Sen. Mark Mullet lends support to electric car bill

February 25, 2014

Two bills have passed in Olympia that are designed to help level the playing field between auto manufacturers and dealers in franchise agreements.

Amended bills passed in the House (HB 2524) and Senate (SB 6272) that would allow Tesla Motors, manufacturer of electric cars, to continue and expand its system of selling cars directly from the manufacturer to the customer.

Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, said in a news release that he supported the legislation that passed Feb. 19.

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Open-records training could be legislated

February 11, 2014

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would send public officials and employees to what amounts to open-records school.

House Bill 2121 would require public officials and employees to undergo training on open government laws under the state’s Public Records Act and the Open Public Meetings Act.

When the public’s right to know is “stymied” by a public records officer, Rep. Gerry Pollet (D-Seattle) said, “it’s not a pleasant thing to deal with.” Pollet is the main sponsor of the bill, and advocated for a similar bill last year.

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Lack of revenue may lead to loss of bus routes

December 3, 2013

Issaquah’s free bus could be on the chopping block

Without funding, King County Metro Transit could leave Issaquah with only five bus routes next year.

As temporary funding expires in 2014, Metro Transit has reacted by exploring possible cuts to services. A state Legislature special session to pass a transportation package might still happen, but the regional agency is planning ahead for the worst.

“Unfortunately, as a result of the great recession, we’ve lost a considerable amount of the tax revenue that we use to operate our system every day,” Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond said in a video on Metro’s website. “We’ve raised your fare, we’ve spent cash, we’ve improved the efficiency of the system. But we’re running out of the cash reserves and one-time revenue to keep service on the road.”

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Traffic talks jam town hall

October 1, 2013

Traffic talks are in a jam.

To address ongoing transportation problems and lobby for a Legislature special session this fall, local and regional representatives met for a town hall Sept. 26. An overflowing crowd came to Issaquah City Hall to voice concerns about traffic and hear possible solutions.

Washington State Department of Transportation Regional Administrator Lorena Eng joined Sen. Mark Mullet, Rep. Jay Rodne, Rep. Chad Magendanz, King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah City Council President Fred Butler, former Bothell City Councilman Dick Paylor and North Bend Mayor Kenneth Hearing to have a discussion in an attempt to resurrect the failed Legislature funding package and hear citizen opinions.

By Peter Clark More than 70 people packed into City Hall’s Eagle Room Sept. 26 to ask questions of regional leaders on the state of transportation.

By Peter Clark
More than 70 people packed into City Hall’s Eagle Room Sept. 26 to ask questions of regional leaders on the state of transportation.

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New budget includes funding for state park projects

July 23, 2013

Though the state budget was slow to pass, Lake Sammamish State Park will benefit from the results of two legislative special sessions.

A total of $3.5 million will be allocated to improvement projects for the park from the 2013-2015 capital budget that passed the Legislature on June 27 and was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on June 30.

Freshman Sen. Mark Mullet (D-5th, Issaquah) championed the inclusion of the funding through the budgetary stalemate that came close to a state government shutdown.

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State Legislature restores some funding to schools

July 23, 2013

While some education backers are critical of the budget cobbled together by state lawmakers in late June, numbers show public schools will receive more money in the coming year.

Whether it’s enough money for the state to fully fund basic education needs is a question that hasn’t yet been answered.

The Washington Education Association issued a news release that says the state Legislature’s 2013-15 budget “falls far short” of meeting basic education requirements. In the McCleary vs. Washington case, the state Supreme Court ruled the Legislature must increase education spending and fully fund basic education by 2018.

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