Hello Loyal Readers,
For those of you just tuning in, it is time for our Friday Odds and Ends! Most Fridays, I put up a smattering of smaller stories and tidbits that are news, but covered elsewhere or just not big enough to justify a unique post. So without further ado, the Odds and Ends.
First, as a teaser for my upcoming interview with Rep. Jeff Morris. As I’ve done with Rep. Kris Lytton, Sen. Doug Ericksen and Sen Kevin Ranker, I am doing a review of Rep. Morris’ legislative efforts and he was willing to spare a few minutes on the phone to talk about his efforts. During our conversation, I asked him about how the Inslee administration is doing.
“The good news is that he is much more engaged with the legislature. I’ve had more time with Inslee in the last six months than I’ve had with Gregoire in the last eight years.”
I’ll have that, and much more, in my Jeff Morris legislative review; it goes live this weekend.
You might have heard that the state Supreme Court finally rendered their verdict on the 2/3rds majority rule. Tim Eyman’s favorite initiative, passed by the voters of Washington a couple of times, required a 2/3rds majority on every tax increase. This skewed the balance of power in the state legislature, giving a minority veto power over the wishes of the majority. There was a lawsuit, and finally the state Supreme Court weighed in and said it violates not only our constitution but the principle of one person, one vote. This would make the sixth initiative that Tim Eyman has written that has been ruled unconstitutional.
Finally, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed the House today. This bill, which provides legal protections and resources for women facing domestic violence, has a whole slew of local connections. It was championed by our senator, Patty Murray, and is often name-checked by Rep. Rick Larsen as one of his priorities (you can find his interview here where he blasted his 2012 opponent, Dan Matthews, for opposing it). Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Spokane) attempted to strip the protections for LGBT, Native Americans and immigrants out of the bill, but was denied. Freshly minted Rep. Suzan DelBene, who campaigned tirelessly on this issue, co-sponsored the legislation. When it passed, she sent out this statement,
Congress did something right today and I am very proud of it. We passed legislation that will help save lives and protect victims of domestic violence.
Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives came together in a bipartisan vote this afternoon to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This clears the way for this important legislation to be signed into law by President Obama.
When I came to Congress, I was proud to become an original cosponsor of a bill to reauthorize and expand the Violence Against Women Act to include provisions that would better address domestic violence in tribal communities and for immigrant women as well as add protections for gay/lesbian victims.
Thank you to all the Congressional Critters who made this possible, it is fantastic to see Washington standing up for women (except for you Rep. McMorris-Rodgers, shame on you).
That’s it for today, stay tuned for more great material in the week to come. As always, if you feel particularly inspired by a blog post, you can throw a few bucks my way to cover the costs of keeping this site up and running.