Politics & Government

Bill for new DES agency gets missing 12th vote

Republican Sen. Cheryl Pflug of Maple Valley jotted her name in support of the latest iteration of Senate Bill 5931. That twelfth vote moves the proposed merger of several state agencies into a new Department of Enterprise Services out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and closer to a Senate floor vote.

The committee vote Monday was 11-9 with three Democrats crossing over in support, but Pflug was absent and today provided the 12th vote needed. Go here for a summary of the striking bill amendment offered by Republican Sen. Michael Baumgartner of Spokane and background.

As we noted in today’s story, House Democrats are leery of changes proposed by Baumgartner to require a yearly review of six state functions with an eye toward farming out the work to private sector contractors.

Baumgartner’s proposal, like a Democratic alternative rejected in committee, delays the consolidation from July 1 to Oct. 1, which Gov. Chris Gregoire’s staff had sought.