Follow us:

Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: Rodney Tom

You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.

July 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Poll: Should Washington lawmakers fine themselves for working overtime?

Senate Majority Coalition Caucus Leader Rodney Tom wants to motivate lawmakers to get their work done on time or face fines. Sounds like a gimmick. A bad one that doesn’t reflect much pride in the final budget passed by lawmakers earlier this month.

Majority Coalition Caucus Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, meets with student lobbyists from the University of Washington to discuss higher education. (KEN LAMBERT/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Majority Coalition Caucus Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, meets with student lobbyists from the University of Washington to discuss higher education. (KEN LAMBERT/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

The Washington Legislature certainly tested our patience when they failed to reach a budget deal by the end of the regular session. That they teetered on the edge of a government shutdown is unfortunate. But there’s a bottom line: The final bill lawmakers passed turned out to be better than the alternatives considered in earlier weeks. (Why? Read more analysis in this July 2 editorial commending lawmakers for finding the “political center” in the final bill.)

Here’s an excerpt from Seattle Times reporter Andrew Garber’s Wednesday news story:

Tom created a buzz after broaching the idea of a $250-a-day fine for each day lawmakers go past the time allotted in the regular session.

“We need a forcing mechanism, and right now, there really is not one,” Tom said Tuesday. “I think it’s crazy that it comes down to notices to state workers that we’re going to shut down state government as the only forcing mechanism that gets us out of town.”

House Appropriations Chairman Ross Hunter, D-Medina, disagreed with Tom’s idea. “I just don’t think it works,” Hunter said.

Is Tom trying to apologize in some way for taking too long to adjourn sine die? They definitely took way too long to compromise, but I don’t buy the idea that lawmakers will ever penalize themselves for taking a few extra weeks to understand a complex state budget that affects millions of Washingtonians over two years.

More

Comments | Topics: Rodney Tom, state budget, Washington State Legislature

February 25, 2013 at 7:00 AM

In defense of the Washington Senate’s rogue Democrats

My column in Monday’s Seattle Times newspaper expresses disappointment in the Washington State Democrats’ recent tactics against rogue state Sens. Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon. Democrats take pride in making room for everyone — unless you’re a fiscally conservative state senator named Rodney Tom or Tim Sheldon. “Call out Tom and Sheldon for the traitors that…

More

Comments | Topics: democratic party, democrats, legislature

January 31, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Snarky social media critiques of state Legislature

Corrected version Beware the Undead. Especially in Olympia. The anonymous satirical blog Undead Olympia is head clown in a snarky, funny class of social media commentary that has emerged this Legislative session. The blog first arose from the grave in 2011 to skewer state budget cuts. On its about page: With our State Legislators ready to drive people closer…

More

Comments | Topics: Jay Inslee, Rodney Tom, Washington State Legislature