Gov. Jay Inslee to set a date for special session: Inslee told lawmakers to expect a call back to Olympia after they failed to pass a new law to criminalize the act of possessing a drug. Since then, local elected officials in King County, Seattle, and other jurisdictions have pitched their own drug policies to replace the statewide law, which is set to expire in July.
In a press conference after the session ended, Inslee made it sound like he wouldn't set a special session until lawmakers had reached a deal on the possession law. But on Monday, State Representative Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) said legislators were “still pretty divided." Maybe Inslee is announcing a date without a deal because local officials are making him look bad for "inaction." Maybe he just missed 147 of his closest friends. Maybe he's changed his mind and wants to just decriminalize already. Jails and prisons are bad for the environment, Mr. Governor. Plus what do you care? You aren't even running again.
But Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is "exploring" the idea: The state's top prosecutor announced his "exploratory committee" for Governor in a news release Tuesday, according to KIRO 7. His campaign will kick off with a statewide listening tour. Now I have to decide what era of Ferguson I want to attend as. Probably his Lover era, when he sued the florist that wouldn't provide flowers for same-sex couple weddings.
Meanwhile, Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz will have something to say on the topic soon:
Stay tuned. Big announcement coming soon…#watchthisspace— Hilary Franz (@hilaryfranz) May 2, 2023
Speaking of the session: Rich did a whole rundown of the bills lawmakers did and didn't pass this year. Peruse the (lack of) new taxes, gun bans, as well as enough money to fund about a tenth of the affordable housing we needed. Sick!
Also, a little more from Rich on the May Day protests: A few hundred people showed up to march for the cause of labor and immigrant rights in El Comté's May Day rally at the Federal Building. En route to Judkins Park, speakers for the Raise the Wage Renton campaign, which is gathering signatures to put a $19 minimum wage on the ballot in that city, encouraged the crowd to sign onto to the effort. Others called for better conditions for nurses, farmers, teachers, and everyone else who makes the world run.
Cops had the whole gang out:
SPD is not understaffed.— DivestSPD (@DivestSPD) May 1, 2023
Sooooo many cops were posted up downtown for the annual May Day protest doing nothing for $55/hr (average). Several squads of bike cops. The *entire* motorcycle unit. Three vans full parked on 3rd. https://t.co/l1ShmTy7J3
Seattle settles lawsuit with employees who exposed Mayor's deleted texts: The two former public records officers for then-Mayor Jenny Durkan helped uncover the deletion of thousands of text messages from Durkan, former Police Chief Carmen Best, and current Fire Chief Harold Scoggins during the summer 2020 protests. After the two employees made a whistleblower complaint in 2021, they said they faced retaliation and hostile work conditions. The parties filed a settlement notice in King County Superior Court last month, however neither side has shared details of the settlement, according to the Seattle Times.
Quick reminder: While Durkan's phone was set to delete some text messages automatically after 30 days, which is still against the law, someone manually deleted others. As the Times' Daniel Beekman reports, "Anyone who willfully destroys a public record that’s supposed to be kept is guilty of a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison."
Today’s story, w/@DBeekman, centers on the iPhone’s “keep messages” setting for its text messaging app. Below is mine. If I try to switch the “forever’ setting to 30 days, it warns “This will permanently delete all texts... older than 30 days.” pic.twitter.com/NockNsPUrc— Lewis Kamb (@lewiskamb) May 12, 2021
Washington makes hazing a felony: Inslee signed a bill Monday to strengthen anti-hazing laws in the state, according to KING 5. Lawmakers named the bill after Sam Martinez, who died in 2019 after a night of hazing at a Washington State University fraternity. The new law raises hazing to a gross misdemeanor, and prosecutors can charge people with a felony in cases where hazing leads to serious injury or death. Washington is now the 15th state to make hazing a felony.
Watch your head, Joe: The U.S. is set to run out of money to pay its bills on June 1 as the country spends toward its $31 trillion debt ceiling. Though they raised the debt limit without incident during Trump's presidency, now the GOP is holding the global economy hostage to get the Biden's administration to make spending cuts and to rollback some of his recent legislative accomplishments, according to the Washington Post. Biden initially rebuffed the GOP, but now he's buckling. He's agreed to sit down and negotiate with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other congressional leaders next week.
A search for two missing Oklahoma teens turns up seven bodies: While searching a rural property, authorities found seven bodies, including two missing teenage girls and a convicted sex offender who was sought along with them, according to the Associated Press. Local authorities did not share details about how they died. The two teens, 14-year-old Ivy Webster and 16-year-old Brittany Brewer, went missing earlier in the day Monday, but by the afternoon local law enforcement cancelled the missing endangered person advisory.
Met Gala's Hunger Games-esque parade of opulence: I mean, I'm going to look at all the outfits as well. But also, maybe go check out climate.gov today. Donate to a penguin. I don't know. Something other than reward rich people for just being rich.
The Montana State Legislature is officially going full fascist: Last week, Montana State House Speaker Matt Regier expelled transgender State Representative Zooey Zephyr from the House floor, so she started doing her work outside the chamber on the bench. The ACLU of Montana is suing on Zephyr's behalf to force the House to let her back in the chamber.
Meanwhile, House Judiciary Chair Amy Regier, Matt Regier's sister, banned the Montana Press Corps from taking laptops into the committee meetings.
Some folks showed up early this morning and sat on the public benches near the entrance to the House, so Seat 31 has moved.— Rep. Zooey Zephyr (@ZoAndBehold) May 1, 2023
I'm up and ready to work. Plus, I hear stand desks are all the rage these days. pic.twitter.com/Nu8TEo50FJ
On that note, I leave you with some soft lady jams for your drizzly gray Tuesday morning. xoxoxxoxoxox