45th district Dems give priority preview

At the state 45th Legislative District’s first meeting of 2018 on Wednesday night, Democrats took time to review some issues left unresolved after last year’s session in Olympia and looked toward this year’s.

The 45th was a key race in this year’s special election. With Democratic Sen. Manka Dhingra’s win in the district, both the Washington state House of Representatives and Senate came under the party’s control.

State Rep. Roger Goodman addressed the crowd at Horace Mann Elementary in Redmond with policies he would like to see passed in 2018, a shorter session than last year’s.

First, Goodman said he will be pushing to pass a the capital budget, which finances infrastructure projects.

Democrats have a one-vote majority in the Senate, which is enough to pass the budget, but a 60 percent approval is needed to issue bonds to fund the projects in the budget, Goodman said.

This presents a problem for Democrats who are locked in a battle with Republicans over a state Supreme Court decision known as the Hirst Decision.

The Hirst Decision essentially forces counties to take on the responsibility of issuing permits for wells, a function that the state formerly oversaw. Many rural counties argue they don’t have the resources to do this, which has impacted the creation of wells in parts of the state outside Puget Sound.

Republicans refused to pass the capital budget last year without action to undermine the court decision, and Goodman said they will likely block the issuance of bonds even if the budget is passed this year.

Goodman also hopes to address gender and race equity, expand voting rights and enforce reproductive rights.

While he would like a carbon tax, he said the votes likely aren’t there for it.

Similarly, while he said he supports single-payer health care, he doubts there will be enough support in the Legislature to pursue it in Washington state.

In criminal justice reform, Goodman hopes to offer a bill to create a commission to examine widespread reform in the state.

This commission would look at ways to reform the justice system from sentencing calculations, to how juveniles are treated and possibly police use of force.

“I’ve been waiting 20 years for this,” he said.

John Stafford, a speaker at the meeting who keeps an eye on the Legislature for the party, said he hopes to see a change in the way police killings are handled. The state requires that prosecutors prove malice when trying to convict a killer, a higher burden of proof than most states.

The Legislature convenes on Jan. 8 for a scheduled 60-day session. Last year, the Legislature went into three special sessions for the longest session in state history at 195 days.

More in News

Suspect spray-paints ‘Strange’ onto Panera Bread | Police blotter

The Bothell police blotter for Oct. 7 through 13.

Metro revises timeline for RapidRide bus expansion

After originally aiming to build 20 additional fast-service bus lines on high demand routes by 2040, King County Metro has changed its construction timelines and put 13 of those projects on hold.

Bothell man charged with insurance fraud

The man was charged after an investigation by the Insurance Commissioner’s Office.

Bothell, Kenmore look at preliminary budgets for next two years

Both are facing challenges with rising costs and insufficient revenues.

Across the state there are 20 cities with more than 15,000 residents that require recycling services. Of these, all but two are in King County, with the remaining two residing in Snohomish County. File photo
Recycling audit shows higher use but increased cost

Cities with embedded recycling service increase rates to cover costs of “free” service

Rape allegation against Sen. Joe Fain divides King County Council

In a recent interview, Councilmember Kathy Lambert blamed Fain’s accuser for the alleged rape. Then Lambert’s colleagues distanced themselves from her comments.

Paul Allen, shown in 2015. Courtesy of the Herald
Paul Allen dead at 65

Microsoft co-founder, developer, and philanthropist struggled with cancer for decades

Assault accusations conflict at Bothell Health Care | Police blotter

The Bothell police blotter for Oct. 2 through Oct. 4.

State Supreme Court strikes down death penalty

All nine justices found the use of capital punishment in Washington state unconstitutional and racially biased.

Most Read