Fade in: Washington State – year is 2020
and only one single-use plastic bag remained
Happening in Olympia
Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) isn’t sold on the proposal to move Washington’s primary election from August to May. One of his main concerns is what the move would mean for potential ethical concerns around campaign contributions. “A lawmaker could accept a contribution from a member of a public-employee union and then, later that same day, vote to pass a bill that approves their collective bargaining agreement with the governor. This scenario reeks of corruption.” (Daily News)
Late Tuesday night, Lefty state senators passed a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, giving stores until 2020 to use up their existing supply. “This is a socialist method,” said Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale). “Little things like this is the indicator that we are trying to micromanage the economy.” We should note that no serious scientific study has shown plastic bag bans to be beneficial for the environment. (Tri-City Herald)
The Senate Transportation Committee took the first action to try to pass a transportation package funded primarily by an energy tax and gas tax increase. The bill, sponsored by Senate Transportation Committee chairman Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens) would create an energy tax that the voters have rejected multiple times and would also increase gas prices by another six cents per gallon. Hidden deep in the proposal is a 50-cent trip fee on taxis and services like Uber and Lyft. It also discourages the state from creating a low carbon fuels standard which our absent Governor Jay Inslee has long championed. (Seattle Times)
If the Seattle City Council’s policies weren’t costing the city enough, now their legal woes are being added to taxpayers’ bill. The city announced it would pay $3,500 under a settlement in one of two lawsuits alleging the council broke the state’s Open Public Meetings Act during the jobs tax debate. “The settlement resolves litigation on favorable terms and is in the best interest of the City,” City Attorney Pete Holmes said in an emailed statement Monday. (Seattle Times)
Logan Bowers, a candidate running to unseat Kshama Sawant in representing District 3, seems to have filed a formal ethics complaint against the socialist councilmember. The candidate alleges that Sawant appropriated city funds for use by a political party. Bowers cites reports that Sawant “has handed over significant decision-making to (Socialist Alternative) — including how she votes on business that comes before the City Council” to back up his claim. (MyNorthwest)
The Yakima City Council unanimously signed off on an agreement authorizing the Yakima School District and two other agencies to initiate a gang prevention pilot program. “We’re limiting it to get the data we need to secure more funding,” said Attorney Sara Watkins. “Once the pilot program is over, the goal is to increase it to all middle schools and students.” (Yakima Herald)
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