Report from Olympia

State Supreme Court sets stage for showdown with lawmakers The word “showdown” conjures up images of the Old West, when one person would challenge another person to step out into the street to settle a disagreement. Recently the state Supreme Court set the stage for a constitutional showdown by doing something we’ve never seen: imposing a $100,000-per-day fine on... Read More...
Sad news… a death in the legislative family Late last week I received the sad news that a longtime friend and colleague, former Senator Bob Morton (pictured above, in the Senate chamber), had passed away at age 81.  Bob served the people of the 7th Legislative District from 1990 to 2012, first in the House of Representatives and then... Read More...
The end is HERE! On Friday, after a regular session and three special sessions that spanned six months, the Legislature finally adjourned for the year. It was frustrating that it took so long to reach a final agreement on a new state budget. In the end, the Legislature passed the 2015-17 operating budget by... Read More...
Just when you thought the session was over… I’d like to report that I am back in Spokane Valley, and all of the work in the Legislature has finally come to a close. Unfortunately, the third special special session will not end as quickly as we had hoped. Last Tuesday night, we worked around the clock to pass... Read More...
Budget deal reached; third special session needed There was some breaking news overnight. At 1:30 a.m. the governor announced that legislative negotiators had reached a tentative deal on a new operating budget. While details of the deal have just been released, there is now hope that we’ll be able to avoid a state-government shutdown when the current... Read More...
Why is the Legislature still in session? While I am very hopeful that we will soon see a resolution to the budget negotiations, progress remains slow. The sticking points, however, have never been clearer. The Senate proposal has no tax increases. If the House accepted the Senate proposal, as is, the session could come to a close... Read More...
Report from Olympia: Raise taxes or else? Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it… I do not know anyone who has gotten to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but it... Read More...
$1.1 billion more in revenue should be enough! We recently got more good budget news; the economic forecast that came out this week pointed to the state expecting more revenue thanks to our recovering economy.This proves once again that there is no need for new taxes. In fact, there are some of us who believe that it is... Read More...
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