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Tag: Brian Hatfield


Sen. Hatfield says Democrats accepting committee chairmanships under GOP control are gaining power for districts

State Sen. Brian Hatfield says Democrats like him, Sen. Steve Hobbs and Sen. Tracey Eide have more power for their districts by accepting committee chair or co-chair roles under the Republican coalition’s power structure. Hatfield, a conservative from Raymond, said members of the Senate Democratic Caucus are now in the minority and by accepting the Republicans’ offer they can call any bluff from the new majority – if they fail to be bipartisan.

As outlined this morning, Hatfield will chair the restructured Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee, which he had led under a different configuration the past four years. Hobbs continues as chair of the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. Eide, who is Senate Democrats’ floor leader, will co-chair the Senate Transportation with Republican Sen. Curtis King of Yakima.

“I think there is still a little bitterness over how it was done (by the new Senate Majority Coalition Caucus) but it’s not aimed at us,” Hatfield said of the 24 Democrats remaining in the Democratic Caucus. He spoke in the Senate wings a few minutes before Lt. Gov. Brad Owen gaveled the Senate into session.

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Senate Republicans poised to take over Environment, Higher Ed, Parks, Trade, Human Services; remaining question marks include Sens. Hobbs, Hatfield, Eide

Washington will get a new Democratic governor this week with a green-energy agenda, but Republicans are preparing to take the helm of the Senate committee that would consider such proposals — along with other panels dealing with colleges, trade, parks and prisons.

The Legislature officially returns to session today at noon with the specifics of how the Senate will work still up in the air. After several Democrats turned down its offers to lead committees, the Republicans-plus-two-Democrats majority in the Senate has issued a new proposal to the minority.

As described in an e-mail that was circulated among Democratic senators

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Amendments ready on gay marriage bill

Three senators who have been closely watched in the same-sex marriage debate, Republican Sen. Joe Fain of Auburn and Democratic Sens. Brian Hatfield of Raymond and Mary Margaret Haugen of Camano Island, have offered amendments that could be taken up when the bill goes to the floor tonight.

Hatfield’s amendment is an attempt to send same-sex marriage to a public vote, which appears unlikely to find support in the Senate. Haugen, who gave Democrats the 25th vote to put them over the top on same-sex marriage, offers up some language to establish that the bill doesn’t affect adoption rights. And Fain

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