45th district Dems give priority preview

At the state 45th Legislative District’s first meeting of 2018 on Wednesday night, Democrats took time to review some issues left unresolved after last year’s session in Olympia and looked toward this year’s.

The 45th was a key race in this year’s special election. With Democratic Sen. Manka Dhingra’s win in the district, both the Washington state House of Representatives and Senate came under the party’s control.

State Rep. Roger Goodman addressed the crowd at Horace Mann Elementary in Redmond with policies he would like to see passed in 2018, a shorter session than last year’s.

First, Goodman said he will be pushing to pass a the capital budget, which finances infrastructure projects.

Democrats have a one-vote majority in the Senate, which is enough to pass the budget, but a 60 percent approval is needed to issue bonds to fund the projects in the budget, Goodman said.

This presents a problem for Democrats who are locked in a battle with Republicans over a state Supreme Court decision known as the Hirst Decision.

The Hirst Decision essentially forces counties to take on the responsibility of issuing permits for wells, a function that the state formerly oversaw. Many rural counties argue they don’t have the resources to do this, which has impacted the creation of wells in parts of the state outside Puget Sound.

Republicans refused to pass the capital budget last year without action to undermine the court decision, and Goodman said they will likely block the issuance of bonds even if the budget is passed this year.

Goodman also hopes to address gender and race equity, expand voting rights and enforce reproductive rights.

While he would like a carbon tax, he said the votes likely aren’t there for it.

Similarly, while he said he supports single-payer health care, he doubts there will be enough support in the Legislature to pursue it in Washington state.

In criminal justice reform, Goodman hopes to offer a bill to create a commission to examine widespread reform in the state.

This commission would look at ways to reform the justice system from sentencing calculations, to how juveniles are treated and possibly police use of force.

“I’ve been waiting 20 years for this,” he said.

John Stafford, a speaker at the meeting who keeps an eye on the Legislature for the party, said he hopes to see a change in the way police killings are handled. The state requires that prosecutors prove malice when trying to convict a killer, a higher burden of proof than most states.

The Legislature convenes on Jan. 8 for a scheduled 60-day session. Last year, the Legislature went into three special sessions for the longest session in state history at 195 days.

More in News

King County Correctional Facility is located at 500 5th Ave., Seattle. File photo
King County jail’s leaky pipes have national implications

Lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court alleges Aquatherm has been selling faulty pipes.

Thieves brandish gun, make off with $100 in Safeway groceries

Suspects drove off in a white Honda CRV.

Eastsiders gathered on July 12 for a peaceful protest at Redmond Downtown Park. Protestors held demonstrations that spelled out “Close the Camps.” Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Eastsiders gather for Lights for Liberty Vigil to protest the inhumane conditions faced by migrants

Redmond was one out of the 46 vigils held across Washington state.

Siri Bliesner, Susan Wilkins and John Towers compete for Lake Washington School District Director District 5 position. Courtesy photos
Three candidates aim to fill an open seat on the Lake Washington School Board

Siri Bliesner, John Towers and Susan Wilkins compete for Lake Washington School District Director District 5 position.

A crash between a semi truck and another vehicle occurred around 4:45 a.m. on July 16 on State Route 202. Photo courtesy of Rick Johnson/Washington State Patrol
Renton man killed in head-on crash along Redmond-Fall City Road

The driver’s name has not been released.

PSE’s battery storage project could help the clean energy roll-out

The tiny pilot project in Glacier could eventually be expanded.

VoteWA is a $9.5 million program that came online last May and is meant to unify all 39 county voting systems in the state into a single entity. Courtesy image
WA’s new voting system concerns county elections officials

VoteWA has run into some problems in recent months as the Aug. 6 primary election draws closer.

An aerial photo shows the locations of two earthquakes and five aftershocks in and near Monroe, which rattled the Puget Sound region early Friday. The first was the magnitude 4.6 quake at upper right, 13 miles under the intersection of U.S. 2 and Fryelands Boulevard SE at 2:51 a.m. The second, magnitude 3.5, occurred 18 miles under the Old Snohomish-Monroe Road at 2:53 a.m. The aftershocks followed during the ensuing two hours. This image depicts an area about 3 miles wide. (Herald staff and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network)
Early wake-up call: Twin quakes under Monroe rattle region

Thousands of people felt them. They were magnitude 4.6 and 3.5 and hit minutes apart.

Most Read