Friday, March 5, 2010

Is Washington State Senator Rodney Tom Trying to Kill the Arts Bill?

I look at the 12 Floor Amendments he piled on House Bill 2912 and that is the effect, isn't it?
If you have contacted Sen. Rodney Tom
By Phone
Olympia Office: (360) 786-7694
Or by E-mail:

Did he say he wanted to kill this bill, does he have a reason for trying to kill it?
[edited to add an answer from somebody else]
That's a "No", the bill is turning into a bit of a Christmas Tree. Rodney Tom is playing Secret Santa.

Whatever it takes, I guess.


Peter said...

i noticed on ed murray's admendment that "capital improvment or replacment projects can be done as long as they are owned by a public stadium or facility district." would keyarena count? it says "replacement projects" but i thought you said there wouldn't be enough money for a new arena. i don't think anything will pass this year, but i am trusting BR when he says the goal was next year.

Mr Baker said...

Tax professional athletes to pay for facilities, that is what it looks like.

Peter said...

"Tax professional athletes to pay for facilities, that is what it looks like."

That's rodney tom's admendment, right? i don't think it will pass. are you trying to say that is ed murray's solution?

Peter said...

i just read ed murray's admendment. there is nothing about taxing pro athletes in ed's admendment. just rodney tom's admendment.

Peter said...

if ed murray's admendment passes into a final bill, could we use that money for keyarena? you did say "go, ed murray, go" not once but twice.

Anonymous said...

Hey Peter - Whey you say " but i am trusting BR when he says the goal was next year." --- who is BR?

Mr Baker said...

Hey Anonymous, who are you?
Who is asking?

Mr Baker said...

I am saying that Ed Murray has substituted the bill on the Floor, and it looks like Rodney Tom is slicing up the revenue in order to build a majority vote.
Ed Murray's bill identified a Public Facilities District. Go look at amended HB 3027, is also mentions a PFD.
It looks like they are constructing a PFD made up of taxes on the athlletes to pay for those facilities. A 10% B & O tax on pro players to pay for that stuff, fair enough.

My worry is that the Christmas Tree could get so covered that you have something for everybody to like, or something for somebody else to hate.

Politicly, it is very tough to do.

Good luck.

Mr Baker said...

HB 3027, I see the amended the "eminent domain" away from the PFD, and to the county. Good move, otherwise you are setting up appointed boards to take land, and that is a sure trip to court. Problem solved.

The thing in that bill that is really amusing is that if Seattle does not take on its share of density then they could slip below having enough population to keep as much representation as they could have.

Talking about density, and then passing laws that prevent teardowns without filing a rebuild plan, is just empty talk. Seattle either has to grow up or give up power.

Mr Baker said...

I guess if Hunter has a Floor amendment then 3027 will be on the floor pretty soon.

Mr Baker said...

I wonder how much money workforce housing can get out of 2912, the first go round it looked close to 100 million, the stripping of the other taxes by the house blew that out of the water, now many of those taxes are back and are getting sliced up. There still has to be a ton of money for that, good for them.

Mr Baker said...

The transportation facilities district bill (SB 6774) passed back out of the house the same day a bill in the Senate allows a splintering revenue efforts for transportation HB 2179 (supplemental transportation funding).

Pick a policy.

Peter said...

"Ed Murray's bill identified a Public Facilities District."

yeah but in 2912 the public facilites district is mentioned right by "capital stadium improvement or replacment projects" in ed murray's admendment.

Peter said...

"A 10% B & O tax on pro players to pay for that stuff, fair enough."

does anyone think ANY sports league will go for this? i think if they try to do this, we could be having trouble with the m's and seahawks too.

Anonymous said...

Mr. B - your head spinning around yet? :) this is why they say legislation is like sausage making.

I haven't been able to check the site much or read the bills, etc. Can you give me a quick drive-by as to where we are?

Anonymous (the other one, not me) - BR is Brian Robinson of Save Our Sonics.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anonymous for the BR info. To answer Peter....I'm a 40 year old artist in Seattle and I'm really upset that this bill has gone sideways. I'm just trying to understand who all of the players are.

Mr Baker said...

