Posted by: sweeneyblog | June 8, 2013

State Republicans Evasive At End of Special Session

Kevin Ranker

Sen. Kevin Ranker’s reaction to the Republican budget proposal

Things are looking grim for our state legislature as they frantically try to come to some sort of agreement about the budget in the last three days of the special session. With the deadline fast approaching, you would think the Republican-controlled Senate would be hard at work, but apparently Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-40th) had to force them to stay on the job. Speaking via his facebook page, he described his experience Thursday night.

Last night, after returning to Olympia from the memorial for Trooper Sean O’Connell, I found that the Republicans were planning on adjourning the Senate for multiple days! This just four days before the end of Special Session! Senate Democrats have repeatedly stated that we do not feel it is appropriate to “take a day off” when we are so close to extremely serious impacts of a government shutdown if we don’t finish our work soon. Further, my seatmates Kris Lytton and Jeff Morris, together with other house Democrats were at the same time working tirelessly to pass off the House floor a genuine compromise!

As the only Senate Democrat still on the floor, I reminded them that our caucus did not support wasting another day of work, and told them I would object to their motion to adjourn for multiple days based on a lack of a quorum being present on the floor. Under our Senate rules, without a quorum the only option available is to adjourn until the next day. With only a few of their members present, and no where near a quorum of 25, they could not override my objection.

So, I sat on the Senate floor for hours while they hoped I would need a bathroom break, etc. No one else present, just me sitting at my desk, threatening an objection with staff and house members encouraging me from the wings… waiting for the Republicans to agree to continue to do our work. In the end, they did agree to adjourn to today. However, they adjourned until 4 pm — basically guaranteeing no real work could be done.

Shortly after adjourning the Republican-controlled Senate, led by former Democrat Sen. Rodney Tom, gave perhaps one of the weirdest press conferences I have seen in a long while. Sen. Tom seemed completely unaware of the details of the House Democratic budget, which is rather odd, since he should be negotiating with them over what version goes forward to Governor Inslee.

Watch the video here

Hopefully everyone will negotiate in good faith and we will have a workable solution soon, but judging by the general disarray of one branch of our government, I do not have high hopes.

One thing does remain very clear, I almost made it through an entire article without mentioning Sen. Doug “Love My Free Lunch” Ericksen. Well, I tried.

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Responses

  1. Has anyone yet tried to calculate how much money the R’s have cost taxpayers in the last 2 years with their obstructionism leading to special sessions? How about drafting Darcy Burner to run for Rodney Tom’s seat?

    • That is hard to calculate but just taking into account Republican legislator’s salaries over the last two years (not counting benefits), that is just over $500,000. This doesn’t count benefits, staff salaries or missed opportunities, only straight paychecks.

  2. Good for Kevin Ranker. He has the ethics and fortutude to do what is right for the state. The Republicans are nothing but obstructionists in both the State and Federal Government. They are trying to stop governance from taking place. They are a disgrace and are against everything the founding fathers wanted for this country. As for Rodney Tom, if you have no loyalty for your own party, you won’t be loyal to anyone. Any way you want to put it, he is a “turncoat”. As a military man I sure wouldn’t want him to be on my team. Who knows what he would do next. He is a Republican so why doesn’t he just change party and put a good Democrat in his spot. The Republicans, aka Teahadists, both State and Federal are just trying to bring our state and country down


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