Governor signs same-sex marriage into law after Issaquah legislators support bill

February 13, 2012

NEW — 5 p.m. Feb. 13, 2012

Issaquah legislators joined Gov. Chris Gregoire to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington — a decision supporters hailed as an “historic” milestone.

Gov. Chris Gregoire

The governor, a Democrat, signed the legislation Monday as local state Sen. Cheryl Pflug and other supporters looked on from the packed State Reception Room at the Capitol.

The landmark legislation put Washington among the half-dozen states and Washington, D.C., to allow same-sex marriage, but the measure could face a challenge on the November ballot before any weddings occur.

“It is a day historians will mark as a milestone for equal rights — a day when we did what was right, we did what was just, and we did what was fair,” Gregoire said. “We stood up for equality and we did it together — Republicans and Democrats, gay and straight, young and old, and a variety of religious faiths. I’m proud of who and what we are in this state.”

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Most Issaquah representatives support ‘historic’ same-sex marriage bill

February 9, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 9, 2012

Republican Glenn Anderson on Wednesday joined local Democrats in the state House of Representatives to approve a landmark bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington.

Glenn Anderson

The lawmakers representing Issaquah in the House joined the majority on the 55-43 decision. The delegation is comprised of Democrats, except for Anderson and state Rep. Jay Rodne.

The legislation heads to Gov. Chris Gregoire. The governor, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill in the days ahead.

In the Issaquah delegation, state Reps. Judy Clibborn, Marcie Maxwell, Deb Eddy and Ross Hunter supported the legislation.

Rodne opposed the measure to allow same-sex marriage. The legislator, a North Bend Republican, asked for a referendum clause to send the issue to voters in November; the proposed amendment failed.

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Issaquah lawmakers invite residents to town hall meetings

February 7, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 7, 2012

Residents can join Issaquah legislators to discuss the ongoing session in Olympia at town hall meetings in Mercer Island and Newcastle soon.

Meet state Sen. Steve Litzow and state Reps. Judy Clibborn and Marcie Maxwell — 41st Legislative District lawmakers — at the Feb. 18 meetings. The sessions come as the Legislature confronts a $1.5 billion shortfall in the state budget.

The bipartisan delegation — Republican Litzow; Democrats Clibborn and Maxwell — plans to answer participants’ questions.

The morning meeting is scheduled for 10-11:30 a.m. at Hazelwood Elementary School, 7100 116th Ave. S.E., Newcastle. The afternoon session is planned for 1:30-3 p.m. at Mercer Island High School, 9100 S.E. 42nd St., Mercer Island.

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Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, lawmakers cancel events

January 18, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 18, 2012

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders and local lawmakers canceled planned Wednesday events amid a major snowstorm.

The chamber’s membership luncheon scheduled for noon had to be called off due to the weather. If attends prepaid for the event online, the chamber intends to issue a credit for another membership luncheon.

The chamber still plans to hold the I-90 Networking Breakfast on Friday, but chamber representatives said the schedule could change, depending on conditions.

State Reps. Judy Clibborn and Marcie Maxwell — 41st Legislative District Democrats representing West Issaquah — canceled a telephone “town hall” meeting scheduled for Wednesday due to concerns about transportation and weather.

The representatives plan to conduct a town hall-style meeting in person next month, and to reschedule a telephone “town hall” meeting for later in the legislative session or after the session concludes.

Issaquah lawmakers rank high on missed votes tally

June 14, 2011

The lawmakers representing Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District in Olympia ranked near the top for the number of missed votes during the 2011 regular and special sessions.
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State encourages hiring preferences for veterans

May 24, 2011

Issaquah attorney, lawmaker team up for groundbreaking legislation

Ted Wicorek (from right), J.W. Johnson, Booker Stallworth, Mike Gregoire, Gov. Chris Gregoire, Jim Robinson, Marjorie James, Rep. Jay Rodne, Sen. Jeff Baxter, David Black Jr. and Tom Hinman at the Wednesday signing ceremony. Contributed

David Black, a respected employment attorney and Issaquah resident, remembers the challenges his father, a Vietnam War veteran, faced after returning to the civilian workforce.

“He had a really hard time getting employment when I was growing up,” he said. “I remember him having three or four part-time jobs trying to piece something together, trying to make things work.”

