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Tag: Kevin Ranker


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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Plan for compromise on green energy takes hits from all sides, might ‘implode’ again

This month, utilities are having to meet mandates voters imposed in 2006 to either produce green energy or buy credits from those who do.

The Initiative 937 regulations have drawn complaints for years, especially as the economic downturn has depressed demand for electricity and power companies have found themselves having to buy power they don’t need.

Now the chairmen of the House and Senate committees that deal with energy, Rep. Dave Upthegrove and Sen. Kevin Ranker, have crafted what they hope will be a step toward compromise.

But at the bill‘s first hearing today, the measure took criticism from all sides. The question of

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Show goes on at Legislature, even if it’s a one-man show

This week’s snow and ice has reduced some legislative committees to skeleton crews.

On Wednesday, the Senate Energy, Natural Resources and Marine Waters committee approved three bills with just one member present, the chairman.

Sen. Kevin Ranker cast the only vote on the three measures, declared them approved subject to signatures, and then said: “We’re going to take a quick break while I have a caucus with myself.”

“Subject to signatures” is the key phrase. Quick civics lesson: As you might expect, one vote alone won’t pass a bill out of committee. It needs a majority

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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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