Jerry Cornfield

Budget standoff leads to unplanned departures | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — Consequences of state lawmakers’ inability to bridge their differences, preventing passage of a capital budget and water rights bill, are far less theoretical… Continue reading

No big surprise here | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — It was going to happen eventually. A top-shelf member of Republican President Donald Trump’s administration is coming to Washington to share her convictions,… Continue reading

Nonbinding advice | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — Voters never got a chance to try to overturn new laws increasing the state property tax next year and imposing a sales tax… Continue reading

Raging over new road rules | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — The state’s new law targeting distracted drivers sure is irritating folks. What’s riled them is not so much the outright ban on use… Continue reading

Compromise deal proves elusive | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — Wednesday arrived with a sense of possibility that lawmakers could solve the two remaining riddles in this year’s legislating marathon. But by the… Continue reading

Agreement on state budget nears | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — One of the last pieces of the budget puzzle snapped into place Tuesday, sealed in Republican support for funding new state worker contracts.… Continue reading

School funding and tax debate continues as government shutdown nears | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — Any day now lawmakers will reveal how they solved the McCleary Rubik’s Cube. Democratic and Republican lawmakers have spent months twisting and turning… Continue reading

Taking control of sessions gone amok | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — Washington voters amended the state constitution in 1979 in hopes of bringing discipline to a legislating process run amok. Sixty percent of them… Continue reading

Here we go again | The Petri Dish

The process of shutting down state government is under way, again. At the direction of Gov. Jay Inslee, agency leaders are updating their contingency plans… Continue reading

Third week, monumental inactivity | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — Not a whole lot is going on around the Capitol these days as the first not-so-special session reaches the end of its third… Continue reading

Dumping Trump off the 2020 ballot | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — Some Democratic lawmakers want to know if they can legally keep President Donald Trump’s name off the ballot in Washington in 2020 if… Continue reading

See you at the ballot box | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — In the stack of bills awaiting Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature is what one supporter described as the “most progressive democracy measure” emerging… Continue reading

Get ready for overtime in Olympia | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — The countdown to special session is under way. Truthfully, it’s been going on for awhile among those in the fraternity of lawmakers, lobbyists… Continue reading

A puzzle with more than a million pieces | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — As eight lawmakers arrived at a conference room early Wednesday for another round of negotiations on public school funding, I welcomed them with… Continue reading

Ripe fruit on a rotten tree | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — After years of futility in targeting the wealthy, House Democrats may have divined an approach to achieve some of the political and financial… Continue reading

Republicans obsess over income taxes, unions | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — As the ruling majority in the state Senate, Republicans can bring up pretty much what they want on the floor when they please.… Continue reading

Bill comes due for the faithless | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — The next episode in a political drama sparked by President Donald Trump’s election will take place in a Tacoma office building Friday. There,… Continue reading

Vote never happens on death penalty law | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — A vote, up or down, on abolishing the death penalty in Washington. That’s what Attorney General Bob Ferguson wanted on the legislation he… Continue reading

Public schools: Who Should Pay More? | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — This may surprise you but one thing legislative leaders and the governor agree on is that new taxes are needed to help cover… Continue reading

Civic education is now the topic in Olympia | The Petri Dish

OLYMPIA — Maybe it’s the constitutional scrap incited by the McCleary school funding decision. Maybe it’s the constitutional commotion ignited by President Donald Trump’s travel… Continue reading