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Posts published in “Day: January 12, 2015”

First of two, or three?

idaho RANDY

Rob McKenna, the former attorney general who narrowly lost his bid for governor in 2012 to now-incumbent Jay Inslee, has been sending out periodic missives on the foibles of Olympia, taking aim most generally (as you’d expect) at the Democrats, including his former opponent.

His email from last week was something of a cautionary note applicable to both parties, since the parties now split control of the Washington legislature. The key section goes like this:

Insiders in Olympia are already taking bets on how much extra time the Legislature will need to complete its work and pass a budget this year. With a fight over spending and new taxes looming, it’s no surprise that people are bracing for a special session, or two.
But there’s also no reason legislators can’t get the job done on time. Responding to another legislator’s joke about having bought a six-month gym membership in Olympia in expectation of special sessions, Sen. Andy Hill said this week, “If you’re saying today, ‘It’s going to take us two or three special sessions,’ I would argue you’re not negotiating in good faith, because we know what the problem is.”
He’s right. They know the problems they face and they have enough info today to start hammering out a budget compromise. We don’t need any games to see who will blink first. As citizens, we need to make it clear to our legislators that we expect them to get the public’s business done on time.

The view here long has been, and still is, that a few more days of legislative time is small price to pay if the result is better legislation and better budgeting.

If the delay is simply a factor of partisan intransigence, that’s another matter. Both parties might do well to pay attention to McKenna’s note on the subject.

In the Briefings

The Northwest’s newest member of Congress, Dan Newhouse (third from left) of Washington’s 4th district, is sworn into office by House Speaker John Boehner. (photo/Office of Representative Newhouse)

Here comes the legislature – over the next week.

That means different things in the three states. In Washington and Idaho, the legislatures kick off into full regular sessions starting today, with governor's state of the states among the leading early activities (today in Idaho, tomorrow in Washington. In Oregon, a pro forma organizational session will be held today and tomorrow, with a speech from the governor (combining inaugural and state and the state), but the full legislative session won't begin until February 2.

In the next Briefings you’ll find full reports on the governor’s address, the early legislation filed and early statements and policy moves.

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Previewing Otter state of state (Boise Statesman)
Profiling new chair Luker (Boise Statesman)
Looking at 2015 session in Idaho (Lewiston Tribune)
Looking at 2015 session in Washington (Lewiston Tribune)
Following up on killing spree at Moscow (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Canyon County explores 'community court' idea (Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa plans to divest its golf courses (Nampa Press Tribune)
About the influential 100 Idaho list (TF Times News)

Heavy Ducks frenzy (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune)
Oregon Bar considers lawyer diversity (Portland Oregonian)

Edmonds looks at marsh restoration (Everett Herald)
Mill Creek to fill a seat on city council (Everett Herald)
Local electric car charging stations mostly unused (Longview News)
WA pot potency highly variable (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian, Longview News)
Legislature reconsiders drivers license system (Port Angeles News)
Two tribes will link wastewater efforts (Port Angeles News)
Parties far apart on state budget plans (Seattle Times)
Bellevie seeing more young professionals (Seattle Times)
Aftermath of Moscow shootings (Spokane Spokesman)
Previewing Washington legislature (Vancouver Columbian)
Lack of clarity on state e-cigarette laws (Vancouver Columbian)