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Archives: March 2012


Lawmakers floating on bubble of a special session

Thursday is the 60th and final day of this year’s legislative session, and a special session was looking like a foregone conclusion Monday. But some like Democratic Sen. Karen Fraser of Thurston County say miracles happen this time of year.

When Fraser made her remarks, she was obviously referring to Democrats’ ongoing effort to peel off a vote from the new Senate Republicans’ coalition of 22 GOP members and three crossover Democrats. That coalition seized the momentum and momentary power in a Friday night coup to push through a budget plan without a hearing.

“We’re still driving

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UPDATE: Protest planned today over Senate GOP’s budget move

The Republicans’ seizure of the budget process Friday night in the state Senate has drawn plenty of rebukes from Democrats, a salute from Tim Eyman seizure of the budget process Friday night in the state Senate and now a protest this afternoon at the Capitol by angry Democratic activists.

Special session is now a distinct possibility, according to some Senate Democrats and Speaker Frank Chopp is ready to fight back in the House. Thursday is the scheduled end of the 60-day regular session.

“We can’t let them get away with

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Sen. Pam Roach back in Republican caucus after supporting GOP budget

Sen. Pam Roach is back in the Republican caucus meetings.

Kicked out of the party’s private huddle since 2010, Roach said today she has been allowed to return since “a couple days ago.” That coincides with something else that happened a couple days ago, early Saturday morning to be exact: Senate Republicans forced a vote on their budget after taking over the Senate floor from the majority party.

They approved it with the bare minimum of 25 votes including three Democratic defectors, which meant they had to have Roach’s vote. And they got it.

Around the same time, Roach was

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Dicks’ retirement causes stir in Ohio

WASHINGTON – Democratic Rep. Norm Dicks received plenty of national attention on Friday when he announced that he will call it quits at the end of the year, ending a 36-year career in the U.S. House, but his retirement is particularly big news in Ohio.

On Tuesday, when GOP voters in Ohio will decide who to back for president in 2012, Democratic voters will decide a hotly-contested race in the state’s Ninth Congressional District, where two veterans of Congress are locked in a primary battle caused by redistricting.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Toledo is facing Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland,

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Sen. Christine Rolfes won’t run for Congress

Cross one Senate Democrat off the list of potential candidates for retiring Rep. Norm Dicks’s seat.

“While I would love the opportunity to one day work for our state in the other Washington, now is not the time,” said Rolfes, a newly appointed senator from Bainbridge Island.

Others considering it include Sens. Jim Hargrove and Tim Sheldon.

Here’s the full statement from Rolfes:


SEATTLE – This morning, State Senator Christine Rolfes (D-23rd District) released the following statement:

“Over the past few days, I’ve been included in the list of potential Democratic contenders for Norm’s seat

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Morning update: Day 57

We may start to see today whether the Legislature has any hope of putting together a budget deal by adjournment of their session Thursday. Smart money is on a special session after Friday’s Republican Senate takeover upended the balance of power.

Over the weekend, Democrats were refusing to negotiate with Republicans, the Times’s Andrew Garber reports.

The House might soon take up the transportation budget for a vote. On Saturday, it passed the series of fees that the budget depends on.


Gig Harbor Sen. Derek Kilmer officially enters campaign for Washington’s 6th Congressional District

He was among those mentioned as a possible candidate as soon as longtime U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks made his surprise retirement announcement last week. But state Sen. Derek Kilmer made it official this morning. He is a candidate to replace Dicks as the representative from the 6th Congressional District of Washington.

Kilmer was even among the three Democrats mentioned by Dicks in his statement Friday. The others were Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown.

But Kilmer is the first to jump in, touting his work in the state Senate and with the Pierce County Economic Development Board.

Derek Kilmer

“My job is creating jobs,” Kilmer said in a press statement. “When I’m not in Olympia, my job is to work with businesses in Pierce County to help them grow and thrive. We could use more folks in Washington who are focused on creating more jobs with better pay, and that’s what I’ll do in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Kilmer is the chairman of the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee. He also is vice-chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and is the lead senator on the state’s capital budget.

Kilmer, 38, was elected to the state House in 2004 and the state Senate in 2006. He was reelected to the Senate in 2010.

He also has an advantage in the sprawling district – he was raised in the northern section and now represents an area that makes up its densest population base. He grew up in Port Angeles but now lives in Gig Harbor and works in Tacoma.

“Norm Dicks may be the best Congressman in the history of Washington State,” Kilmer said. “No one can fill his shoes, but I’ll work to continue his legacy of fighting for jobs and standing up for the little guy.”

Here is the text of his announcement statement… Read more »