March 19, 2010

The "dadgummit" legislative news


There isn’t much to report. But the governor has made two pieces of news you might be interested in:
  • The governor signed into law E2SHB 1560, the bill allowing our higher education members a bigger say in how they bargain. That is having an immediate effect on the Federation. On Wednesday, the existing Higher Education Coalition voted to use the new law to split bargaining. So that coalition no longer exists. The 12 Community Colleges will now bargain as the Community College Coalition. The four-year universities that were in that coalition (Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College and Western Washington University) now have the option of bargaining separately or in a coalition of the four schools. That decision hasn’t been made yet by the member from those four schools.
  • It appears legislative leaders are negotiating a final budget and revenue package. It’s unclear if they can get it done this weekend as the House leadership apparently wants under pressure from Gov. Chris Gregoire. Thursday the governor used strong but clean language to express her frustration.
“Dadgummit, get it done,” she told reporters, using an expression made popular in the 1960s by Hoss Cartwright, a character on the popular Western TV series of the time, “Bonanza” (because the phrase “Yer durn tootin’” had already been taken by Gabby Hayes, a popular Western star of 1950s TV).

Gregoire                         Cartwright                                                         Hayes

So it’s not clear if lawmakers will actually be on the floor Saturday and Sunday. Whether they are or not, you are encouraged to call and e-mail them. You can’t call the Legislature’s toll-free message hotline because it is now closed on weekends.

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