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Tag: Pat Sullivan


Inslee plans for contingency of government shutdown; Tom promises it won’t happen

Gov. Jay Inslee is calling a second special session starting 9 a.m. Wednesday that by law could last up 30 days. But if it runs that long, the Capitol might be one of the minority of buildings in state government with the lights still on.

If there’s no budget in place July 1, the state constitution does not provide for how to spend money.

Inslee’s staff has been planning behind the scenes, and the Democratic governor meets with his Cabinet at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to talk about contingency plans.

“This is uncharted ground. It’s never happened before,” Inslee

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House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan predicts half-billion-dollar state budget hit from sequestration

House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan told union activists today he figures the $85 billion in budget cuts brought on by federal-government paralysis could hit Washington’s state budget to the tune of around $500 million.

“With the federal sequester, I think we’re likely to see the impacts of that reflected in that revenue forecast,” the Covington Democrat told a Washington State Labor Council conference. “So there’s about, potentially another half-billion. So now you’re at $3 billion (the total budget problem).”

That total assumes state lawmakers patch the existing $1 billion two-year budget shortfall, add another $1 billion to $1.4 billion to move

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House Dems re-elect Chopp, Sullivan, Tami Green

House Democrats gave new terms to its top leadership team today as Speaker Frank Chopp of Seattle and Majority Leader Pat Sullivan of Covington retained the top two positions in the caucus.

The full House picks a speaker, which happens on the first day of the legislative session, but Democrats’ substantial majority and the unsurprising vote today ensure Chopp will be speaker for an eighth term, a tenure that started with three years as co-speaker.

Pierce County retains a member of top leadership with the re-election of Rep. Tami Green of Lakewood as Democrats’ floor leader.

Here’s the news release:

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Wednesday’s dueling press conferences showed just how far Legislature is from a budget deal

I knew they were in trouble when both sides used the same wording to describe what they have done to reach a deal.

At a morning press conference Wednesday, House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said they hadn’t been spending much time on the budget because “we’ve been negotiating a set of reform bills that move significantly toward their position.”

Later at their own presser, the Republican/Democrat coalition in the Senate responded that they’d been doing most of the giving.

“If you are not getting something, you just keep moving to the other side,” said Sen. Joe Zarelli, the GOP budget

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Lawmakers won’t debate traffic cameras

Bills to standardize the traffic cameras that are sprouting up all over the state died for lack of a House or Senate floor vote today. The causes of death were slightly different in the two chambers.

The bills contained relatively modest changes, but the House has plenty of opponents of cameras, and they were poised to try to load up Tacoma Rep. Connie Ladenburg’s bill with a series of tougher restrictions, including putting the machines to local votes.

“It just kind of got bogged down,” House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said.

Over in the Senate, amendments to Eatonville GOP

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Education Jobs money going to state’s bottom line, not school districts

When the state announced school districts stood to get $208 million in federal money from the Education Jobs law, Gov. Chris Gregoire said:

These funds will help our school districts immediately, supporting educational programs during the 2010-2011 school year. The money can only be used to pay for teacher jobs and other education employees such as paraeducators, school counselors, and school librarians. …

I thank Sen. Patty Murray and the rest of the Washington delegation for their efforts to secure the Education Jobs funding. This money will provide much needed financial assistance to school districts and help our students receive the quality instruction they deserve.

But that was three months and hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue losses ago, and now the money is about to be used as part of a $588 million patch to the 2010 state budget, which has bipartisan support and is cruising through the Legislature.

A teacher’s union lobbyist warned lawmakers today it’s not legal to divert the money.

“It actually is a violation of the Congressional act,” testified Randall Parr of the Washington Education Association, “and while other states have done so, it should be noted that you are doing so.”

Technically, the Education Jobs money still is going to school districts. The state is just cutting the districts by an equal amount, so they don’t get any benefit from it.

Lawmakers and Gregoire think they have the right to divert the money in that way.

The law (below) doesn’t seem to outright prohibit what’s called “supplanting” in the budgeting world. Its direction to states is short, and mainly says they can’t supplant the funds in a way that would help bulk up their rainy-day funds or pay off their debts.

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Meet the House majority leader candidates

There’s a long list of House Democrats who want to replace retiring Majority Leader Lynn Kessler as the chamber’s second-in-command.

Rep. Pat Sullivan seems to have built up some support during months as a candidate for the post. He has experience poring over the budget as vice-chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. The former mayor of Covington is entering his fourth term in the House.

Rep. Zack Hudgins of Tukwila is entering his fifth term and has been Democrats’ floor leader for four years, with authority over the flow of legislation.

Rep. Jeff Morris of Anacortes, a longtime lawmaker elected to the House in 1996, has played a visible role as speaker pro tempore, presiding over House sessions.

Rep. Larry Springer has been a liaison between House Democrats and interest groups from union to labor. He is the former mayor of Kirkland and is entering his fourth term.

Candidates said Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, the chairman of the capital budget committee is also running, but I haven’t been able to reach him. I wrote before about Rep. Larry Seaquist’s bid for the job.

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Environmentalists sort out ‘champions’ from ‘duds’

An environmental group praises Reps. Skip Priest and Geoff Simpson as “champions” while singling out Reps. Christopher Hurst and Troy Kelley and Sen. Tim Sheldon as “green duds.”

Washington Conservation Voters released its scorecard today, ranking each legislator on their environmental votes in 2009 and 2010 on a scale of 0-100.

South Sound legislators Hurst, Kelley and Sheldon are among five Democrats — the others are Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and Rep. Tim Probst — who come in for criticism.

Hurst’s and Kelley’s votes in this year’s special session to put energy-efficient upgrades of schools on the ballot weren’t enough to save them from the group’s ire. The Conservation Voters website says Hurst and Kelley earned low 44 percent ratings when they “voted against clean water, against the protection of our shorelines, against energy efficient televisions, and against transit for Pierce County.” They call Hurst’s record “shameful” and “likely (to) backfire on him in the near future” and say Kelley is “severely out of step with both his party and his constituents.”

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