Washington voters in grumpy mood

Recent Elway Poll findings shed light on the public’s optimism in Washington this election season, quick on the heels of a record 176-day legislative session. My, what an owlish bunch. Lobbyists rated the recent legislative session at the highest level since 2011. But lobbyists’ overall letter grade for the Legislature as a whole was only C-minus. State voters were less kind: They gave the Legislature a D-plus grade and Gov. Inslee a C.


Should our leaders pay for extortion?

We detect a troubling development in Washington state politics. Call it the rise of extortion politics – as in, give me what I want or I’ll really hurt you. First case in point is professional initiative promoter Tim Eyman. He’s back this year with hardball tactics on a tax-restricting proposal, Initiative 1366. Similarly, Senate Republicans put a ‘poison pill’ in the new transportation tax package to block certain executive actions on climate change.


Inslee’s victory lap after 176-day ride

Gov. Jay Inslee is now taking a victory lap around the state, visiting editorial boards to point out – in his characteristically cheerful way – that this was a year of big progress despite deeply partisan differences that kept the Republican-led Senate and Democrat-led House at loggerheads for so long. The broadest strokes of Inslee’s story – that the Legislature finally managed many “bipartisan, bicameral” triumphs – are largely true.


Lawmakers still fail on K-12 funding

There’s no polite way to say this. Washington’s Legislature deserves censure by the state Supreme Court over its chronic failure to fix the public school funding system. No matter how the blarney is parsed, the nine justices on the high court know that local, voter-approved school levies still subsidize basic education. Levies make up more than 30 percent of K-12 education costs in some districts.


Mental-health prison facility needed

Washington prison officials are moving forward with a project in Thurston County that holds out hope for better treatment of mentally ill offenders held behind bars. The Legislature provided about $4.8 million in its capital budget to start design work on the promising venture. The project would replace the Maple Lane School in southwest Thurston County with a prison that specializes in mental health care.


Senior Games are a lesson in fitness

The Washington State Senior Games are under way again in South Sound. The 22 events, which shift into highest gear Saturday and Sunday, offer a timely reminder to everyone: Get up, stand up – and please get off that couch! Indeed, that’s the point of the games. To get people up and moving, and to promote fitness year-round as an important contributor to wellness.

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