Tag Archives: Washington State Senate

Sheldon, Rolfes, take Senate leadership roles

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 Committee.

The party’s press release follows:

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‘Swift and certain’ parole program passes Senate

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.

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