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More Toxic Chemicals

In 2007 I passed a bill I had worked on for 3 years, banning a toxic flame retardant called PBDE in Washington. This year a group of legislators is working on a different compound – Bisphenol-A. It’s found in polycarbonates and other hard, clear plastics, and like PBDE, it damages…


Taxable Retail Sales

Cindi Holmstrom, the Director of the Department of Revenue, sent me this chart and the associated comments last week. It’s a sobering indicator of economic conditions. Taxable retail sales provide a strong indication of the economic conditions in the state of Washington. The chart below illustrates the decline in retail…



Viaduct Proposal – Deep Bored Tunnel

Governor Gregoire announced a proposed solution to the viaduct problem today, and I think she’s got the best of a bad bunch. Click here for her press release. She proposes building a “deep-bored” tunnel under Seattle. I’ve tried to stay out of Seattle’s design decisions because that keeps their members…


Worth Reading

Michael Lewis (Liar’s Poker…) has a great op-ed in the New York Times this week about the total lack of adult supervision in the other Washington and the culture that makes getting along with Wall Street more important than actually regulating them. It’s awful to think that this kind of…


2009 Legislative Agenda

This year will be particularly difficult due to the national economic disaster. Unlike the federal government, Washington is required to have a balanced budget. Our budget situation is dire, and will require dramatic measures. I try to be organized about how I approach a legislative session, particularly one as difficult…


Global Warming – Cap and Trade?

Last year the legislature instructed the governor to negotiate our entry into the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) and come back with a plan we would have to approve. She has, and now we get to make some very big choices for Washington and the rest of the country. The WCI…


Unwinding the Stadiums

Lo these many years ago the Kingdome was created, and it was good… but only if you liked watching baseball in a concrete mausoleum. Since then we’ve built Safeco Field, Qwest, the remodel of Key Arena, and a convention center. The Kingdome was blown up, but the taxes that paid…


Initial Thoughts on the Budget

At the time I write this the national economy is in free-fall, with banks and other businesses failing right and left. The car companies may be next. So far the two biggest employers in WA — Boeing and Microsoft — are still in good shape, but there are concerns if…


Seat Belts in School Buses

I reacted the same way many of you did when I heard from my son about the Bellevue High School football team bus rolling over – I was horrified. We followed the news all afternoon via phone from the Tacoma dome where he was waiting to photograph the game. (Check…