by Carl, 01/02/2013, 9:01 PM

As the new year comes, I write the annual what-do-you-want-from-the-upcoming-legislative-session? piece. It starts on the 14th, and I think this year it’s more defense than it has been in the past. Hopefully education won’t be hurt too badly. Hopefully social services won’t get slashed too much. There’s still a Democratic governor (albeit one who campaigned against raising taxes) and a Democratic House, so hopefully the damage won’t be too severe.

I’m planning to be a bit more activist on HA than I have in the past. So I’ll be encouraging y’all to write to or call your electeds. Maybe letters to the editor (do people still do that?) and other ways to get involved.

In that spirit, I’m going to be emailing lefty/civic groups the following questions:

1) What do you want from the next session of the legislature?
2) What are the prospects for making that happen?
3) How can the Horse’s Ass readership help?

I figure most won’t respond, but a few might. If there’s anyone you want me to email, let me know. If there are any issues you’d like me to push, let me know.

14 Responses to “The Upcoming Session”

1. bex spews:

I think I’d like to see Washington State continue to lead the country with good ideas… like perhaps some campaign finance reform that doesn’t violate Citizens United. While we’re at it, how about a carbon tax? British Columbia did it… Also, encourage “smart” development state wide, but especially in Seattle proper. We don’t want it to turn into suburban sprawl like Silicon Valley.

Prospects? Unknown. I don’t have a feel for how bold Olympia wants to be.

How can we help? Probably just the names/emails/phone number of who to contact about it all.

2. headless lucy spews:

“I figure most won’t respond, but a few might. If there’s anyone you want me to email, let me know.”

I’m on board. An issue that I’d like to hear more about is voter fraud vs election fraud

3. Michael spews:

1) What do you want from the next session of the legislature?

The State Supreme Court isn’t real thrilled with the Ledge and their lack of K-12 funding. So, I guess there’s that. So far Inslee hasn’t been much better than the Ledge, but he’s not even in office yet so I’ll cut him some slack for now.

We also need to get tuition at state schools back down to a reasonable #.

State parks have been underfunding for going on two decades now and have been severely under funded every since we went with pay to play. Since all the evidence pointed to pay to play being enough funding and they did it anyway, maybe CT scans are in order to see if those who voted for it even have brains.

There’s the fucking coal trains that need to be stopped.

In light of tanking suburban and exurban housing markets we really need to take another look at the GMA and maybe ratchet it down a little bit. Or maybe rising gas prices and the tanking markets took care of wiping out sprawl for us? Anyway, we need to look at how to go forward from here on the housing front. And despite what our leaders and newspapers tell us, we’re never going to get the world back to being just like 2003 ever again.

Crashing VMT, car ownership numbers, and a growing average MPG mean really need to take another look at how we’re funding highway repairs. At some point the gas tax just isn’t going to cut it anymore. I don’t know where we’re at on that and since WSDOT’s numbers are full of shit I doubt Olympia does either.

4. Michael spews:

Speaking of brain scans, I left out a word.

Since all the evidence pointed to pay to play NOT being enough funding and they did it anyway, maybe CT scans are in order to see if those who voted for it even have brains.

5. Michael spews:

And could we, please, finally put the nails in the coffin of this albatross and burry the fucking thing once and for all?

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR704/CrossBase/

The End Result
When complete, the Cross-base Highway (SR 704) would provide regional travelers with a new six-mile-long, multi-lane divided highway beginning at the I-5 Thorne Lane Interchange at the west end, connecting to 176th Street at SR 7 at the east end.

This new alternate east-west route would ease congestion on I-5, SR 512, SR 7 and Spanaway Loop Road by providing a route through Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

6. ArtFart spews:

Fight sprawl in the Seattle area? Sorry, the horse has long since left the barn. Worse yet, Bellevue and the developers have already earmarked the Northrup Way/Bel-Red corridor, which used to be the anchor of the “high-tech belt”, for transformation into the next Ballard, or worse yet, the next Renton.

I doubt highly that there’s a chance in hell of stopping the coal trains, but maybe we can hope to get the hopper cars covered, and perhaps wangle some public/private funding of upgrades so as to allow freight and passenger services to coexist.

Education should be Priority Number One for the Legislature. If they can’t figure that one out, the current membership should go to jail for flagrant violation of state law. Furthermore, allowing tuition at land-grant institutions to rise to Ivy League levels has become not only a state but a national disgrace.

Finally, someone (and this probably means the governor) needs to muster the guts to fire Paula Hammond.

7. Brenda Helverson spews:

Make lawyers pay license fees directly to the State instead of their private club, just like Doctors, Dentists, manicurists, and hairdressers.

8. wharfrat spews:

I have not been back in the state long enough to get a feel for the political landscape [left in "97 from Seattle and moved back in 2012 to Keller]. My interests are rural development, water, energy and ag policy; education, especially Career and Tech Ed and STEM education; smashing imperialism.

9. Serial conservative spews:

I’m curious as to how green energy will fare in the next couple of years. I’m about to put nearly 6kW of panels on the roof. I think it’s idiotic. Taxpayer and ratepayer dollars go to people like me who can afford to do this because it pencils out as a payback in as little as 5 or so years, after which there’s still the benefit of more taxpayer and ratepayer dollars for the system.

Idiotic. The money should go to Prius and Focus purchases, which actually measurably reduce fossil fuel use.

We already have a Prius.

Anyway, how much more money will be funneled to industries that wouldn’t exist if there weren’t perpetual subsidy?

Planning to buy/read Inslee’s book. Maybe the answer is in those pages.

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

@9 Living off taxpayer subsidies, I see. We should have known. But then, I think we always did.

11. Serial conservative spews:

@ 10

What was that you were saying about absence of content, RR?

12. rhp6033 spews:

I would like some teeth put into laws relating to big pharmacy businesses operating mail-order prescription business.

A recent trend is for such pharmacies to use your authorization to receive medical info to find out from your doctor’s office about all your prescriptions, and which other pharmacists are filling them. Then just when a prescription expires (or isn’t refilled immediatly), they call the doctor’s office (on your behalf) and ask that the prescription be renewed and directed to them, instead. They also do the same with prescriptions you initially authorized them to fill, except they send re-fills without your authorization, and call your doctor’s office to request the prescriptions be renewed when they expire.

In one recent case, they sent out a re-fill of a prescription which was over two years old, harrassing a doctor’s assistant to authorize it’s renewal. And once they have your credit card, they will charge it.

The companies say you can “opt out” of their automatic refill plan, which they claim is a “customer convenience”. The problem is, all attempts to “opt out” never work for long – the account reverts to the default after a few months, or some prescriptions are “missed” when the instructions are given not to automatically refill instructions or use the credit card are given.

The California Insurance Commissioner and Attorney General are looking into complaints against CareMark, a division of the giant CVS pharmacy chain, but the company is denying that they have any authoritity to do so because there are no laws banning the practice.

13. ArtFart spews:

@12 There seems to be another issue in that big drugstore chains won’t fill prescriptions for more than a 30-day supply…which forces their customers to come into the store more often, and presumably buy more other stuff (cosmetics, stationery, junk food, booze, etc.)

14. Serial conservative spews:

@ 13

I was told by the drugstore it was my new insurance carrier’s policy.

My meds are cheap. I purchase my own from a wholesaler and pay out of my own pocket because I’d rather do that than have to show up once a month for refills.