Politics & Government

Under the dome for Feb. 14

Good morning. Today is Wednesday, Feb. 14, the 38th day of the 105-day regular session.


"It's time for Seattle to get off the dime and do something. If not, we should take the money and transfer it. … The (state Route) 520 bridge is as much of a safety hazard as the viaduct."

- Sen. Dan Swecker of Rochester, the top Senate Republican on transportation issues, talking about the Alaskan Way viaduct stalemate after Tuesday's report that a tunnel option is not considered viable.


About 200 members of the Senior Lobby are meeting in Olympia. The group supports an agenda that calls for $23 million more in state spending than Gov. Chris Gregoire has proposed, in areas such as vendor rate increases for elder-care providers, expanded chronic-care case management, and funding for family caregiver respite services.


Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington, proposed two bills aimed at changing the child-welfare system Tuesday:

n SB 5754 calls for realigning the state's child-welfare system, setting measurable goals for delivering services and preventing child abuse. It also would demand a "more supportive and respectful managerial style," Stevens said.

n SB 5807 authorizes a three-year pilot test of intensive criminal justice training for social workers, covering interviewing witnesses, analyzing and preserving evidence, basic self-­defense, handling volatile situations and drug investigations. Social workers also would learn how to recognize physical-abuse injuries, Stevens said.


Here are a few of the committee hearings and work sessions scheduled for today in the Legislature. House committee meetings are in the John L. O'Brien Building. Senate committee hearings are in the John A. Cherberg Building.


n Higher Education: 8 a.m. public hearing on HB 1875, providing for faculty opportunities at institutions of higher learning, HHR-D.

n Judiciary: 1:30 p.m. public hearing on HB 1518, creating a death-penalty task force, HHR-A.

n State Government: 1:30 p.m. public hearing on HB 2013, permitting tribal and Indian nation police to act as Washington state police officers, HHR-D.


n Health & Long-Term Care: 8 a.m. public hearing on SB 5696, creating the Washington patient safety act, SHR-4.

n Financial Institutions & Insurance: 3:30 p.m. public hearing on SB 5826, modifying consumer credit reports, SHR-2.

n Judiciary: 3:30 p.m. public hearing on SB 5787, concerning death penalty eligibility for people who are mentally disabled or have a severe mental disorder, SHR-1.


Some hearings and other programs are shown on TVW, the state public affairs network that airs locally on Channel 23.