News One That Got Through. One That Didn’t
posted by February 28 at 14:00 PMon
Today is deadline day in Olympia—that is, all bills in policy committees (not ways and means, appropriations, or transportation) need to get out of committee today, or else they’re dead. Fiscal bills and transportation bills have until Monday, March 5.
The Democrats have successfully moved a lot of high-profile bills to the floor: Children’s health care, domestic partnerships, accurate sex ed, closing the gun-show loophole, and regulating condo conversions (although progressives are still trying to amend that one to cap the number of conversions). And they failed on some other fronts, like payday-loan interest-rate caps and environmental safeguards for South Seattle.
The crazy Sonics $300 millon subsidy is a fiscal bill and has until the 5th.
Two of my favorites had different fates today.
One bill I was smitten with early in the session, Representative Maralyn Chase’s (D-32, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park) cap-and-trade bill, has been effectively obliterated by Governor Christine “Strategic Plan for Future Action” Gregoire’s hot air about hot air. Perhaps I’m being too harsh—Gregoire has shown a serious attempt to tackle the problem of the day—but I’m disappointed that Chase’s effort to enact a specific solution pronto has been iced for now.
My other favorite bill, SeaTac Representative Dave Upthegrove’s (D-33) student press bill is very much alive, and already lined up for a second reading in the Rules Committee.
Representative Upthegrove’s bill would raise the hurdle that school admistrators must meet to justify censorship of high school and college papers. It would, as states are allowed to do, provide more protection for students than the federal guarantees contained in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1988 Hazelwood standard. Hazelwood holds that the adminstration simply has to find an educational purpose for censoring stories, including demonstrating that the article in question may disrupt the educational environment. Upthegrove’s bill pushes a tougher standard, the Tinker standard (from a 1969 Supreme Court ruling that was upended by Hazelwood) which gave student speech the same First Amendment guarantess that exist in the real world. It’s a sentimental fave of mine, and, as a story in today’s new Stranger shows, germane.