News Roundup

Top Stories: Durkan and Mosqueda Sworn In, No Charges Against Urquhart, Port Commission Settlement

Your weekly dose of top political stories.

By Araz Hachadourian December 1, 2017

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 1. Mayor Jenny Durkan and city council member Teresa Mosqueda were sworn in Tuesday afternoon. Durkan hit the ground running, traveling to five locations to make speeches and signing three executive orders in her first 24 hours. Mosqueda, whose addition to the council makes the legislative body a supermajority of women and a majority people of color, gave a speech with a message she'll continue to stand on the side of labor.

2. Jenny Durkan followed up on her campaign promise of free college tuition by signing an executive order to create a framework for the Seattle Promise College Tuition Program. On the campaign trail, Durkan said the program would offer all graduating public high school students two years of free in-state community or vocational college tuition. She also signed two other orders: one to create a rental voucher program and one to review the city’s Race and Social Justice Initiative.

 3. Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe announced Friday that there will be no charges pressed against King County Sheriff John Urquhart. The Seattle Times reported that despite finding probable cause sustaining allegations that Urquhart groped a former deputy, Roe said the act did not rise to the charge of felony and the statute of limitations has passed on a gross misdemeanor charge.

 4. A 26-group coalition filed an appeal against Seattle's final environmental impact statement for upzoning throughout the city. The proposed upzoning would affect 27 neighborhoods and allow taller buildings in exchange for new developments include a percentage of affordable housing or pay a fee. The coalition is arguing that the MHA program would do the opposite of what it's intended to accomplish and displace low-income residents.

5.  The Port of Seattle reached an $8 million settlement over the firing of two employees under former Port Commissioner John Creighton. The Seattle Times reported the former employees claimed they were terminated for opposing retail space lease concessions made to friends and supporters of Creighton.

 6. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pled guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about meeting the Russian ambassador. Flynn is the first senior White House official to plead guilty in the investigation into Russia’s influence in the 2016 elections. Court documents on Flynn’s testimony do not disclose if President Donald Trump was aware of his actions but indicate a senior member of his transition team directed him, The New York Times reported.

 7. As the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the tax bill Friday, U.S. Senator Patty Murray called the plan “health care sabotage” on the Senate floor. Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell have publicly condemned the bill as detrimental to working-class people in Washington:

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