Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Category: General Politics


Rep. Marcie Maxwell leaving state House for education adviser job with Inslee administration

State Rep. Marcie Maxwell put out a statement Tuesday saying she is resigning her seat in the Legislature to take a senior education-adviser role in Gov. Jay Inslee‘s executive policy office later in July.

Maxwell, a Renton Democrat serving the 41st District, was the House Democrats’ deputy majority leader for education and opportunity, and her House committees included Education, Appropriations and Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. The Governor’s Office confirmed the appointment.

Here is the statement issued by Maxwell:

State Representative Marcie Maxwell is announcing her resignation from elected office to accept a new position in statewide service. This month, Maxwell

Read more »


Kinda dull Washington state election just got a bit more dull — No initiatives to people

Washington’s Secretary of State says no initiative sponsors met today’s deadline to submit signatures for qualification for the November ballot.

Sponsors would have had to submit 246,372 valid signatures by 5 p.m. today. That means the actual total would need to be higher to accommodate duplicates and signatures from non-voters. Only one sponsor made an appointment to turn in signatures — Initiative 1307 to regulate firearms. But no one showed up and reportedly had only a few hundred signatures gathered anyway.

This will be the first election since 1989 without an initiative to the people on the ballot.

Being an

Read more »


Gov. Jay Inslee takes stock of his performance in session

We wrote this story after the regular session assessing how Gov. Jay Inslee had fared so far. Most of that progress report still stands, including his success in securing a study on climate change and his failure to create new targeted tax breaks or mandating universal background checks for gun purchases.

Some of the incomplete grades have turned into successes for his agenda and others into failures.

Firmly in the win column for Inslee:

  • Medicaid expansion. Some 250,000 more people will be covered now that leaders have agreed to accept a key element of Obamacare.
  • Protecting human services. Inslee’s original

Read more »


UPDATE: Senate leaders say no to vote on gas tax hike that would fund SR-167-to-Tacoma

UPDATED 5 p.m. with procedural move and comment from the governor’s office.

Senate leaders pronounced a transportation funding package dead this afternoon as they worked toward adjournment of their second special session as soon as tonight. Democrats fell short in an procedural move to force the proposal to the floor.

That would mean drivers wouldn’t have to cough up an extra 10.5 cents of gas tax and the South Sound would wait another year for help restoring bus service, widening Interstate 5 along Joint Base Lewis-McChord and extending state Route 167 to the Port of Tacoma.

The Senate’s mostly GOP

Read more »


Governor’s office pushing hard for transportation money, but it’s an uphill battle

Prospects look dim in the Senate, but Gov. Jay Inslee’s office says it’s not giving up on a transportation package that would raise fees and gas taxes to fund highway projects.

“If we had heard a very clear and unified “no,” then we’d be out having a drink right now,” said Ted Sturdevant, who as legislative director is the governor’s point man in lobbying the Legislature. He said some in the GOP-dominated Senate majority want the projects.

Indeed, no one will say the transportation tax proposal is dead. Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom and Senate Transportation Chairman Curtis King have come close, saying it’s late in

Read more »


Shutdown would invalidate government checks for food to moms

State government has notified grocery stores that in the event of a shutdown July 1, the stores won’t be reimbursed for infant formula and other food sold to mothers and pregnant women using government vouchers.

“We won’t be able to reimburse the stores, so stores won’t be accepting them,” said Department of Health spokesman Tim Church. “This is really important to moms and toddlers to keep them healthy.”

It’s still an open question whether some stores might honor the Women, Infants and Children checks anyway. And with a deal possibly at hand in the Legislature,

Read more »


House GOP support flagging for transportation package

The House plans a vote today on transportation funding, but support among minority Republicans seems to be peeling off.

Federal Way Rep. Linda Kochmar was one of two House Republicans who had publicly indicated they are open to a package of tax increases to fund roads — the other is Rep. Hans Zeiger of Puyallup — and one of perhaps four that Democrats were eyeing as possible supporters. 

But Kochmar said this morning: “I’m probably going to be a ‘no’ unless a miracle happens.”

She said Democrats didn’t agree to enough Republican amendments or enough reforms to the way the Department of Transportation spends money.

Read more »