Black stood alongside Gov. Chris Gregoire, state legislators and advocates late last month as the governor signed a first-in-the-nation measure to encourage private employers in Washington to hire veterans.

The legislation Black crafted and helped to pass enables private employers to voluntarily give preference to hiring veterans, or veterans’ widows and widowers.

Because the measure encourages, rather than requires, private employers to give preference to hiring veterans, the legislation does not run afoul of state or federal antidiscrimination laws. State law also prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants due to military status.

“The way to encourage positive employment regulation that has a social origin or a social benefit as well is to make it permissive and to encourage it,” Black said.

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Press Editorial

March 8, 2011

Legislators need your input more than ever

State representatives will be more approachable than ever this Saturday, March 12. Constituents from both the 5th and 41st legislative districts might want to save the date for a face-to-face opportunity to share views about reduced services and possible fees now before the Legislature.

Your representatives are prepared to hear from you about increased classroom sizes in public schools, benefit changes for state employees, reduced road maintenance, tolling of the two Lake Washington bridges, user fees/permits for state parks, increases in college tuition, a proposed new tax district to pay for ferries, closure of mental health facilities, loss of state sponsored health insurance for children and myriad other issues heavy on your mind.

Hearing from the voters is what will help drive the tough decisions legislators are contemplating now to address a $4.6 billion deficit in the 2011-13 state budget.

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Meet legislators at town hall meetings Saturday

March 7, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. March 7, 2011

The bipartisan delegation representing the 41st Legislative District is hosting town hall meetings Saturday.

State Sen. Steve Litzow, a Republican, and state Reps. Judy Clibborn and Marcie Maxwell, both Democrats, represent western Issaquah, including Talus and other Cougar Mountain communities.

Meet the delegation at meetings scheduled for 10 a.m. at Hazelwood Elementary School, 116th Ave. S.E., Newcastle, and for 1:30 p.m. at Mercer Island High School, 9100 S.E. 42nd St.

Citizens can receive updates about the ongoing legislative session, and share questions, comments and concerns about legislation, state government and issues affecting the district.

The state faces a $4.6 billion hole in the budget for 2011-13. Residents could face increased fees and reduced services from state agencies, and larger class sizes in schools as a result of widespread cuts.

5th Legislative District lawmakers also plan a town hall meeting at Issaquah City Hall on the same day.

Issaquah legislators receive assignments to influential committees

December 29, 2010

NEW — 4 p.m. Dec. 29, 2010

Issaquah legislators continue to pick up key committees assignments, lending area residents a stronger stake in education and fiscal matters.

Legislators return to Olympia on Jan. 5 for the regular session — and to confront a $4.6 billion budget gap.

Issaquah is spread across the 5th, 4lst and 48th legislative districts. The local delegation includes a half-dozen representatives and three senators.

State Sen. Steve Litzow, a Republican freshman from Mercer Island, has been named the ranking member on the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. GOP senators also selected Litzow for the Transportation and the Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance committees.

“Education is my No. 1 priority as a legislator,” he said in a statement. “During my campaign, I promised to put our schools first. I am honored that my colleagues have chosen me for this leadership role. I look forward to working with 41st District parents and teachers, and with stakeholders across the state on issues that affect our schools and our children.”

Litzow represents Cougar Mountain neighborhoods in Issaquah and other 41st Legislative District communities.

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Issaquah residents defied trends in November election

December 14, 2010

The ballot measure to create a state income tax failed just about everywhere outside of left-leaning Seattle and Vashon Island — except for a precinct nestled along Lake Sammamish.

Initiative 1098 received ironclad support — 80 percent — in the precinct. The catch: King County records indicate the precinct has 11 registered voters; 10 participated in the Nov. 2 election.

The information about the Lake Sammamish precinct comes from a detailed analysis of the precinct results in the recent election. (Issaquah is carved into 30 precincts.)

The neighborhood-level data — released a month after the election — illustrates how the Issaquah electorate bucked state trends on some issues and rejected incumbents even as the candidates cruised to re-election.

The dueling liquor initiatives on the ballot, 1100 and 1105, received uneven support from Issaquah voters.

Initiative 1100, a liquor privatization measure backed by Issaquah-based Costco — the largest employer in the city — received broad backing in the city even as the measure came up short statewide.

Initiative 1105 failed in every Issaquah precinct and only managed to garner 35 percent of the vote statewide.

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