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Tag: Jim Kastama


Audit: Lottery sales not boosted by switch to college funding

A switch in where lottery money goes has not exactly sent tickets flying off the shelves, legislative auditors say.

Ticket sales increased 4 percent last year — to more than $510 million, still shy of a 2008 peak. The increase is due to changes in jackpots and economic conditions, says a report in draft form from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee.

JLARC gives no credit to lawmakers’ decision in 2010 to spend the biggest chunk of lottery proceeds on higher education scholarships and grants, followed by preschool programs for the poor. Previously, that money was spent on school

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Zero interest in aid for manufacturers

It was an idea that had unanimous support in the Legislature: loan out state money to help small Washington manufacturers improve their business models.

But since the program began in 2008, not a single company has taken the handout.

Even its champion, Sen. Jim Kastama, now agrees with legislative auditors that the program should be dumped. He figures there are other ways to help manufacturers become more efficient.

“I was hoping to do that in this piece of legislation. We clearly missed the mark, ” said Kastama, a Puyallup Democrat. “But that doesn’t mean what we were trying to do

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Secretary of State Sam Reed won’t seek 4th term

Secretary of State Sam Reed, a state Republican mainstay who oversaw the controversial vote-count in the 2004 governor’s race, is going to retire in 2012 after his third term.

He called it “the right time.” Reed, an Olympia resident and former 23-year Thurston County auditor, announced his plans this morning in a meeting with statehouse reporters near the Capitol press corps buildings.

Reed has been mentioning Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman as a possible successor candidate but said he won’t be making an endorsement of a Republican candidate until later.

More immediately, state Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup, officially jumped into

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Rainier School closure removed from Senate budget, but left as option

The Senate Ways and Means Committee removed from its budget this evening an order to close Rainier School in Buckley and Frances Haddon Morgan Center in Bremerton.

However, the budget retains a requirement that two of the state’s five facilities for the developmentally disabled be closed. The facilities go unnamed.

Sen. Jim Kastama, one of the Pierce County senators who sought the change, said there is more work to be done in the budget to make certain Rainier School does not close. But he thinks the Pierce County delegation can find support.

“There were a number of us who said

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Senate votes to end poll voting

A vote this evening in the state Legislature is likely to be a death warrant for Pierce County’s remaining polling places.

A mandate for the state to vote entirely by mail eked 26-to-23 through the Senate, where similar proposals have foundered in the past. Republican opponents called it an attack on Pierce County, the state’s last holdout with polling places.

Though it’s supported by GOP Secretary of State Sam Reed, the vote broke largely along the same partisan lines that divide the Pierce County council and county executive on the issue of poll voting, with most Democrats agreeing the state

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Bill by Sen. Kastama would fine skiers who disregard slope closures

Being a daredevil on the ski slopes could get expensive under a bill by Sen. Jim Kastama.

The bill, SB 5186, would make it a civil infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $1000, to ski in areas marked off as closed.

Kastama, D-Puyallup, and ski patrol officials from Crystal Mountain argued that skiers regularly find ways to get around barriers and ski in closed areas, endangering their own lives and those of the ski patrol who come after them.

“There are too many folks out there who think they’re in a Warren Miller movie,” said Kastama, referring to a company that makes extreme winter sports movies. “They want to go places where danger is clearly a factor.”

At a hearing on the bill in the Senate Natural Resources and Marine Waters Committee, lawmakers agreed with its intent but worried that it would be difficult to enforce.

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Push on procedure comes with risk for committee chairman Jim Kastama

In Olympia, whether you oppose your party is not as important as when you oppose your party.

Leaders of the majority Democrats don’t expect their members to always toe the party line. But they do expect support on procedural votes.

So it was unusual Monday for Democratic Sen. Jim Kastama to propose, and Democratic Sens. Tim Sheldon and Steve Hobbs to support, clearing the way for a vote on a resolution that party leaders didn’t want to hear.

Another supporter Kastama had lined up was Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, the powerful Democratic chairwoman of the Transportation Committee. Haugen said after the vote she would have

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No repercussions, so far, for Sen. Jim Kastama

After his effort to prevent the seating of a member of his own party failed, Sen. Jim Kastama said he hasn’t seen a backlash from his party’s leaders.

Senate leaders have kept him on the budget committee, the Puyallup Democrat pointed out, and as chair of a committee on economic development.

“There have been no repercussions,” he said. “I think my colleagues, I would say that probably a majority have come up and say they very much respect the argument that I put forward.”

They didn’t give him their votes, though. Only two centrist Democrats, Sens. Steve Hobbs and

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