We’ll have a full story on this. Senate Democrats are seeking a
more cooperative chamber with Republicans this year. The party
announced its leadership today. Republicans can object, and they’re
scheduled to pick their leadership on Wednesday.
Locally the new Democratic leadership in the Senate means more
work for state Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch. Sheldon said a couple
years ago he was removed from an energy committee by former Senate
Majority Leader Lisa Brown. With Ed Murray in charge, Sheldon is
back on that committee and is also the party’s pick for President
Pro Tempore, which means he holds the gavel when Lieutenant
Governor Brad Owen can’t.
Sheldon said Brown and Murray just have different styles.
State Sen. Christine Rolfes will chair the Environment &
Growth Management Committee following state Sen. Sharon Nelson’s
placement as Vice-Chairwoman on the Senate Ways & Means
The party’s press release follows:
In March we had a story about the state
Department of Corrections program that would be part of a number of
changes affecting Kitsap County jail. The program passed the state
Senate today. I’ll post the Senate Democrats press release after
this little comment.
Kitsap Sun commenters caught the quote from Chad Lewis, state
Department of Corrections spokesman, who said Corrections
considered the program because it would cost less to implement how
it handles parole violators now. What commenters apparently missed
was the second part.
Lewis said the new, less expensive, program works better.
Hence the reference to the Pew Center on the States study that
reported the same program in Hawaii meant violators were “less
likely to be arrested for a new crime, to use drugs and to have
their probation revoked.”
Because commenters missed or ignored that part of the story, the
ongoing argument was over taxes, budgets and liberal and
conservative spending values. That argument was not completely
inappropriate, because the state did go into this looking for cost
savings, which means the corrections budget is being cut. And it
does translate to bad news for the county, because there is less
money for the budget.
Still, did the point “It costs less and works better” pass by
everyone? Did I write the story that badly? Be honest.
In some ways I thought this was a good news story, though
clearly it’s tough for the county jail to be counting on less
money. The positive, though, was in someone’s ability to take
advantage of a crisis, to find a solution perhaps no one would have
sought had there not been a problem.
Apparently the state Senate thought it was a good idea. The bill
allowing for the program passed 43-2.