"artist", SB 6051 did not correctly identify Yakama, so, that really hurt that bill. So, Ed Murray gutted HB 2912 and replaced it with the corrected text from SB 6051.
I think the plan was to go ahead with that until the settlement between the hoteliers and the state was reached in HB 3027. I think at that point enough people wanted the state to get all the way out of being in control of hotel taxes.
Well, look at what was actually passed by the house and see that there are things in that bill they will not pass a bill without. The workforce housing part was not part of SB 6051, I just don't think Frank Chopp was going to let 6051 pass, with or without Yakama being in it.

If you remember, Frank Chopp said he would get something done last session and he broke his word. It is not beyond him to kill SB 6051 and push that out another year, again.
He did the same thing last year with HB 2252.
Ed Murray countered last year with SB 6116, as he did this year with the way HB 2912.

Rodney Tom is shopping for enough votes to get this passed by both houses.

To the other Anonymous.
I thought this could happen, and think this is the only way to get it passed this year.

Mr Baker said...

Artist, fwiw, I do agree with you. That is why I put up this thread.

A bill that funds one thing might pass, or it might get hammered on the House Floor, again.

Putting all these other things on it trying to make everybody happy runs the risk of making somebody else unhappy.
Does a majority see the thing they like and vote for the bill, or do they see other things and vote no?

My sense is that Ed Murray will strip out the amendments that tip the bill toward a no vote.
They already effectively stripped out Husky Stadium with one amendment.
They have already applied a tax to pro sports entertainers to isolate stadiums and arenas from the rest of the revenue from that bill.
I think those two things actually work in favor of 4Culture. SB 6051 was so broad that you would be depending on the whim of the King County Council to satisfy all of the competing interests.

I think the groundwater part is out if bounds, and could be challenged on the floor. Some of the others are questionable, and mostly look like talking points to make conservatives happy to know that their ideas got an up or down vote.

I think if they still can not round up the votes this way then... They withdraw all of the floor amendments and try to pass HB 2912 with the striking amendment that has it reading like SB 6051 (errors corrected).

Ed Murray was trying to travel down this road last year on the final day of session, he appears to be getting a running start at it this year.
That is what this looks like to me. Last year he told me there were things in SB 6116 that were very important to him that he wanted to pass. My guess is that one way otlr another he will pass something.

I'll just have to trust him on this. What passes, if anything, is because there are enough votes. What doesn't pass didn't have enough votes. He has a lot to work with, revenue sources that do not draw on the general fund, or are not available to the general fund for 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Baker - Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments about 2912, 6051, 6116 and all the others that make me dizzy.

Do you think it is too late for 2912 to go anywhere? I've written to legislators and called in support of "arts and heritage in King County" and I know so many artists have too. I know the session ends on Thursday. I feel helpless. This funding really helps so many people I know.

Mr Baker said...

Do I think it will go anywhere?
Good question, though I tend to stay away from attempting to predict too much. I am an optimist, so my bias is toward yes. This sometimes leads people down the happy path as if I know something special, I don't. I have just followed this story for a while, and sometimes people tell me things (usually when I am wrong and they are angry, this is less frequent with time).

So, with that:
Let's be as fair as possible to Ed Murray and Rodney Tom. The shopping list of amendments involves a lot if effort to get people to think about this issue while working on the state budget.
Those two write a lot of the Senate budget, they are cutting needs, and raising taxes, in order to balance the budget.
It is really hard to ask the rest of the state legislature to set to the side that and take up what may be a need to people you and I may both know.
If anything happens it will be after they settle the needs. Last year Ed Murray was trying to get this passed right up until the last hour.
I "think" we will see something similar this week.
I am looking for HB 3027 to pass, as well as HB 2912.

The House passed the budget back to the Senate last night.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again Mr. B for your comments. They help me understand the bigger picture. It is really difficult to understand how these funds have worked and can work.I'm still really hopeful for the arts part. I guess we'll know more by Thursday!

Mr Baker said...

Thursday? The headline on the Seattle Times today's say that it is increasingly unlikely that they get out on time.

I kind of thought that might happen. They got started a little late. This could go on for another week, or not.

They cleaned up the the bill list on the Senate Reports site.

Click on Regular Calendar

The bill still lives.

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