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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Old Number 6638: Finally Passed Still Trying to Pass, Like a Kidney Stone

posted by on March 13 at 13:02 PM

That arts funding bill in Olympia I keep hollering about? It finally passed the House. And our much-maligned Representative Chopp even voted yea.

(Quick history: The bill, Old Number 6638, will shunt some money, originally meant to pay off the soon-to-be-paid-off Kingdome, to arts funding, especially 4Culture. It glided across the Senate floor [44 yea to 5 nay] glissaded through the House Finance Committee [7 yea to 2 nay], then got stuck in the House Rules Committee, run by our much-maligned Representative Frank Chopp. Somehow, it was wrested from Rules and onto the floor, where it passed by a less-resounding 67 to 30.)

Read the whole bill history, in romantic legislative shorthand, here.

So who voted nay? Who hates art?

Mr. Alexander, a Republican from the Centralia territory:


Mr. Sump, a Republican from Kettle Falls/Omak territory:


Mr. Hinkle, a Republican from Thorp/Yakima territory:


And a few other Republicans and two Democrats: Tami Green, from the Fort Lewis territory:


And Kelli Linville, from Bellingham territory:


I’ve got a call out to Linville to ask why she—the representative from Bellingham? Home of bluegrass bands, potheads, a liberal university, the Marrowstone Music Festival, and the comic geniuses of the Cody Rivers Show?—hates art.

UPDATE: Re-cork the champagne. Old Number 6638 has not passed. Its amended version (which makes 6638 law only until June 2009—that is, only for a year) is on the Senate floor for vote now. Why it has been amended to only be law for a year (that is, effectively neutralized) is a secret.

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Bellingham seems a lot more like private art territory. either appeal to the yuppies in fairhaven or you will drown

Posted by vooodooo84 | March 13, 2008 1:14 PM

Wow. I'm convinced that Tami Green is a man.

Posted by Mr. Poe | March 13, 2008 1:24 PM

I'm shocked, especially with all the gay Republicans, that they hate art so much ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 13, 2008 1:25 PM

Poetry on Buses is part of 4Culture, a big recipient of this money. Still think they're crazy to vote "no".

Posted by Dougsf | March 13, 2008 1:28 PM

Bellingham is a small part of the 42nd district, and is kind of conservative on the whole anyway. 42nd district also houses conservative strongholds like Lynden, Everson, and Ferndale as well as a lot of unincorporated Whatcom county areas.

Posted by w7ngman | March 13, 2008 1:28 PM

Just as importantly, this bill also helps funds heritage projects. Many of our local historical socities and museums would not be as strong as they are today had they not received 4Culture grants over the years. The passage of this bill is very good news for those who care about local history.

Posted by Alan J. Stein | March 13, 2008 1:34 PM

@ 4: Yeah, 4Culture has funded some stinker projects, but they're better to have than not—especially in the fight to preserve and cultivate arts spaces like Washington Hall.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | March 13, 2008 1:46 PM

I suspect Green and Linville got passes to vote no from Chopp, because they have challenging races coming up. By voting against something that might seem frivolous to more conservative voters, that eliminates one hit piece that could be sent out against them.

Posted by ahava | March 13, 2008 2:06 PM

@4 - I was just reading some of that on my way home from Girls Rock!

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 13, 2008 2:08 PM

what, no Mr Haney, Mr Ziffle or Mr Drucker?

Posted by michael strangeways | March 13, 2008 2:13 PM

@8, it's unlikely Kelli will tested in the 42nd - she's nigh bullet-proof.

Posted by try again | March 13, 2008 2:13 PM

There's no need to extend the bill past June of 2009...every idiot knows the Rapture starts that month.

Posted by michael strangeways | March 13, 2008 3:13 PM

I think I know where part of Chopp's $20 mm increase to the low-income housing bill is going to be coming from -

- 'cause yeah, gutting a few $100K from arts programming to pay for low-income housing, rather than say, a few million from subsidies to rich corporations, *cough! building industry! cough!* makes perfect sense.

Posted by COMTE | March 13, 2008 3:44 PM

Maybe it wasn't about they were against art as actually maybe ending a tax that is now being used for something completely different than what it was started for. Maybe those people were actually for ending a tax.

Wow, amazing thought, lets end a tax thats actually fulfilled its purpose of paying off the debt the tax was started for.

Calling them anti art is crap.

Posted by Brian in Seattle | March 13, 2008 4:07 PM

The amended bill passed today in the Senate. Just in case any of ya'll want to know.

Posted by done | March 13, 2008 8:21 PM

Green's district is in south Pierce County. Not only does it have a high proportion of military folks who hate paying taxes even though they do plenty of sucking off the public teat themselves (I say this as a former military brat), it was also a reliably Republican district for a long time. Green was the first Dem to have been elected from the district in ages and the two elections that she's won have been so close that the automatic recount procedure has kicked in each time. She has to walk a very fine line on what tax bills she votes for.

Posted by celyn | March 13, 2008 11:13 PM

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