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Tag: Rodney Tom


Details elude lawmakers, but tentative plan includes education funding, public-works fund transfers

There are still disagreements on policy in the budget — enough that Democrats are saying there’s no deal yet – but most of the numbers in the state budget have fallen into place.

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom said negotiators have settled on a deal that will provide more than $1 billion to meet the McCleary court decision ordering more funding for public schools, while also providing enough money to universities and colleges to keep them from raising tuition.

The budget would raise some tax revenue by resolving a dispute over tax breaks on telecommunications companies but would not make general

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Blame game underway in Olympia over who has compromised


Gov. Jay Inslee today assigned blame to the Senate’s mostly Republican Majority Coalition Caucus for the coming second special session.

Inslee noted the math: Democrats have abandoned more than $800 million of their $1.3 billion in proposed tax revenue. Republicans started out calling for no new taxes and have capitulated on just $300 million — and have conditioned even that revenue on the House giving in on a series of policy changes the Senate wants.

Inslee said Republicans are still pushing for those policy priorities even as Democrats have given up on their bills dealing with topics such

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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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Productive, bipartisan, ‘kum ba yah’ Senate?

UPDATED 12:30 p.m.

Leaders of the newly Republican-dominated Senate are crowing about setting a more productive pace and working with the opposition.

The GOP-plus-two-Democrats coalition released figures showing the Senate has passed 276 bills so far. “It’s the most bills that have ever come out of the Senate in the last four years,”  Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, one of those two breakaway Democrats, told me a few minutes after the deadline passed Wednesday to send Senate bills over to the House.

Thirty-two percent of them, 89 bills, were introduced by Democrats, according to the tally. ” That’s more bills than any

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Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom says Senate will vote on rule change to mirror 2/3 initiative

UPDATED 11:45 am with comment from Brad Owen.

Sen. Rodney Tom, the renegade Democrat from Medina who has been elevated to majority leader by a mostly Republican coalition, said he would bring a change to Senate rules up for a vote on the floor to reinstate the tax restrictions passed by voters and struck down today by the Supreme Court.

“We’re going to stand behind the will of the people. They’ve been very clear that they want it to be difficult to raise taxes,” Tom said today.

The rule would require a two-thirds supermajority or a public vote to

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Were seeds for Majority Coalition Caucus in state Senate sewn in Washington Redistricting Commission?

Well, yeah. Sort of.

The so-called coup by 23 formerly minority Republicans and two Democrats that broke in mid-December came just after the final undecided Senate race was decided.

Because it was so close, the race between GOP incumbent Don Benton and challenger Tim Probst wasn’t official until the election was certified. Benton won reelection by 78 votes out of just under 55,000 cast. Once he was in and the GOP total was up to 23 votes, the coalition with Democrats Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon could became a majority of 25.

Did Benton deliver the majority?

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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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Pierce County Democrats elect new chairwoman, Jeannie Mitchell; censure Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon

Democrats today elected a new county chairwoman, Jeannie Mitchell of North Tacoma.

They picked Mitchell over Anita Latch and Cindy Poysnick. She replaces Rose Ehart, who did not run for re-election to a second two-year term.

Mitchell, who has a business with her husband as independent contractors delivering magazines, is a former chairwoman of the 27th District Democrats. Her goals include better recruitment and training of candidates and precinct-committee officers.

Pierce County Democrats also formally censured two Democratic state senators who have allied with Republicans to form a new governing coalition.

The resolution accuses Rodney Tom of Medina and Tim Sheldon of Potlatch of “thwarting

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