Friday, May 1, 2009

Hands as props, taking off our pants, President Truman and other quotable moments

Legislators spend a lot of time on the House floor, and they spend a lot of time talking.

With 98 people talking endlessly for hours on end, funny stuff gets said. On both sides of the aisle.

Rep. Jeannie Darneille has become a bit famous for her compilations of funny quotes and mishaps on the House floor. Below is a small sampling for your reading pleasure.

President Truman was a fan of mine. - Jim Moeller

Mr. Speaker, I suggest that we will need to take our pants off. We’ll need to take our pants off and buy a pair that is about three sizes smaller. This is not a sufficient belt tightening bill, Mr. Speaker. - Gary Alexander

The first speaker did a good job of explaining the bill. Now I’d like to re-explain it. - Larry Crouse

This bill will help small mayors. - John Driscoll

I’m happy to speak eloquently on this issue. - Christine Rolfes

In the interest of brevity, I’ll try to be brief. - Ross Hunter

This bill is about service dog training for state employees. - Sam Hunt

Mr. Speaker, I’d like permission to use my hand as a prop. - Brad Klippert / Be careful about your gesture. - Jeff Morris

We’re just clipping the hair off the fur ball of government, cutting something that doesn’t work anyway. - Hans Dunshee

Since this is an elevator bill, you can either vote up or down. - Joe Schmick

Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask for a “no” vote on whatever it is we are debating. Because I’m tired, I’m going to sit down and ask you to vote “no.” - Tami Green

There was a drafting error on this amendment. It has my name on it. - Larry Seaquist

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The amendment adds a certain je ne c'est qua to the bill. - Ross Hunter

(Want a few more? Joe Turner at the News Tribune also reported on a selection of Rep. Darneille's compilation here.)

Governor signs Hudgins bill promoting greater e-cycling

In 2007, Americans discarded TVs, computers, cell phones, and all of their accompanying accessories totaling about 2.5 million tons, according the US Environmental Protection Agency. Among their components are several toxic substances, including lead, mercury, cadmium and brominated flame retardants. And those numbers are unfortunately only growing.

To tackle the growing problem, Rep. Zack Hudgins led an effort last year to establish an e-waste program that provides manufacturer-funded free recycling of computers, monitors, laptops, and televisions for households, charities, small businesses, school districts, and small governments.

Since the program began, Washington consumers have recycled over 9 million pounds of electronics.

A detail left unclear in the law, however, left electronics-collecting businesses uncertain about what to do with fully functioning computers. After meeting with and receiving feedback on the program, Hudgins revisited the issue this year, introducing House Bill 1522 that allows electronics-collecting businesses to sell or donate fully functioning computers before relying on recycling.

So while supporters hovered close by to take in the ceremonial moment, Governor Chris Gregoire signed into state law Wednesday Zack's bill supporting greater re-use and recycling of electronics and component equipment.

“This is smart public policy, and a win-win for our state," said Zack. "Not only are we keeping harmful toxins out of landfills, we’re helping support a small but growing green business that’s creating more and more jobs.”

For more information on the How's, What's and Where's of E-cycling in Washington, visit the state Department of Ecology’s website here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chirp chirp

C'est la interim... members are back home and lobbyists are scattered to the winds, leaving the House of Representatives building feeling very, very empty save for a skeleton crew of caucus staff.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Finally. Sine Die.

We made it. Barely.

After an intense final day, the House and Senate adjourned sine die early this morning. Legislators are leaving Olympia with a balanced budget and some big wins under their belts including passage of the basic ed funding bill, expansion of rights for domestic partners, strengthening of payday lending regulations, and more.

If you watched us on TVW last night, or followed legislative news in the blogosphere, you know there are still some issues left on the table. Legislators will have to come back for a special session but as of 10:41 this morning we don't have any details on when that will be.

Many legislators will now be packing up and heading to their district offices. And catching up on sleep.

(Photo from Seattle Times photo gallery)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Heading down the home stretch

Today is the 105th day of the 105-day legislative session and bleary-eyed members of the House are gearing up for the final push to Sine Die. The biennial operating and transportation budgets have already been sent to the Governor's desk, along with hundreds of other bills.

Still be be resolved, however, are disagreements between the House and Senate over amendments hung on one another's bills, and passage of the bonds needed to support the capital and transportation budgets.

Stay tuned!