State Government

The Aug. 17 primary election was a good one for the three incumbents – Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson and Rep. Reuven Carlyle – from the 36th District.

In the first counts released shortly after 8 p.m. Aug. 17, Kohl-Welles, a 16-year state senator, had 82.33 percent of the vote to challenger Leslie Klein's 17.14 percent.

Seven-term State Rep. Dickerson was showing 79.24 percent of the vote to challenger Jill England's 20.43 percent.

In his bid for a second term as 36th District representative, Carlyle, running unopposed, pulled in 97.25 percent of the vote.

Due to the state's top-two primary system, all candidates will move on to the November general election.

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Courtesy of Kohl-Welles, Carlyle, Dickerson

The 36th District incumbents – Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Rep. Reuven Carlyle and Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson – emerged victorious in the Aug. 17 primary.

On July 19, the Municipal League of King County released its nonpartisan evaluations of 122 legislative, judicial and local candidates, including the 36th District's four candidates for the Aug. 17 primaries.

In the race for 36th District Representative Position 2, democratic incumbent Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson was rated Very Good while her challenger, Republican Jill England, received a Not Qualified rating.

In the 36th District State Senator race, incumbent Democrat Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles was given an Outstanding rating while her challenger, Republican Leslie Klein, was rated Not Qualified.

To determine candidate ratings, volunteers throughout King County have joined the Municipal League's Candidate Evaluation Committees to study the public record, review candidate questionnaires, speak with references and conduct interviews with candidates, according to a Municipal League of King County press release.

Committee members rate each candidate on four criteria: involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge. The possible ratings are: Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Adequate, Not Qualified and Insufficient Information to Rate.

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Courtesy of Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles/Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson

Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles of the 36th District were rated Very Good and Outstanding respectively by the Municipal League of King County July 19.

When Gov. Chris Gregoire stepped into the ring with Mayor Mike McGinn June 3 to spar over tunnel costs, the smart money was already on the Gov. Her many previous bouts gave her the advantage, and she slugged away at the new mayor while hardly breaking a sweat.

When she showed up for the fight, she already had the backing of the big money in downtown Seattle. McGinn, in office only half a year, may have underestimated the punch the diminutive governor packed.

McGinn's best shot was his objection to who would pay for cost overruns on the tunnel to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct. The city, already strapped for cash, was at risk because of the clause in legislation that bound Seattle taxpayers for overruns, McGinn said.

Gregoire was all swagger and bluster at the meeting, knowing she had both the backing of the Washington State Legislature and the Seattle City Council and was facing a rookie politician. She told the mayor that if he didn't like the Frank Chopp-inspired clause, to take it up with the legislature.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

On June 24, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles of the 36th District was awarded the State Poverty Action Network’s 2010 Leadership award in honor of her commitment to addressing poverty in Washington.

“Sen. Kohl-Welles has been a consistent leader in the legislature on issues that affect low-income families and children," Tony Lee, the State Poverty Action Network's policy director, said in a press release. "She has championed protections for victims of trafficking and people impacted by predatory lending practices. She has also been a leading advocate for increasing training and education opportunities for low-income parents.”

Kohl-Welles chairs the Senate Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection Committee that heard two key antipoverty measures during the 2010 session: Senate Bill 6252 and Senate Bill 6648. SB 6252 would have eliminated the use of credit scores to set insurance rates. SB 6648 would have required mediation between borrowers facing foreclosure and lenders.

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Courtesy of Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles

Citing her ongoing legislative efforts to curb human trafficking, Seattle Against Slavery honored 36th District Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles with its Lincoln Freedom Award June 10.

“The legislative accomplishments we have made over the years would have never come about without the tireless work from advocates and community organizations,” Kohl-Welles said in a press release. “The fact that this award comes from them, makes it even more special.”

Kohl-Welles was nominated for her legislative efforts and accomplishments in preventing and halting human trafficking beginning in 2002 with the enactment of her bill regulating the mail-order bride industry and former Rep. Velma Veloria’s bill creating the first state anti-trafficking task force in the country.

Washington still leads the country in legislative accomplishments, according to the press release.

Most recently, Kohl-Welles sponsored Senate Bill 6330 which authorized the Washington State Department of Transportation to work with human trafficking advocates to place informational posters on trafficking at rest areas throughout the state.

