Democrat Senator Sam Hunt evidently believes naming pickleball the state’s official sport is a top legislative priority. Sadly, we are not making this up.
Democrat lawmakers continue to stumble along attempting to save their poorly developed Long-Term Care payroll tax (which is supposed to fund their latest big government entitlement scheme). Democrats ignored for three years the legitimate concerns brought up by Washington workers and employers over their tax plan, but waited until the very last minute to delay its implementation (after more than 400,000 Washington workers purchased private plans to avoid being stuck in the government program). It will be interesting to watch if vulnerable Democrats in swing districts will do what is right by voting to repeal this disastrous program, or if they will cave into the desire to receive large campaign donations from the Service Employees International Union bosses who will financially benefit if the Long-Term Care payroll tax is forced on Washington workers. (Click to read full Shift Article)
The staff at the Washington Policy Center point out that Senator Sam Hunt (D – Olympia) has felt it is worthy to schedule public hearings on whether pickleball should be the official state sport but has yet to schedule any hearing on emergency power reform. Far-Left Senator Hunt is allowed to apply his questionable set of priorities since he is the Chair of the Senate’s State Government & Elections Committee. Remember, last year Senator Hunt scheduled only one hour of public testimony on Governor Inslee’s unilateral pandemic-related restrictions on businesses, despite more than 1,600 workers and employers signing up to provide statements. Senator Hunt provided each person with just one-minute to present their virtual testimony before having them cut off without warning (which often caused the 20+ year legislator to laugh at the public).
Today at the Washington Policy Centers’ Solutions Summit, Senator Lynda Wilson (R – Vancouver) directed critical comments towards Senator Hunt’s priorities. “The Senate state government chair has ignored my simple, bipartisan emergency-powers reform bill (SB 5039) for more than a year, yet the bill he just introduced to name pickleball as the official state sport is apparently so important that it’s scheduled for both a public hearing and a vote in his committee in week one. You can’t make this stuff up – and it sure speaks to the majority’s priorities, doesn’t it?”
We will note that today is day 677 of Governor Inslee one-man rule and his attack on democratic values like checks and balances among government branches. (WPC center for Government Reform Facebook post, Shift and Washington Legislature Bill Summary)
Republican legislators introduced 22 bills in the House and 21 bills in the Senate (collectively labeled “Safe Washington”) to reverse the disastrous impact of the “police reform” bills passed by the Democrats last year, which have resulted in an increase in violent crime across Washington State. The Democrats, led by Representatives Roger Goodman (D – Kirkland) and Jesse Johnson (D – Federal Way) refused to listen to experienced law enforcement officials during the 2021 legislative session, as they instead rushed to reward the liberal rioters by passing severe restrictions on police officers’ ability to pursue and apprehend suspects. The lead Republican on the Senate’s Law & Justice Committee, Senator Mike Padden (Spokane Valley), provided the argument for the Republican’s latest public safety proposals to correct what was done by the Democrats during the last legislative session. “We know there have been some disastrous results from (the Democrats’) policies. Violent crime is at a 25-year high, murder is up 80 percent, aggravated assaults are up, rape is up. These policies … are making Washington a dangerous place.” (Vancouver Columbian)
Many Democrats are seeking to score political points by marking the one-year anniversary of fringe Trump supporters attacking the nation’s capital, while at the same time conveniently forgetting that not one elected Democrat in Washington State has condemned the political violence conducted by liberal activists which took place in Seattle over the summer of 2020. In fact Democrats not only refused to condemn the violence, but they also rushed to reward the violence by defunding the Seattle Police Department and passing “police reform” laws at the state level which have resulted in skyrocketing crime rates (especially in low-income and minority neighborhoods).
In a narrow-perspective Seattle Times op-ed, former Democrat Congressman Brian Baird only focused on the actions of January 6th in his appeal to have politicians and other public leaders sign a pledge to condemn political violence. He fails to acknowledge that all three Republican members of the Washington State congressional delegation, Republican legislative leaders, and the Chair of the Washington State Republican Party all condemned the violence that took place last January – as it was taking place.
Baird also failed to mention that Democrat Governor Inslee went to so far as to act as if had not heard anything about the CHAZ/CHOP riots, instead of responsibly condemning the violent actions of liberal activists. Baird also fails to mention that state’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, refused to stand up for Seattle Police officers who were victims of a mass murder attempt and repeated assaults. If Baird wants his anti-political violence pledge to be taken seriously, then he should be honest about the fact Washington State Republican officials condemned the violence by those supporting President Trump, while Democrat officials rewarded the violence of liberal activists by passing laws the rioters were demanding. (Seattle Times, Shift, Twitter, KOMO News, and MyNorthwest)
Murders continue to climb in Pierce County, yet the local daily newspapers never mentions the Democrats’ “police reform” package for being partially responsible for the increase. The county experienced 65 murders in 2021, which is a 14% increase over 2020. In the News Tribune report on the jump in homicides, unnamed “national experts” attributed the increase to the “COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest.” Yet nowhere in the story is it mentioned that the Democrats’ reform package has severely restricted police departments’ ability across Washington State to pursue and apprehend suspects, and criminals know the advantages the Democrats’ efforts have given them. This is especially curious since one of the first examples of how the Democrats’ legislation allowed a criminal suspect to escape pursuit by police occurred in Puyallup, when police were not able to pursue a murder suspect. This occurred just days after the Democrats’ “reforms” went into effect. (News Tribune and KING5 News)
New City of Seattle Attorney Ann Davison said one of her first priorities is to clean up the backlog of more than 4,000 criminal cases unprosecuted by her ultra-liberal predecessor Pete Holmes. “My top priorities right now is going to be how do we focus on that now, cause right now, it would be insurmountable to look at that because cases are going to the back of the line with my predecessor.” City Attorney Davison also stated she has replaced many of the entrenched leaders in the office, hoping to create new energy to serve the public. (KING5 News)
A solar farm developer is choosing to ignore state recommendations on the fencing around its proposed development despite government officials saying it could block migration of wild animals. Avangrid Renewables plans to construct eight miles of fencing around its proposed 100-megawatt Bluebird solar project, some 25 miles east of Goldendale. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has recommended that the developer leave holes in the fencing and to raise it higher off the ground to allow wildlife to pass through. Avangrid said the WDFW recommendations are “not considered feasible for development.” Currently WDFW can only make recommendations about solar panel farm construction, but it lacks the ability to enforce their decisions. (Capitol Press)
The Walla Walla County Commission has joined with the Asotin County Commission in asking the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to extend the hunting season on cougars until March 31st. This is due to the large number of elk that have been killed by cougars during the past year. WDFW officials have said that, for now, the season will remain open because the limit on the number of cougars hunted has yet to be reached. (Walla Walla Union Bulletin)
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