Today is Tuesday, Jan. 15, the second day of the 105-day legislative session.
QUOTED – Sen. Rodney Tom, a Medina Democrat and Senate Majority Coalition leader, on a proposal to have equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans on each committee
“The voters’ choice this last November was for a Democratic governor, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate. But the voters’ choice apparently doesn’t matter here today.”
– Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, opposing the Senate Majority Coalition’s successful attempt to take control of the Senate
The Senate narrowly passed a resolution 25-23 to give control of the Senate to the Senate Majority Coalition, which consists of the 23 Senate Republicans plus Democratic Sens. Rodney Tom of Medina and Tim Sheldon of Potlatch. All other Democrats voted against the proposal.
Several legislators took the oath of office Monday at the Legislative Building in Olympia. Newcomers from the South Sound include Rep. Drew C. MacEwen, R-Union; Rep. Jake Fey, D-Tacoma; Rep. David Sawyer, D-Tacoma; and Rep. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place. Also new to the rotunda are former Federal Way City Council members Rep. Roger Freeman, a Democrat, and Rep. Linda Kochmar, a Republican. Former Rep. Dawn Morrell, D-Puyallup, is returning to the House after a two-year absence.
Meanwhile, the Senate welcomed new members John Braun, R-Chehalis; John Smith, R-Colville; Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah; and Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver.
Making the jump from the House to the Senate were veteran legislators Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma; Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe; Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup; Ann Rivers, R-La Center; Andy Billig, D-Spokane; Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor; and Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle.
Additionally, three state Supreme Court justices were sworn in Monday at the Temple of Justice. Justices Susan Owens and Steven C. Gonzalez are incumbents returning to the bench, while Sheryl Gordon McCloud is donning the robes of a Supreme Court justice for the first time. Her arrival gives the Supreme Court membership a female majority, with women taking up five spots on the nine-member court.
IN THE LEGISLATURE
Legislators will honor outgoing Secretary of State Sam Reed, outgoing Attorney General Rob McKenna and outgoing State Auditor Brian Sonntag during a joint session that begins at 10:30 a.m. Subsequently, Gregoire will address the combined House and Senate one last time during her final State of the State address, which is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
A work session will discuss higher education policy priorities for the 2013 legislative session. The House Higher Education Committee will meet at 8 a.m. in Hearing Room A of the John L. O’Brien Building.
Additionally, the House Transportation Committee will hold a work session at 3:30 p.m. on Gov. Gregoire’s transportation budget proposal, including her idea to fund K-12 school bus transportation using a gas tax. The work session will be in Hearing Room B of the John L. O’Brien Building.