Topic: Sen. Don Benton
You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
April 25, 2013 at 5:54 PM
The GOP-led majority in the Senate held a preemptive news conference Thursday to blame Democrats for potentially dragging the Legislature into special session – four days before the regular session is set to end.
“We are calling on the House of Representatives to do their job,” said Senate Deputy Republican Leader Don Benton, of Vancouver. “The Senate has done its work.”
Benton and other members of the GOP-controlled majority caucus said they’ve passed all the bills needed to wrap up the state operating budget and blamed House Democrats for not moving on them.
Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray, who held his on news conference afterward to respond, said Republicans have been out of power so long they’ve forgotten how to govern.
“You are not governing if you say here is my budget, we’re done,” Murray said, noting it’s the majority’s job not only to pass a budget in the Senate but also to compromise with the Democratically controlled House to pass a budget there.
Republicans took control of the state Senate, for the first time in eight years, on the first day of the session when Democratic Sens. Rodney Tom, of Medina, and Tim Sheldon, of Potlatch, crossed party lines to caucus with the GOP.
Legislative leaders have not officially said there will be a special session, but have strongly indicated it’s likely.
Sheldon and Benton on Thursday also said that if Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee decided to wait a few weeks before calling a special session, it would be for political reasons.
“I’ve got to say that frankly I smell a rat. I think it’s politics … There are individuals running for offices,” he said, referring specifically to Murray, who is running for mayor of Seattle and cannot raise money for his campaign while the Legislature is in session.
Murray said he’s not worried about going into a special session and that his campaign would do fine regardless.
David Postman, a spokesman for Inslee, said the remarks were out of line.
“To claim outright there is some ulterior political motive on the part of others demeans them. That’s not what this is about and they should not be talking like that,” he said. “They said it about the governor and said it about other people and they know that’s out of line.”
January 31, 2013 at 7:24 PM
A number of bills before the state Senate could relax regulations on Washington motorcycle riders, allowing them to ride without helmets and sometimes drive through red lights.
Senate Bill 5141 would allow motorcyclists to proceed through red lights, in certain instances. Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, said he filed the bill because many motorcycles aren’t heavy enough to prompt weight-triggered traffic signals. Riders would be able to proceed through red lights if they wait a full signal cycle and the light doesn’t turn green.
Capt. Rob Huss, a spokesman for Washington State Patrol, said his agency opposes the bill because it could cause unnecessary accidents. More than 30 motorcycle advocates attended the hearing to support the bill, including Larry Walker of the Washington Road Riders Association.
“We end up sitting in a traffic signal with absolutely no way to get out of it,” Walker said.
Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, filed House Bill 5143 allowing motorcyclists 18 and over to ride without helmets. Several motorcyclists spoke in favor of the bill, including Confederation of Clubs of Washington spokesman David Devereaux, who said the current law mandating helmets was a “violation of privacy.”
Health-care and traffic-safety advocates also testified, but in opposition to the bill. Dan Overstreet of AAA Washington said passing the bill would be irresponsible, as motorcycles account for 3 percent of vehicles in the state, but 14 percent of accidents.
January 23, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. NBC and the Wall Street Journal took the opportunity to offer a poll that shows a new majority now favors abortion. The poll is interesting, because poll numbers on this topic have been bopping around in recent years. Take a look.
Joe Biden and 2016. One natural way to amuse oneself during a long day of inaugural festivities is to ask: Is Joe Biden having such a good time that he is running for president in 2016? That’s what roughly half the crowd was wondering this week.
What do you think? Look at that expression.
Guns and Congress: There has been talk that some Democratic members of Congress might be soft or softening on gun legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will not duck this difficult issue. Reid did not specifically address the assault weapons ban. He said lawmakers would go deep on the subject. Hard to say what that really means.
Does Rodney Tom match his district? State Sen. Rodney Tom is one of the best-known state lawmakers this session, partly because of his decision to break ranks with his fellow Democrats and join Republicans in forming a leadership arrangement in the Senate, the majority coalition caucus. Democrats are not happy with him. But even critics concede Tom is in sync with his Eastside district on tax increases. PublicCola took a look at voting in the recent election by legislative district and found Tom’s voters agree with him on Tim Eyman’s tax-limitation measures. Sync is sync.
