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Category: Lobbying


Port, Tacoma, Pierce County all chip in public money for SR 167 lobbying effort

Supporters of extending State Route 167 to the Port of Tacoma lobbied for their project throughout state lawmakers’ 105-day regular session and are gearing up to continue in the special session, joining a first-day gathering of transportation advocates Monday at the Capitol.

Business, labor and tribal interests are among the proponents, and so are local governments, who are now disclosing details about how much public money is being devoted to the lobbying effort.

Pierce County filed paperwork last week reporting an $18,000 payment to the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber to help pay for SR 167 advocacy and to retain consultant

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More radio ads on state budget, this time from state employees’ union

From Washington Federation of State Employees website

The Washington Federation of State Employees, the largest state worker union, said today it is airing ads for the next three weeks to pressure lawmakers to close tax loopholes.

The advertisements are airing on the radio in nearly every part of the state, according to the union, which said it is running cable television ads in areas that lack commercial radio stations. The federation released this transcript:

There’s a good plan in Olympia to close two percent of Washington’s 640 tax loopholes to fund schools and

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Measure to strengthen protections for victims of stranger stalking passes Senate

Lawmakers unanimously passed a measure in the Senate today that supporters say will better protect victims of stranger stalking.

House Bill 1383, sponsored by Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, passed 47-0.  It would create a stalking protection order, which advocates say would be taken more seriously by law enforcement and the court system than anti-harassment orders, which can be obtained to settle many types of disputes.

Domestic violence protection orders are available for victims who have a family or dating relationship with their stalker, but for victims who don’t really know their harassers, the stalking protection order would provide a new

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Planned Parenthood Lobby Day seeks support for abortion bill, committee votes tonight

Planned Parenthood supporters are at the Capitol today, asking lawmakers to fund family planning and to support the “Reproductive Parity Act,” which is scheduled for a Senate committee vote this evening.

The group rallied on the Capitol steps and is meeting with lawmakers as part of Reproductive Health and Rights Lobby Day 2012, organized by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington.

The “Parity Act” would require health plans that cover maternity care to provide equal coverage for abortion, after health care reform is implemented.

Most plans in Washington already cover abortion, but supporters of the measure say they worry administrative

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Eyman initiatives for 2012 filed today

Tim Eyman announced his own legislative agenda today, submitting five ballot initiatives to the state elections office.

Here’s the list:

  • Protecting his 2/3 initiative: Eyman convinced voters to require a two-thirds super-majority vote to raise taxes in the Legislature with I-1053 in 2010. His new proposal aims to keep the governor and Legislature from changing it.
  • Capping car tabs: He’s also proposed a $30 limit to car tabs, which would limit the fees and taxes Washington can raise on vehicles.
  • Traffic camera control: Another of his measures aims to remove all traffic cameras in the state that do not

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PDC investigates complaints, fines Sound Transit, Port of Seattle

The state Public Disclosure Commission has closed the books on most of the complaints by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation about unreported, publicly funded lobbying, and slapped two agencies with four-figure fines.

While that may not sound like much money out of a big government agency’s budget, the penalties are bigger than the $100-$125 fines the PDC levied earlier this year in some of the other cases.

Cities and government agencies are supposed to report their lobbying of the Legislature, whether it involved hiring a lobbyist or just sending an employee to talk to lawmakers.  The conservative watchdog group, now simply the Freedom Foundation, alleged that

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Labor ralliers begin to gather at state capitol for “We Are One! Put People First!” event

“Moses was a strike leader,” read the sign held by Anacortes electrical worker Nicholas Petrish.

It was just one of hundreds waved by those attending the rally that organizers predict will attract up to 5,000 people. Both before and after the rally, union members were asked to make visits to their legislators.

While there is a bit more of a State Patrol presence than a normal day, it seems security is taking a less obvious approach despite Thursday protests that led to 17 arrests.

Buses of union members ranging from the Longshoreman to the Screen Actors Guild began arriving in

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Seattle Convention Center and the arts: How a dead bill becomes undead

We often write about deadlines in the Washington State Legislature. The self-imposed cutoffs are created to narrow down the number of issues as the session progresses and help the Legislature adjourn on time.

In the final weeks of session, only budgets, bills needed to implement those budgets and bills that have passed both house but in different forms (so-called bills in dispute) are alive.

But we all know that when they say a bill is “dead” we should always add “unless it’s not.”

Take House Bill 1997 as a case study. The bill would keep in place a handful of taxes that were created in 1995 to build Safeco Field. Under the original bill, all taxes are to expire the moment the stadium bonds are paid off and that will happen sometime this summer.

A coalition of arts backers, low-income housing advocates, International District residents and Seattle Convention Center supporters – all under the leadership of King County Executive Dow Constantine – have pushed HB 1997 to use the taxes collected in King County for new projects.

King County Executive Dow Constantine

These are pretty powerful interests in Seattle – a lot of wealthy people are arts patrons and both the business community and labor are behind the convention center expansion. Yet there is push back from others who say the bill breaks a Read more »