Recent History

I misplaced my local politics links folder a couple weeks back, but found it this weekend. So here goes:

The Washington State Democrat Senators decided to declare war on working mothers:

During a mid-afternoon session, as the Senate was debating a routine series of bills, Holmquist Newbry left the floor to care for her four-month-old son Makaio, who had been brought to the women’s lounge off the Senate floor. Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, moved to excuse Holmquist Newbry from voting. That meant the majority coalition had 24 votes, not 25, and they were tied at least temporarily with the Senate Democratic Caucus.

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, took advantage of the moment. He rose to demand an immediate vote on a bill sponsored by a Democrat that did not appear on the afternoon schedule.

The unusual motion quieted the chamber. Members rushed to their seats. Frockt demanded a roll-call vote. The assumption was that Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat, would cast a tiebreaking vote to advance the bill to the floor.

Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus voted yes as their names were called. Members of the Majority Coalition Caucus voted no. And just in time, Holmquist Newbry emerged from the lounge to cast her vote. The motion failed 25-24.

The Democrats not being very democratic. Go figure.

Also, somebody needs to take some remedial math:

The state’s budget shortfall grew by $301 million Thursday, in part because the state miscalculated how much money it would save by moving certain Medicaid patients to managed care.

The hit means the budget shortfall lawmakers must close is now roughly $1.3 billion. And that’s not counting additional money the state Supreme Court says the Legislature must put into education.

Yes, in Washington State the courts get to tell the legislature how much is enough when it comes to education funding. I’m sure that’ll work well.

The state saved around $60 million because fewer people than expected got services from an array of state programs. However, the miscalculation of Medicaid savings and some other factors represent a $361 million hit, for a net impact of $301 million on the state budget.

One cost driver is related to a decision by the Legislature in the last budget to move around 90,000 blind and disabled people on Medicaid from a fee-for-service plan to a managed-care plan, state officials said.

“We did not get anywhere near the savings in making this big change that we thought at the time we made it,” said David Schumacher, the governor’s budget director.

Analysts say the Legislature had little data to go on when it projected how much money would be saved by switching patients to managed care. And the estimates turned out to be wrong.

Writing your budget based on less than even an educated guess: The Democrat way!

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