heck (D-WA, 10), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA, 3), Derek Kilmer (D-WA, 6), Rick Larsen (D-WA, 2), Dave Reichert (R-WA, 8), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, 5), and Adam Smith (D-WA, 9) all voted Yes to authorize President Obama to aid Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. 

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA, 7) voted against the measure along with prominent liberals such as U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) plus prominent Republicans dissident Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY). 

The house passed the measure  273-156  (with 85 Democrats and 71 Republicans voting No) and the senate passed it 78-22 (with 12 Democrats and nine Republicans against). 

Sen. Murray, a prominent No vote against the Iraq war in 2002, said in her statement yesterday: 

“I voted today to allow the President to begin implementing his comprehensive plan to aggressively fight the brutal terrorist group ISIL without sending American combat troops back to the region. This authority expires in three months, guaranteeing our ability in Congress to reexamine the strategy and assess progress before the end of the year. 

 “In the weeks and months ahead, I plan to continue evaluating the Administration’s assurances regarding this proposed action, specifically that the anti-ISIL forces we would be training and equipping are truly vetted. The Administration must work to prevent our weapons from getting into the hands of those who seek to do us harm and must do everything possible to ensure that we do not train individuals who would go on to commit human rights violations. As the strategy is implemented, I will keep asking the Administration tough questions to make sure that the mission and goals are clear, the endgame is articulated, and the operations being proposed will truly keep our country safe over the long term.”

In 2002, when she voted against President Bush on Iraq, she said: 

Mr. President, if we do take action in Iraq, there is no doubt that our armed forces will prevail. We will win a war with Iraq decisively, and, God willing, we will win it quickly. But what happens after the war? That will have as big an impact on our future peace and security. Will we be obligated to rebuild Iraq? If so, how? Our economy is reeling, our budget is in deficit, and we have no estimate of the cost of rebuilding. And with whom? As New York Times columnist Tom Friedman points out, there's a retail store mentality that suggests to some — if "you break it, you buy it."

 

Washington state job growth

2. With higher job growth than expected (21,600 jobs)  and lower unemployment than a year ago (5.6 percent vs. 7 percent),  yesterday's economic forecast brought good news: Coming in at $33.33 billion in 2013-15 revenue now, Washington state collections grew 8.7 percent over the previous biennium and are expected to grow 8.2 percent in the next biennium to $35.9 billion.

Some of that new revenue is coming from legal pot sales. 

While it doesn't begin to help dent the McCleary bill, Fizz LIKES that for the first time in history, thanks to I-502 and June's pot bonanza, the state forecast office is finally booking pot sales. "Expected to be $3.1 million in the current biennium [which ends in July 2015] ... up from $0 in the June forecast." 

From yesterday's Economic and Revenue Forecast Council report:

The associated retail sales and business and occupation taxes, the total GF-S  impact of the sale of licensed cannabis products is now expected to be $6.9  million in the current biennium and $60.1 million in the 2015-17 biennium. 

Harsh our mellow, though: State house finance chair, Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-36, Queen Anne) puts it in perspective. Noting that I-502, the 2012 pot legalization intiative earmarked pot revenue for specific programst—50 percent for the Basic Health Plan, 15 percent for substance abuse programs, for example—he writes on his blog: "It’s still all a small sum in the aggregate picture of a $36 billion state budget, and is hardly a major new source of revenue to begin to support the state’s paramount duty of public education and other services."   

3. We still don't know how we feel about the "Linkage Fee," this week's major city council proposal for a general fee on new constrution to help fund affordable housing; Josh is working on a story about the proposal for the magazine, and his interviews with affordable housing champions who support the idea and anxious developers who don't like it is pulling him back and forth.

... but if a developer takes a surface parking lot and puts 700 units of housing on it that didn’t exist before, they would have to pay a fee.

But we're sure we DISLIKE that another cause of the affordable housing crisis—the fact that the majority of the city is locked into protected single family zoning— has thusfar escaped the council's renewed vigor to address the shape of growth. 

For example, it's questionable that a homeowner could knock down a $300,000 single family house and build a $1 million house in its place and not pay a fee. But if a developer takes a surface parking lot and puts 700 units of housing on it that didn’t exist before next to retail and transit, they would have to pay a fee. (The proposal is to pay $22 per square foot in downtown development zones.)  

During Tuesday's Linkage Fee hearing, Council member Tom Rasmsussen noted that just a week earlier, he had already proposed  hitting developers. Rasmussen held a hearing the previous Wednesday on developer Impact Fees to make developers pay for the consequences of growth. However, Rasmussen wasn't brining this up to point out that council was exclusively focusing on developers for a problem that is certainly related to Seattle's sacrosanct single family zones. No. His point was that developer fees like his Impact Fee proposal and O'Brien's Linkage Fee proposal should "compliment each other" in a holisitc hit on developers.

4. Fizz LIKES that Mayor Murray has raised the possibility of vetoing council legislation that would overregulate microhousing. Murray told PubliCola he feared that the "accumalative effects" of the council's parade of amendments such as mandating extra sinks and minimum square footage would undermine the supply of affordable housing.