Brad Shannon is political editor at The Olympian and can be reached at 360-753-1688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A bill allowing youth 16 years and older to preregister to vote got a hearing in the House Committee on State Government and Tribal Affairs this morning.
House Bill 2205 would permit youth meeting other voter registration requirements to register, but would keep them out of the statewide voter registration database until the age of 18.
The committee also had a hearing on House Bill 2204, which would allow same-day registration for voters.
For public employees, it could have been worse. The proposed budget agreement between Senate and House negotiators of both parties was released this morning.
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the main proponent of legalizing and licensing dispensaries that sell marijuana to patients, announced today that even her most recent, scaled-back bill won't proceed.
UPDATED: A solid bipartisan House majority voted this afternoon to approve one of the 2011 sessions most contentious issues: cutting costs in the state-run worker compensation system. House Bill 2123 later passed the Senate and goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire for signing.
The deal announced last evening on worker compensation reforms cuts more than $1 billion in the insurance system's costs over four years, and it was a huge political lift for lawmakers. A floor vote could come later today in the House after House Democratic and Republican caucuses get briefed on details and the Senate could follow.
Doomsday never came today. So Washington lawmakers kept working at the Capitol in Olympia to finish a two-year state operating budget agreement in Olympia.
A compromise to cut costs in the Washingtons worker-compensation system eluded House and Senate negotiators tonight. They ended a more than four-hour session of talks with Gov. Chris Gregoire after 8 p.m.
Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt fumed yesterday over his belief that the House speaker had time for breakfast with Washington State Labor Council president Jeff Johnson, but not to negotiate with the Senate about worker compensation reform.
An end to the Legislature's special session may really be in sight, as House members scurry back to the Capitol Friday for budget hearings and a new flurry of weekend work. The moves come as budget writers in the House and Senate moved closer to agreement , and Gov. Chris Gregoire apparently laid out new ideas for breaking the deadlock on workers compensation reform.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Camas got a warm reception today at the Tumwater Rotary meeting where she about her first 4 ½ months in office in the 3rd Congressional District. It was a sharp contrast to a boisterous crowd she met in Vancouver recently