Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: Legislature


SPEEDING: Make way for lead-footed legislators

Re: “Does state forgive legislators’ speeding?” (TNT, 9-15).

If a speeding legislator hits and kills someone, will the deceased receive a medal for service to his state? Or perhaps the deceased should receive a fine for being in the way. After all, he should know better than to be on the road while legislators are loose.


BUDGET: Rodney Tom heading in the right direction

Re: “Senate leader suggests fines to speed up work” (TNT, 7-9).

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom has the right idea, but why stop at fining legislators only $250 a day and all per diem? Why not hit them where it really hurts? Why not fine them equal to the pay that they would earn each day they go over the allotted legislative session?

Make it mandatory attendance, and if they choose to skip out completely they get fined double that. Sort of like a speeding ticket in a school zone or construction site. They should not be allowed to

Read more »


BUDGET: Restoring dental coverage is win-win

Re: “Special session could drag on to the bitter end” (TNT, 5-12).

The state legislature has many tough decisions to make during its special session now underway. But some decisions should be easy from both a financial and a human impact perspective.

Fully restoring dental coverage for adults on Medicaid is one of those win-win decisions. When dental coverage was eliminated two years ago for adults on Medicaid, I worried about the consequences. As a dentist at Milgard Family Dental Clinic in Tacoma, I see this lack of coverage causing people to neglect preventive care, driving people to hospital

Read more »


LEGISLATURE: Pass budget first

Once again, state legislators can’t get their work done on schedule, and they’re moving to another expensive special session. This recurring problem happens because legislators have their priorities backwards. They spend most of the session working on lower-priority pet bills and leave the budget, the most important task, to the end.

Here are some of the bills that legislators thought were more important than getting the budget passed: a crucial “sip and spit” bill, allowing culinary students to taste alcohol, a vitally important bill changing “freshman” to “first-year student,” and a bill to create “National Rifle Association” license plates. There

Read more »


LOBBYISTS: Of course money can sway votes

Re: “$200,000 to entertain lawmakers in 3 months” (TNT, 5-3).

This one sentence becomes the main narrative of what lobbyists and Washington politicians want to leave you with and hope you believe it: “Both sides are adamant that there is no expectation that a dinner or beer will lead to a favorable vote.”

A person with just a sliver of understanding of how politics work in America knows full well the No. 1 goal of lobbyists is to sway votes. And within that sliver of knowledge is the understanding that those dinners parties and alcohol-plying, back-slapping get-togethers do in

Read more »


LEGISLATURE: Majority coalition caucus a flop

Re: “Where Legislature stands on bills” (TNT, 4-30).

Here we are at the end of another session, and can anyone say they are really surprised by the list of items that were not passed? There is no budget, no transportation package and – very important to my financial planning – no idea what my tuition rate will be next year.

I am disgusted by the majority coalition caucus and its success in dismantling what could have been a positive session. Instead, we as taxpayers must pay for a special session now to accomplish the basic tasks that legislators couldn’t

Read more »


LEGISLATURE: Let’s provide some motivation

What makes a “special” legislative session any different than a “regular” session? The voters of Washington state elect our legislator with the expectation that they operate efficiently and with the best interests of the voters, that they hash out a bipartisan budget within the time frame given.

Yet once again the Legislature is about to enter into a “special” session (40 since 1981) in hopes of reaching an agreement on the budget deficit.

Legislators know at the start of the regular session how much the budget needs to be and how many days they have to do it in. As

Read more »


LOBBYISTS: State agencies lobby the Legislature?

Re: “Lobbying tab $12.9 million – and counting” (TNT, 4-22).

I was not surprised to learn of the amount spent on lobbying our Legislature. I was not surprised that the top lobbying organizations are the Service Employees International Union, the Washington Education Association and the Washington Federation of State Employees. What really surprised me was the fact that state agencies are now lobbying the Legislature.

If the state treasurer can’t understand “some profound issues connected to education finance,” then perhaps we need a new treasurer. If the superintendent of public instruction has to hire a lobbyist to “preserve staff and

Read more »