The supplemental budget passed the State Senate on a 27-17 vote earlier this week, finally ending the 2016 legislative session. Of course, 27 plus 17 is 44, which means 5 senators (four Democrats and one Republican) skipped the vote.
So much for showing up to work.
Considering it took a special session (thanks to Democrats) to finally wrap up this year’s activities, one would think that lawmakers would have managed to show up for the vote unless it was for a very important reason.
But, you’d be wrong. The missed votes have taught us something about these senators’ priorities.
Democrat Sen. Pramila Jayapal, apparently, thinks her campaign to represent a congressional district that she doesn’t even live in is more important than doing the job she has representing the legislative district she does live in. Jayapal was in Washington D.C. giving a speech and attending “campaign functions.” Those “functions” included raising money, which of course she is prohibited from doing during session as a state official. But, thanks to a loophole that allows fundraising for federal races, following the letter of that law was not required for the liberal Seattle senator.
And, we now know that Jayapal’s first priority is advancing her own career.
Democrat Sen. Maralyn Chase decided to attend a conference on “green schools” in Pittsburgh rather than represent her district in Olympia. Apparently, no one informed her than such a conference is basically a waste of time.
As Shift has reported, school districts across the country that are implementing new “green” standards via systems that promise to deliver energy saving and various environmental benefits, but are failing to live up to the hype. Far from reducing costs, not a single green school saved more in energy costs than it spent gaining a “green” rating. Green schools failed to deliver on promises in every state.
We now know that Chase doesn’t care about the science behind green schools, just the ideology of them.
Both Jayapal and Chase said they would have voted against the budget compromise – surprise, surprise. But actually showing up to do so was not a priority.
Democrat Sen. Kevin Ranker, despite being one of the budget negotiators, missed the vote because he had “work appointment that could not be changed.” Ranker works for a Seattle-based environmental consulting firm.
We now know that Ranker will, in the end, prioritize his job outside of Olympia over his job representing the people of his district.
Democrat Sen. Jim Hargrove didn’t even bother to give an explanation for why he missed his vote. But, like Republican Sen. Don Benton, it probably has to do with the fact that he is retiring this year.
We now know that Hargrove and Benton are not the “sprint-to-the-finish-line” kind of people. In any case, isn’t it interesting that 4 out of the 5 absentee Senators are Democrats?