January 11, 2016
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Changing faces: Rep. McDermott retires from U.S. House; new lawmakers appointed to Legislature

The election year is off and running. U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott announced his resignation last week, leading to interest from a number of politicians interested in a once-in-a-generation opening in this heavily Democratic-leaning district.

On the state level, pollster Stuart Elway announced that “Gov. Jay Inslee has a race on his hands” after a new statewide poll found that Inslee had only 39 percent support for his reelection – a relatively low number for an incumbent less than a year before the election. Challenger Bill Bryant, with low name recognition at this point in the campaign, was just nine points behind Inslee, Elway wrote. With 39 percent for Inslee and 30 percent for Bryant, “a whopping 31 percent are undecided,” The Seattle P-I wrote, noting that Inslee’s job approval rating is in steady decline.

In legislative news, Noel Frame was appointed to the state House in the 36th Legislative District, moments after Sen. (formerly Rep.) Reuven Carlyle was sworn in to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeanne Kohl-Welles, who was elected to the Metropolitan King County Council.

Former Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, announced last week that he will run for Superintendent of Public Instruction. He joins three other declared candidates for the seat being vacated by retiring incumbent Randy Dorn.



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Costly Carbon Cap Sends Money Elsewhere


Ecology's Carbon Rule: A Money Transfer from Washington to California and Wall Street

By the Washington Climate Collaborative

Washington is one of the lowest-carbon states in the nation when it comes to emissions from road vehicles, electricity generation, manufacturing, or commercial and residential buildings. A combination of forward-thinking policies and innovation has reduced our carbon emissions below what they were in 1990 and created a clear and downward trend into the future. We fully expect the state to meet its emissions goals for 2020, which is to have Greenhouse Gas emissions reduced to 1990 levels. All of us -- families, farmers, workers and employers -- are invested in protecting our environment, and it shows in the many ways this success has been achieved.

The reality of this makes Gov. Jay Inslee's proposed carbon cap all the more puzzling. A year ago, he submitted a cap and trade proposal to the Washington State Legislature that would have created a $1.3 billion energy tax on Washington consumers. His most ardent supporters in the Capitol saw the problems with implementing this policy, and his proposal failed to even get a vote.

Click here to read the full blog post from the Washington Climate Collaborative
The TPP is Good for Washington

Ratify Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact

By The Herald Editorial Board

More than 40 percent of all jobs in the state are tied to trade, reports the Washington Council on International Trade. The state Department of Commerce reports that state exports topped $90.5 billion in 2014, a 10 percent increase over 2013. On a per capita basis, the state agency says, Washington state is the nation's largest exporter.

Washington state and many of its businesses and workers now also stand to benefit following the completion this fall of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement among the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries, the largest trading partners being Japan, Australia, Canada and Mexico. President Barack Obama is expected to put the pact before Congress later this year for either its approval or its rejection.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Herald
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