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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

Topic: Pat Sullivan

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February 5, 2015 at 9:00 PM

Vaccines, voter initiatives, energy: what Democrats said Thursday

For your pleasure, a trio of highlights that came out of Thursday’s state House and Senate Democratic media availability: 1. House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, says he anticipates support for a bill dropped Wednesday that would limit reasons for exempting children from vaccines. “When we look at exemption rates in [school districts] across the state, I think we’re all surprised…

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Comments | More in State Legislature | Topics: ballot initiatives, climate change, measles

December 29, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Lawmakers nix the session’s State of the Judiciary speech

State lawmakers have decided to forgo one custom that they’ve had since the 1990s: a State of the Judiciary speech.

The speech, given by the state Supreme Court’s chief justice, has been given at the start of every budget session – which is every odd-numbered year – in a joint address to the House and Senate. The practice goes back to at least 1995; here’s footage of the one given by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen in 2013.

In state politics, 2014 will go down as the year the court held legislators in contempt for not making enough progress to fully fund public education. Earlier this month, some lawmakers protested the court’s action by filing a bill to make court races partisan.

In a recent Facilities and Operations Committee meeting, lawmakers decided not to schedule the State of the Judiciary address. Legislative leaders, however, insist the decision is not in retaliation for the contempt ruling.

“I don’t think either chamber is eager to go after the Supreme Court,” said House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan,  D-Covington. “This is not a slap in the face to the court.”

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Comments | More in State Legislature, State Supreme Court | Topics: Mark Schoesler, McCleary decision, Pat Sullivan

November 18, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Little movement as state House Democrats elect their leadership

Going in to the 2015 legislative session, there looks to be no major shakeups in Washington state House Democrats’ leadership. Democrats once again selected Rep. Frank Chopp of Seattle to be their choice for House speaker, the most powerful position in the chamber, according to a release Tuesday afternoon from the party. Other senior leaders stayed in their posts,…

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Comments | More in State Legislature | Topics: Eric Pettigrew, frank chopp, Kevin Van De Wege