Ways & Means chair eyes the exit
Plus a bid to clean up private prisons and the House and Senate hug it out on assault weapons
Senate Ways & Means Chair Christine Rolfes has tossed her hat into the ring for a vacant seat on the Kitsap County Commission, a move that could portend a significant shift on one the Legislature’s most powerful panels.
We don’t pretend to have a granular understanding of local Democratic politics in Kitsap County, but Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, looks like the class of the field. While it’s legal to hold both state and local office1 simultaneously, Rolfes tells the Observer she doesn’t intend to do that if appointed.
Here’s why you should care about this. The Ways & Means chair is among the most powerful people in Olympia, both an author of the state budget and a gatekeeper for ambitious and expensive ideas and the taxes required to pay for them. When the Legislature adjourns on Sunday, much of its work will bear Rolfes’ fingerprints.
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