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Tag: Zack Hudgins


Dream Act supporters’ last ditch effort likely derailed

Dream Act supporters who hoped to make a showing at Tuesday’s Senate Higher Education committee hearing are bound to be discouraged. Shortly after word of their rally got out, Tuesday’s committee hearing was cancelled.

The hearing’s cancellation means the proposal, formally known as House Bill 1817, has virtually no chance of getting a vote. Lawmakers face an Apr. 3 cutoff that requires all policy committees to complete their work. And while there’s no proof that the hearing’s cancellation has anything to do with the planned protest, it does mean that without any additional Higher Education

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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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Legislature approves ‘Discover Pass’ for state lands

Lawmakers wrapped up work today on one piece of their budget puzzle.

They agreed to charge $30 a year to drive into state parks and forests and other state lands, sending SB 5622 to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature on a party-line House vote. The governor has supported the concept and included it in her budget plan.

Her legislative director, Jim Justin, said Gregoire needs to take a look at changes made by the Legislature but that she’s pleased the bill has passed.

The annual pass and a $10 day pass for those who don’t buy it would raise $64 million, with $54 million going to state parks and the rest divided between two other agencies that manage state lands, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Read more »


Rep. Christine Rolfes announces oil spill response plan

Rep. Christine Rolfes said today that she wants to improve oil spill response in Puget Sound and she wants industry to pay for it.

Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, announced that she already has support from other House Democrats for a bill she plans to introduce by the end of the week to require tanker companies establish a volunteer coordination system, invest in more advanced oil spill response equipment and contract with local commercial vessels to help should a spill occur.

“My biggest concern was watching the BP spill,” said Rolfes, who serves as vice chairwoman of the House Environment Committee. “I would like our state and our industry working together to make sure that if a disaster like that happens here we’ve done everything we can.”

Rolfes said she had secured the support of 14 other representatives to be co-sponsors of the bill including Rep. Zack Hudgins and Rep. Dave Upthegrove, chairman of the Environment Committee.

She said Upthegrove had assured her that the bill would get a hearing in committee.

Curt Hart, a spokesman for the Spill Prevention, Preparedness and Response Program in the state Ecology Department said the program had long supported the initiatives proposed in Rolfes’ announcement, including the idea that industry help pay for oil spill preparedness.

“They’re hitting the nail right on the head with this one,” he said.

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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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