Politics & Government

Under the Dome: Friday, April 17, the 96th day of the 105-day legislative session


“I think his credibility is gone with the public. Certainly restoring the trust in government is important for any elected official. He shouldn’t just recuse himself or take a temporary leave of absence, he should do the honorable thing and step down.”

– Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, commenting on state Auditor Troy Kelley being indicted on federal charges Thursday.


The House unanimously concurred in the Senate amendments to House Bill 1440 Thursday. The bill, which now goes to the governor, would require police to ask judges’ permission to use cell site simulators, commonly known as Stingrays. The devices trick cellphones in an area into identifying themselves, allowing law enforcement to find suspects.


The House Finance Committee plans a public hearing on House Bill 2156, which would give cities and counties an array of new tax, fee and regulatory authority. The hearing is at 8 a.m. in Room A of the John L. O’Brien Building.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee will hear Senate Bill 6109, the Senate Republicans’ plan to address disparities in education funding cited in the landmark state Supreme Court McCleary ruling. The proposal calls for lowering the amount of property taxes that school districts can collect locally while raising the state’s common schools levy by a commensurate amount. The hearing is at 8 a.m. in Hearing Room 4 of the J.A. Cherberg Building.


The House has scheduled possible floor sessions on Saturday and Sunday. The Legislature is nearing adjournment of the 105-day session, which ends April 26.


The Joint Legislative Committee on Water Supply During Drought will meet at 9 a.m. to receive briefings on the status of water reservoirs and the impact of potential water curtailment to irrigation districts with junior water rights. The committee will meet in Hearing Room 3 of J.A. Cherberg Building.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee will hear several bills related to imposing a state capital gains tax. The committee meets at 10 a.m. in Hearing Room 4 in the J.A. Cherberg Building.


March of Dimes is having its annual fundraiser, March for Babies, Saturday at 9 a.m. at Heritage Park. Organizers are expecting more than 500 people to attend.