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.

Tag: adam kline


Activists asking Legislature to take a stand on controversial U.S. Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance

Getting a federal constitutional amendment passed is a tall order at best – if not a fool’s errand in some cases. But activists from a handful of groups worried about the influence of money in politics brought an estimated 12,000 petition signatures to the state Capitol Thursday, seeking legislative support for exactly such a federal campaign.

The activists gave their petitions to state Sen. Adam Kline, a Seattle Democrat who is introducing a bill that would ask Congress to draft the constitutional amendment for adoption by the states. Kline hasn’t dropped his bill into the hopper but he says his

Read more »


Senate approves foreclosure mediation bill

A bill to set up a foreclosure mediation process for troubled Washington homeowners cleared another hurdle in the state Legislature today.

The proposal, House Bill 1362 passed the Senate in a 36-11 vote, and, if it becomes law, supporters said it would go a long way toward keeping state residents from losing their homes.

“All in all, it should keep in their homes many of the anticipated 70,000—let me repeat that number, 70,000—Washington homeowners who are expected to receive notices of foreclosure this year,” said Sen. Adam Kline, a Seattle Democrat, during floor debate on the bill.

The bill still

Read more »


Bill by Sen. Kline would raise penalties for hitting a biker or pedestrian

This time around a bill to raise the penalties for drivers who hit a pedestrian or bicyclist has a good chance of passing.

At least that’s what Sen. Adam Kline, the bill’s sponsor, has to say about it.

“It’s been sanded down like woodwork gets sanded down, and now it’s very shiny and perfected,” Kline, D-Seattle, said of Senate Bill 5326.

The bill would create a new level of traffic infraction for people who drive negligently and in so during hurt or kill a “vulnerable user” of a public road, meaning a pedestrian, bicyclist, equestrian or farm vehicle operator.

Read more »


Itemizing cost of tax exemptions is expensive in itself

It’s one of the stranger titles of bills filed so far this year: “Making tax law changes that do not create any new or broaden any existing tax preferences as defined in RCW 43.136.021 or increase any person’s tax burden.”

The title is presumably a way to keep the bill from being loaded up with tax cuts or increases. It certainly explains what the bill doesn’t do, so what DOES it do?

Most notably, it lets the Department of Revenue postpone a report on tax exemptions it creates every four years that details how much money the state is missing out on because of tax breaks. It’s due to come out again in 2012, but the department wants to wait until 2014 to save money.

“It takes research resources to compile that, and we’re pretty shorthanded in our research division due to cutbacks,” Revenue spokesman Mike Gowrylow said.

To determine the cost of the state’s more than 560 exemptions cataloged in the report, he said, it takes at least 2,000 staff hours and costs $85,000-$100,000.

But these days, closing tax loopholes is the battle cry of liberal groups trying to stave off budget cuts, and part of their strategy is to shine more sunlight on the tax breaks. The State Labor Council has called for all tax exemptions to go in the annual budget as line items, and for them to sunset if lawmakers don’t reauthorize them.

Liberals aren’t going to like the idea of going backward. In fact, there’s a bill by Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, to make DOR publish its report even more often, every two years.

Read more »


Bail limit passes Senate

The Senate has again passed a constitutional amendment on bail, this time in a form agreed to by lawmakers from both chambers.

Hours after reaching a deal, senators approved the amendment unanimously. The House could vote Sunday, Rep. Mike Hope said. Police groups are on board with the deal, Hope said.

There were handshakes all around as the vote went through, after remarks from senators that had more thank-yous than an award acceptance speech.

Sen. Adam Kline said: “What we have done is to balance two very important considerations: the safety and security of Washington citizens, and

Read more »


Yet another bail proposal, but is it the last one?

Sen. Mike Carrell and Rep. Christopher Hurst were seen shaking hands today, after they and Sen. Adam Kline huddled on the Senate floor.

Considering the verbal shots being fired by Hurst at Carrell and Kline last week, are these portentous signs for the success of negotiations over the constitutional amendment on bail?

“I think we’re getting really close,” Carrell said.

A new draft has emerged from the talks between the House, Senate and Gov. Chris Gregoire. Hurst left the huddle with a document to take back to his fellow House members to see if they

Read more »


Attempted crimes added to bail limits

Senators made another move this morning to pacify their House critics when the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed to allow judges to deny bail for attempted crimes.

The lack of attempted but failed crimes in a state constitutional amendment proposed Thursday by Sens. Adam Kline and Mike Carrell had drawn fire from Rep. Mike Hope.

Hope had complained someone who brings a bomb on a plane or into a building or brings a gun into a school wouldn’t be covered. But today senators amended their proposal before moving it on to fix that.

Friends and family members of the slain

Read more »


Morning update: Day 47

Good morning on the last day for policy committees to hear bills this year. That deadline should make it a busy day, and legislators then plan to work through Saturday and Sunday. What to watch for:

Read more »