Good morning. Today is Friday, Jan. 29, the 19th day of the 60-day legislative session.
The names of those hoping to testify at a crowded Thursday morning hearing before the House Committee on Finance filled 12 sign-up sheets, an unusually large number for the committee.
But missing from the hearing were University of Washington officials, who hope House Bill 2912 eventually could bring in some of the money needed to renovate 90-year-old Husky Stadium.
The bill would grant King County the authority to steer some tourism-tax revenue, currently used to pay off Safeco and Qwest fields, toward low-income housing programs, public-health services, youth sports facilities, the arts and, yes, Husky Stadium.
After last year’s well-publicized war of words between UW officials and Washington State University boosters, and even between the schools’ athletic directors, UW’s absence Thursday likely means the school is making a less public push for stadium funds.
UW President Mark Emmert said Wednesday after his meeting with The Olympian’s editorial board that the school’s position remains the same.
“This is a debate for the county,” he said. “The county needs to decide what they want to do with this. We’re hopeful that the Legislature will move this debate to the county, and they can argue about it over there. To me, it’s not a state Capitol debate; it’s a King County debate.”
Rep. Dave Quall, D-Mount Vernon, is the bill’s prime sponsor.
“The people who have the problem usually have the best solution,” he said.
Compiled by Maks Goldenshteyn,