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Tag: Frank Chopp


Soda bottlers ask governor for tax veto. Is Chopp joining them?

An $800 million tax package is due to become law today, but Gov. Chris Gregoire is hearing last-minute pleas to veto its tax on soda pop.

Bottlers have sent her a letter with the request, and one legislator says House Speaker Frank Chopp has also tried to persuade her to veto the tax.

I’ve heard no indication she’ll do any such thing. The Diet Coke-drinking Gregoire has been the most visible supporter of the 2-cents-per-can tax, and her legislative director told me Thursday he doesn’t expect her to veto anything in the revenue package.

But Sen. Rodney Tom told me Chopp is pushing for a partial veto of the bill. I called Chopp’s office, but his spokeswoman couldn’t reach him Thursday afternoon.

Gregoire’s office said she and Chopp talked Thursday morning. She’s due to sign the bill at 1:30 p.m. today.

Whatever is going on behind closed doors, there is a new complaint about the tax that is just now coming to some lawmakers’ attention.

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Kessler leaving House

House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler is retiring after 18 years in the House.

As No. 2 to House Speaker Frank Chopp, Kessler is the political leader and often the public face of House Democrats.

House members lauded Kessler after she announced on the floor just before midnight Monday that she won’t return for a 10th term. Republican Leader Richard DeBolt praised her “elegance and grace” and suggested plenty of House members have crushes on her.

Chopp said Kessler stands in for him in areas that aren’t his strong suit, which he allowed might include talking to the press and

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Senators have it both ways on prison closure

The senators who proposed and backed the budget amendment to close McNeil Island prison have also signed on to a letter urging McNeil be kept open.

What’s more, the letter calls for the Vancouver-area senators’ local prison, which they pushed to save, to be downsized.

Here’s the sequence of events: The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved the amendment Friday night to close McNeil and avoid closing the less expensive Larch Correctional Center in Yacolt. Sen. Craig Pridemore of Vancouver proposed the amendment and Sen. Joe Zarelli of Ridgefield defended it.

The full Senate gave its approval with no debate on the prison plan, but Pierce County’s delegation, upset about the prospect of losing jobs at McNeil, fired off a letter to Majority Leader Lisa Brown. (The House delegation did the same to Speaker Frank Chopp. You can read both letters here.)

A couple of names stand out on the letter: Zarelli and Pridemore’s.

They signed it even though the letter says, of Pridemore’s amendment:

In the Ways and Means committee the budget was amended to fully fund the Larch facility and totally close the McNeil facility. We question the logic of this decision.

After questioning their own logic, the senators go on to request that parts of Larch be closed:

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Morning update: Day 32

Good morning on Day 32 of the legislative session. A quick roundup of what’s going on in Olympia:

  • My story in today’s News Tribune reports the cost of the investigations connected to Sen. Pam Roach. Documents also detail Roach’s grievances against GOP leaders, including: They didn’t friend her on Facebook. An investigator cleared the leaders, at a cost of $32,000.
  • Speaker Frank Chopp and Sen. Lisa Brown are among the scheduled speakers to organized labor this morning at the Washington State Labor Council legislative conference. After a tiff between labor and legislative Democrats last

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