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Tag: Ed Murray

April
16th

Democrats move to 9th order; maneuver fails as Majority Coalition leader Tom resists call to conscience

A bid by minority Democrats to seize control of the Washington state Senate ended in a fizzle late Tuesday afternoon. They got 23 votes in favor of a procedural motion, called the 9th Order, but needed 25 and the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus held strong in rejecting the move.

The move put Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom in a bind – because the procedural move was meant to spring loose two bills Tom supports but that are bottled up in committees by his own Republican chairs. One bill deals with requiring health insurers to cover abortion if they also cover

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April
16th

Could this be the day Senate Democrats’ take their stab at a procedural coup?

Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray made clear Monday that his minority caucus is looking for a way to seize control of the Senate and force votes on a pair of controversial bills blocked by the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus. The move to go to the 9th Order of Business, which lets lawmakers bring bills directly to the floor from committee with a simple majority vote, could open a Pandora’s Box for the majority and would have to occur before Wednesday’s 5 p.m. cutoff.

At issue are an abortion-insurance bill, which has support from at least 25 Senate members, and a

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Feb.
28th

Senate committee rejects two-thirds vote option for all bills but it does OK bill asking voters to put super-majority for taxes in Constitution

Just hours after the Washington state Supreme Court struck down an initiative requiring a two-thirds supermajority requirement for tax votes, Senate Republicans pushed through a bill in the Ways and Means Committee Thursday that would ask voters to write the rule into the state Constitution instead.

The nearly party-line vote was 13-to-10, with Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom voting with the rest of his Senate Majority Coalition Caucus members.

Members of both parties sounded a bit grumpy as they traded speeches on Senate Joint Resolution 8205. , which is sponsored by Republican Sen. Pam

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Feb.
28th

UPDATE – Wash. AG Ferguson filing amicus briefs in support of ‘marriage equality’ in two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is filing amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court this week in two historic same-sex marriage cases that go before the high court for arguments in late March.

“In our state, the Legislature and the voters have spoken on this issue and came down strongly in support of marriage equality. Our involvement in these two cases is consistent with the will of the voters,” Ferguson said in an interview.

The Democrat said lawyers in his Office of Solicitor General had taken the lead with counterparts in Massachusetts and New York to draft briefs in one

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Feb.
12th

Sen. Ed Murray introduces assault weapons ban

Senate Minority Leader Ed Murray of Seattle delivered today on his promise to introduce an assault weapons ban in the state Senate.

Senate Bill 5737 would make it illegal in Washington to own a semi-automatic weapon that uses a detachable ammunition magazine. The legislation would also make it illegal to carry ammunition clips that contain more than 10 rounds.

The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, another Seattle Democrat.

Earlier in the session, Murray indicated that passing an assault weapons ban was one of his top priorities this legislative session, saying, “I’m not willing to take it off the

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Feb.
1st

UPDATE – Senate Democrats say GOP coalition getting ahead of itself

Whether it’s new bills seeking reforms to K-12 schools or the worker compensation system, Senate Democrats complained today [Friday] that the Republican-dominated Senate majority is getting ahead of itself. Democratic Leader Ed Murray of Seattle and other members of his caucus met with reporters, suggesting that school reform bills recently heard in committee were based on legislation from other states like Florida and Louisiana, and they even tried to draw links the Tea Party and conservative American Legislative Exchange Council.

Sen. Nick Harper of Everett posted a diatribe about the bills, including a proposal to hold back 8-year-olds

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Jan.
30th

State Senate moves session’s first bills, delays floor fight on workers-comp changes at least until Friday

CAPITOL CAMPUS BUILDINGS 13010301 TEO
The state Legislative Building in Olympia is where the House and Senate meet. (Tony Overman / Staff photographer)

A widely expected fight over changes to Washington state’s worker compensation did not materialize on the state Senate floor this morning. Republican Leader Mark Schoesler of Ritzville said the Majority Coalition Caucus wanted to give minority Democrats more time after the Democrats objected to the fast pace the bills were moving. The package of bills opposed by organized labor could go to a vote as soon as Friday after moving out of the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee on Monday.


Jonathan Kaminsky
of The Associated Press has a story about the turn-around and the minor bills the Senate did pass today:

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Jan.
30th

Report: Washington still has least-fair tax system in country; hits the poor six times harder than the wealthy

The beauty of a tax system is always in the eye of a beholder, and some business rankings say Washington state’s business climate is good partly because of its lack of an income tax. But a report by the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy rates Washington state’s system as the worst in the country in terms of how much harder it hits the poor and middle-class than the rich. Lack of an income tax is a clear factor.

ITEP, based in Washington, D.C., found that all states’ tax systems are actually weighted in favor of the wealthy. In other words, those well off pay a smaller share of income in state and local taxes than do the poor. But Washington was at the top of what ITEP calls the “Terrible Ten.”

“In these ‘Terrible Ten’ states, the bottom 20 percent pay up to six times as much of their income in taxes as their wealthy counterparts. Washington State is the most regressive, followed by Florida, South Dakota, Illinois, Texas, Tennessee, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Alabama,” the report’s executive summary states.

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