A fee on lobbyists. Once again, state Rep. Jim Moeller of Vancouver is introducing a bill that would slap a fee on lobbyists and politicians — the money would go toward improving the Public Disclosure Commission’s online presence.
The Seattle Times politics team has a new Facebook page, and we are eager for friends and likes.
January 22, 2013 at 11:35 AM
While the rest of the state celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, state lawmakers worked through the holiday and filed a number of bills on topics ranging from veterans to motorcycle helmets.
On Monday, state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, filed Senate Bill 5143, which would remove mandatory helmet use for motorcycle riders age 18 or over. So far, the bill has bipartisan support; three of 11 sponsors are Democrats.
Attending state universities and community colleges could become much easier for veterans if legislators approve Senate Bill 5179, filed by Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds. The bill would eliminate the one-year waiting period required for veterans to become eligible for in-state tuition.
A bill filed by Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, would provide short-term and crisis care for children removed from their homes by child care and law enforcement authorities. House Bill 1261 states that placing a child in foster care can sometimes take several days, and the centers created by the bill would give a children a place to stay while their needs are assessed. So far, Hope is the bill’s only sponsor.
January 21, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Good Morning. Happy MLK and second inaugural day.
President Obama will be sworn in (again) to his second term today. Here is a link to the schedule, the ceremonial swearing in, the festivities, all of it. Question: Is there an excitement/enthusiasm gap between this inauguration and Obama’s first one in 2008? You make the call. Update: Swearing-in just concluded. What did you think?
Chris Christie, bad boy of the Republican Party. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seems to be enjoying the heck out of his penchant for going rogue on his own party. Last week, he did it again, telling the National Rifle Association it was way out of line running an ad about Obama’s kids and public safety measures provided at their school.
Gender gap and conservatives: It’s no secret that the Republican Party has a gender gap problem. Women favored President Obama pretty significantly in the recent election. In fact, the gender gap was described as historic. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is featured in a Talking Points Memo piece about conservative women tackling the GOP’s problem with women voters.
State Sen. Steve Litzow: State Sen. Steve Litzow made noise in the Legislature when he put his name on a bill requiring reproductive parity. He is co-sponsoring the legislation along with state Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens. Litzow is clearly a moderate Republican, rising in his party. The Reproductive Parity Act was an issue in his recent re-election campaign. Even though Litzow is pro-choice, he voted against the bill amid the budget coup last year. Some Democrats tried to make that into a big issue. Litzow is featured as PubliCola’s lawmaker at the center of the action.
Other lawmakers in the news: State Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, does not want light rail on the new bridge crossing the Columbia River to Oregon. He is quite serious about this, having proposed legislation last week to make sure it doesn’t happen. His co-sponsor is Sen. Ann Rivers of La Center.
We really appreciate all of you who have “friended” or liked our new Facebook page, and, of course, we invite more of you to do the same.
January 18, 2013 at 2:26 PM
State legislators have no shortage of things to do this session. One week into the session,more than 350 bills have been filed. While some of these bills will never see the light of day, there are a few stand-outs:
Legislators from both the House and Senate filed bills regarding “voluntary termination of a pregnancy,” otherwise known as abortion. HB 1044 filed by Rep. Eileen Cody, D-West Seattle, and SB 5009 filed by Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, and Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island, would require that certain healthcare plans providing coverage for maternity care provide coverage of abortion.
Numerous bills regarding sex offenders have been introduced to the House and Senate this session, including SB 5094, sponsored by Sen. Kirk Pearson, D-Monroe. This bill calls for school districts to notify parents, legal guardians, students over the age of 18 and school personnel if a level II or III sex offender is enrolled at any school, college or university. Necessary personnel determined by the school district or Department of Public Safety, would be notified if a level I sex offender is in attendance.
In an attempt to reform social services provided by the state, Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, introduced HB 1190. The bill would require that certain recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, a Department of Social and Health Services program providing families in need with temporary cash and medical assistance, be subjected to drug tests. Current state law only requires that recipients deemed drug or alcohol dependent participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program.
Republicans in both the House and Senate filed bills regarding identification cards for undocumented immigrants. Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, filed HB 1041, which would require driver’s license and identification card applicants to provide evidence of a valid Washington residential address. The Department of Licensing would then mail the newly-issued card to that address. Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, filed SB 5012 which would require people obtaining or renewing state driver’s licenses to show proof of U.S. citizenship, residency or a valid visa.
About this blog
Trending with readers