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Courtesy of Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles

By Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles

The 2010 regular and special legislative sessions have adjourned. While we worked diligently to complete our work by March 13, it turned out that 60 days was not enough time to balance our budget while facing a historic revenue shortfall.

In no uncertain terms, we had to completely rewrite our biennial budget. After closing a revenue gap of more than $9 billion in 2009, we had to fill another $2.8 billion hole during the 2010 legislative session.

As demand for public services grew, we cut more than any legislature in state history. While businesses lose customers during tough economic times, there is greater demand on government for public services. Need for health care, emergency assistance, job training and state financial aid increase, just as our ability to pay for them decreases.

Last year, we cut $4 billion from valuable government services. For the first time since 1951, the two-year budget we approved was smaller than the preceding budget.

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Courtesy of Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles

The Washington State Department of Transportation awarded Skanska USA Civil the construction contract for the State Route 99 South Holgate Street to South King Street: Stage 2 project.

Skanska, based in Riverside, Calif., submitted the low bid of $114.6 million. The bid was 25 percent under the department's $152.6 million estimate.

“It’s official," Paula Hammond, Washington Transportation secretary, said in a Department of Transportation press release. "This summer, we’ll begin work to replace almost half of the aging and seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct. This work is vital to public safety and will also ensure that traffic, goods and services continue to move across the region.”

Drivers won’t see any major construction closures or detours until early next year. State Route 99 will remain open to traffic during construction.


The 34th District Democrats endorsed Marcee Stone for 34th District Representative Wednesday night May 12 at their monthly meeting. She got 80 votes, Joe Fitzgibbon got 42 votes. Michael Heavey withdrew from the process because he knew in advance that it was not likely he would get the endorsement. He will, however continue to run for the office.

The meeting became heated when West Seattle resident, Bill Hoffman, running against Jim McDermott U.S. Representative 7th District, was given 2 minutes to speak with the hope he would receive a co-endorsement with Jim McDermott. He asked for more time to speak but due to procedural regulations his request was denied. He complained that McDermott was already nominated in advance, due to a procedural exception made, which the 34th District Democrats have acknowledged is true.

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Photo credit: 
Steve Shay

Marcee Stone won the endorsement of the 34th District Democrats in her effort to become the new state representative from the district at the monthly meeting over challenger Joe Fitzgibbon. Michael Heavey withdrew from the endorsement process earlier. She is pictured here moments after the endorcement vote totals were anounced.

The state's 60-day legislative session ended April 13 after an extra 30-day session to work on the budget. Six days later, the state delegation from the 36th District – Rep. Reuven Carlyle, Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles – held a town hall to discuss the budget and how its legislation fared.

The mood from the delegation surrounding the budget was grim, and none of the three seemed pleased with the budget cuts and revenue increases that were settled on. Though, Dickerson tried to lighten the mood, doing her best Bruce Springsteen impression before moving on the the issues at hand.

Kohl-Welles said she is not happy with the size of the reductions in essential services, art and higher eduction. In order to preserve as much funding in those areas as possible, the legislature had to raise revenue, she said.

Cuts to the budget still overshadow new revenue sources. For every $1 raised in new revenue, $4.40 was cut from the budget, Dickerson said.

Dickerson said nobody likes voting for tax increases, and there weren't a lot of good taxes they voted for this session.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Jean Darsie from Ballard addresses Rep. Reuven Carlyle, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson during a town hall meeting April 19.

The Green Party of Washington State will hold its Campaign Skills School and spring convention Apr 17 and 18 in Ballard at Trinity United Methodist Church, located at 6512 23rd Ave. N.W. Registration will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m.

The Campaign Skills School is not just for candidates and will be presented by former Ballard resident Brent McMillan, now executive director of the Green Party of the United States, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuition is $25 to $50 on a sliding scale with no member turned away for lack of funds.

The second part of the school will be held Sunday morning near downtown Ballard.

The convention will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Attendance is free with donations accepted.

The convention is a chance to hear about local success stories and from Green Party candidates, nominate candidates for the state coordinating council and delegates to the national party, and consider Green Party of Washington State bylaw amendments.

Information on local offices up for election will be available.

For additional information call 360.683.0867 or email Mail may be addressed to GPoWS, PO Box 95575, Seattle, WA 98145.

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