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Posts published in “Day: January 25, 2012”

WA Bill of the Day: House Bill 2703

A significant change in status that doesn't seem to have gotten a lot of attention yet.

To this point, when Washington state officially talks about its "state universities," it means the University of Washington and Washington State University - those two and no others. (Similarly, the only official "state college" is the Evergreen State College at Olympia.)

House Bill 2703 would change that. It would include Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, and Western Washington University as formal state universities alongside the larger two.

What's not totally clear is what that would mean as a practical effect. Most of the governance, rules and regulations surrounding UW or WSU are made either by the institutions' separate boards, or sometimes by the legislature. Is this just a point of pride, or is there something more? This could be worth a watch.

Carlson: The best governors, my list

Chris Carlson
Carlson Chronicles

A former newspaper editor and sometime reader of this column recently asked who I thought, other than Cecil Andrus, were great Idaho governors.

A bias I have is this: The best governors almost always first served in their State’s Legislature. Why this contributes to success is obvious. Having served in the legislative branch they inevitably have greater respect for their former colleagues prerogatives and unless totally ham-handed have built up alliances and friendships with key legislators---often on the other side of the aisle.

This can come in handy especially if a governor needs to sustain a veto but lacks one or two votes. Andrus could usually count on State Senator Dean Summers (Boise) and State Senator and future governor Phil Batt, (Wilder) when in need.

Additionally, a state legislator has to learn how state government works if he/she is to vote intelligently on agency appropriations. Thus, legislators who have become governors inevitably have mastered the arcane of the budget process. They know what the blueprint that drives each agency is.

Smart legislators also cultivate friendships with key talented civil servants who can be called and provide their governor with an insider perspective that can validate or invalidate what the agency head may be saying to the governor. (more…)