Well the legislative session is upon us and before it comes out of the gate we hear “Olympia we have a problem”. The Senate is now run by a new coalition.
Here is an excerpt from The Olympian article written by Brad Shannon and Jordan Schrader “Washington’s Legislature opened its 105-day session Monday with a bit of friction in the Senate but few fireworks.
Two Democrats defected from their party as expected, joining 23 Republicans to vote themselves into power in the state Senate. The group elevated one of the rebels, Rodney Tom of Medina, to the top post of majority leader and the other, Tim Sheldon of Potlatch, to the largely honorary position of president pro tempore.
They aren’t the only Democrats who will play roles in the new-look Senate. Members of the new minority will keep control of two committees, and Des Moines Sen. Tracey Eide will share power atop the influential panel that writes the state transportation budget.
“I think the Majority Coalition Caucus is a great opportunity for like-minded legislators of both parties – regardless of party – to work together,” said Sheldon, who will preside over Senate floor sessions in the absence of Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, himself a former 35th District conservative Democrat who bucked his party in the 1980s while in the Legislature.
Sheldon said the coalition is a “new model” for lawmakers. “So many people that are partisan to the core want this effort to fail. And I’d like to prove them wrong,’’ he said.
Other Democrats described the new power structure as a “coup,” a “show-trial,” or “bipartisanship in name only.”
Well I guess we will need to see what develops over the 105 day session that needs to develop a 2013-2015 state budget and fill a 2 billion dollar hole given a shortfall and the Supreme Court education decision that directs the state to “fully fund” K-12 public education.
Amongst all this people with disabilities want to be heard. In January is the 23rd“The Community of People with Disabilities of Washington State Legislative Reception”. The Reception is a way to meet with your legislators and network with many people you may know or not. Hint before the reception you can call your legislators and invite them to the Reception that is a great way to start your relationships with your legislators. The date is January 23rd from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Leg building Columbia Room.
CEO Viewpoint is published by Jim Larson, CEO Morningside
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