December 10, 2012

Power-Sharing Coalition Forms in Washington State Senate

By Patrick Bell

State Senate Press Conference

Majority Coalition Caucus Press Conference in Olympia. Photo Credit: @AustinJenkinsN3.

At a press conference in the State Capitol today, Senators Rodney Tom (D-Medina) and Tim Sheldon (D-Potlach) joined with Republican senators to announce that they have formed a Majority Coalition Caucus to lead the Senate in the upcoming legislative session.

Coalition leaders said the public was hungry for a cooperative approach in Olympia, and pledged to unite behind a set of principles (PDF) signed by 25 state senators.

In terms of committee structure (PDF), the coalition leaders announced plans to form six committees with Democratic chairs, six with Republican chairs and three with co-chairs.

Under their plan, none of the committees will have more than a one-vote margin between Republicans and Democrats.

It remains to be seen how Senate Democrats led by Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) will react to today’s power-sharing proposal by the coalition.

UPDATE 1: Watch the press conference on TVW.

UPDATE 2: Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) issued a statement regarding the proposed organizing structure.

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