Taking a break from the Capitol, Washington state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, explains why she keeps a caricature of herself in her office depicting her as a vampire. She also explains why she thought it was so important to crack down on mobile phone use in vehicles this year, and how the Legislature is and isn’t like the TV show “House of Cards.” Plus: What she thinks about the former senator who referred to her as a “trashy, trampy mouthed little girl,” and whether the Legislature will agree on a budget in time to avoid a government shutdown. Filmed June 21, 2017 at the River’s Edge sports bar in Tumwater.
Washington State lawmakers, state workers and social service agencies are all keeping a close eye on the Washington Legislature's third special session to reach an agreement on a budget and avoid a partial government shutdown.
Don Benton, a former Republican Washington state senator, talks about his new job leading the U.S. Selective Service System, which registers men for a nonexistent military draft. He also talks about why he likes taking the metro in Washington, D.C. (even though he's fought light rail at home), why he no longer works at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and what really happened when he allegedly called another lawmaker "a trashy, trampy mouthed little girl." Also, he corrects what he says is fake news about his military record. Filmed at Crown Bar in Tacoma, Washington, on June 13, 2017.
This week, state Rep. Eileen Cody, D-Seattle, explains how she won lots of free beer during her college days in Nebraska, and why it remains hard to convince women to run for public office. We also talk about basketball, jelly beans and how Washington state could be affected by the health care debate in Congress. Filmed Tuesday, June 6 at The Spar Cafe in Olympia.
According to a video posted on his Facebook page in early April, Port of Tacoma Commission candidate Jim Jensen lamented that the controversial methanol plant was scuttled. He said the China-funded plant was a missed business opportunity at a campaign visit.
State Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, gets grilled by reporter Melissa Santos on why lawmakers are still in Olympia more than a month after they were supposed to have adjourned. Along the way, he explains how he got fired from being Duke's Blue Devil mascot and what he thinks the Legislature needs to do to comply with a court order to fully fund public schools. Filmed while chowing down on tater tots (and fries) at Charlie's Bar and Grill in Olympia on May 24, 2017.
State Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, talks with reporter Melissa Santos about how to be one of the best-dressed at the state Capitol, how he underestimated Washington state's state's love of marijuana and what kind of tax policies he prefers to comply with a court order to fully fund public schools. Also, he gives his predictions about flying cars and the date of the Legislature's final adjournment, all over a basket of tater tots (and a vegan hash). Filmed May 22, 2017 at King Solomon's Reef in Olympia.
State Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood, talks with reporter Melissa Santos about his bill to build students' media literacy and offers tips for spotting fake news -- all while chowing down on totchos. Also: the state Senate's history of heavy drinking, and Liias's predictions for whether the Legislature will adjourn before he has to shave his beard for the summer. Filmed May 16, 2017 at the lounge at King Solomon's Reef in Olympia.
On our third episode of Capitol Happy Hour, state Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, explains what it means to be the Senate's majority floor leader, and why he thinks people in Washington state – especially new parents – need paid family leave. Also: Why Fain gave his colleagues sand that one time, and why he was once considered part of a Senate boy band. Plus, the best dipping sauces for tater tots. Filmed May 10, 2017 at Charlie's Bar and Grill in Olympia.
Washington state lawmakers are at an impasse when it comes to negotiating a new two-year budget that fully funds public schools. As opposed to sitting down and talking, they're venting their frustrations through posters in the Senate wings.
Lawmakers may be under a court order to fully fund public schools, but that doesn't mean most of them are at the Capitol tackling that issue. Halfway through a 30-day special session, only a few lawmakers are locked in meetings to respond to the state Supreme Court's order in the McCleary case. Most are back home in their districts, leaving the Legislative Building eerily quiet for a time when so much is at stake.
Reporter Melissa Santos sits down with freshman state Rep. Morgan Irwin, a Seattle police officer, to get his take on proposed changes to Washington's law on police use of deadly force. Is our state's bar for prosecuting police too high? Also: Can millennials really not find stamps when it comes time to vote in Washington's all mail-elections? And what's the most embarrassing mistake he's made in his first few months at the Capitol? As always, there are tater tots. Filmed May 2, 2017 at Charlie's Bar and Grill in Olympia.
State Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, sits down with reporter Melissa Santos to eat tater tots and talk about why the Legislature is in overtime, again. What happens during the first week of a special session? When will the Legislature actually agree on a budget? Also, how the TV show Law and Order informs Jinkins' work chairing the House Judiciary Committee, and why she spends time at the Capitol photographing crazy socks. Filmed April 27, 2017 at Charlie's Bar and Grill in Olympia.