Over on his blog, Postman asks “What really doomed Senate vote on school bill?” — and while he presents an interesting exploration of the politics that led to its failure, the simple answer is: Sen. Ken Jacobsen (D-Seattle).
As a constitutional amendment the bill requires 33 votes to pass. (It would then need to be approved by a simple majority of voters at the polls.) The bill failed 30-17 after Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D-Spokane) shifted her vote in a procedural move that enables her to recall the measure for a later vote.
Sure, the Republicans reneged on a deal that would have assured passage, but the only vote that really matters now is that of Sen. Jacobsen. A careful observer will notice that only 48 votes were cast, with Sen. Paull Shin (D-Edmonds) absent on a trip to Korea. One can reasonably expect that should the measure come up a second time, both Senators Shin and Brown will vote for the bill. Assuming no other senator switches sides, that leaves Sen. Jacobsen with the deciding vote.
Jacobsen says he’s holding out for a measure giving Seattle schools an extra $30 million, and no question I hope he gets what he’s asking for. But I’m not willing to scuttle our best shot at removing our ridiculous 60-percent supermajority requirement for school levies. And hopefully, when push comes to shove, neither is Sen. Jacobsen.
Time to start pushing and shoving.