Former legislators returning to the capitol before Bob Ferguson says it’s OK.
Happening in Olympia
The Seattle Times ed board thinks there should be a “cooling-off” period for former legislators who want to become lobbyists. Currently there are no restrictions on lawmakers immediately becoming lobbyists when out of office. Washington would join 36 other states that have at least a one-year “cooling-off” period if legislators pass SB 5033 that has been prefiled by Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) at the request of Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Is it worth passing a law about? Probably not. (Seattle Times)
Gov. Inslee’s proposed 9 percent capital gains tax is really an income tax, not an excise tax like he claims, writes the Washington Policy Center’s Jason Mercier. The reason Inslee won’t just admit that it is an income tax is that the state constitution prohibits graduated income taxes – like this one. Every other state – and the IRS – all say that a tax on capital gains is an income tax. (Tri-City Herald)
If Washington wants to have any influence in presidential nominations, we need to move up our presidential primary date. The Yakima Herald-Republic ed board says the legislature needs to act on Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s idea to move the primary up to March. With California already moving its primary to “Super Tuesday” and Oregon considering it, the ed board fears we’ll continue to be left behind if we don’t act. (Yakima Herald-Republic)
The state Supreme Court rejected a challenge by an activist group that is seeking to halt a new juvenile detention facility in King County. End the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC) failed to meet the 10-day deadline to file an objection before the 2012 King County youth courthouse and jail levy was sent to voters. This is the latest in a series of defeats dealt to EPIC in its quest to stop the new juvenile detention center. (Seattle Times)
The Seattle school district says “virtually all” school bus routes will be impacted by the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure set to begin on January 11. School busses won’t be spared from the mess that will be created by the weeks-long closure of the viaduct as WSDOT completes the realignment of SR-99 to the new waterfront tunnel. Bus drivers will be working longer hours as they will have to add additional time before and after school to complete their routes. (SeattlePI.com)
Walla Walla County Commissioner Jim Duncan died at his home in Burbank. Duncan fell ill yesterday morning, just hours before he was to be sworn in for his second term on the county commission. Duncan’s fellow commissioners said their “shock and sadness are hard to express” after hearing of his unexpected passing. Duncan, 49, was a U.S. Air Force veteran and was previously the emergency management director for Benton County. He is survived by his wife Esther and their four children. (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)
Spokane County Democrats agreed to pay $47,300 for campaign finance violations in 2016. The settlement announced by the Attorney General’s Office stemmed from a lawsuit filed by conservative activist Glen Morgan. The party incurred penalties for failing to report $104,000 in contributions and $110,000 in expenditures in a timely manner. $36,000 in additional penalties are suspended for four years if the party doesn’t commit additional violations of disclosure laws. (The Spokesman-Review)
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