Ending unnecessary licensing is about your right to make a living

Ours is a pretty divided nation these days, it’s hard to deny. That makes it all the more heartening to see issues where there is growing consensus in both parties. We’ve seen that in Republicans and Democrats alike rethinking our civil asset forfeiture laws (though the president has expressed some support for them). They’re questioning […]

Help on the way for rural areas? Fix to water ruling is critical

Last fall, a state Supreme Court ruling in a water case severely curtailed economic development in rural Washington and hurt families who were just following the rules. Known as the Hirst decision, it was a major hit to areas that aren’t a part of the Seattle-area tech boom. The case, which originated in Whatcom County, […]

Dino Rossi returns to Olympia with a really smart idea

Sometimes a proposal in Olympia has such a force of logic behind it, and is so clearly the right thing to do, that you know it’s probably doomed. Sen. Dino Rossi is prime-sponsoring one such brilliant and necessary bill. The Legislature suffered a terrible loss when Sen. Andy Hill died, but Rossi has stepped into […]

It’s time to move on from the death penalty in Washington

Last week, I joined a bipartisan group of legislators and Attorney General Bob Ferguson in Olympia to support a bill that would repeal the death penalty in our state. The repeal would not be retroactive; those who sit on death row today would still be under the sentence they received for the murders they committed. […]

In updating the PRA, public’s access is paramount

There hasn’t been much consensus in Olympia recently on how to update our state’s Public Records Act for the tech age. Because of that, the default has been to do nothing. On balance, that’s just fine. The law is tilted strongly in favor of the public’s right to know what public officials and employees are […]

McKenna on KIRO: Repealing Washington’s death penalty

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about his presence at a bipartisan press conference on Monday, where Republican and Democrats backed a bill requested by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to repeal Washington’s death penalty. Dave Ross: “Have you ever changed your mind about something of that magnitude before?” Rob McKenna: “I don’t know. […]

On his first day, new state Superintendent picks union over taxpayers

During last fall’s election season, I expressed concern that Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) candidate Chris Reykdal was too close to the state teachers union. He didn’t waste much time confirming it. His first act after being inaugurated this week was to remove his office from an intriguing lawsuit begun by his predecessor regarding school […]

Bright Light award: Drew Stokesbary

It’s heartening, as a recovering politician, to see younger people stepping up to run for office. The conservative side of the aisle in Olympia has benefited in recent years by some really impressive under-40 officeholders who give us confidence about the future. Rep. Drew Stokesbary (R-Auburn) certainly fits that bill. The young conservative, just re-elected […]

Bright Light award: Steve Litzow

“Leader” is a designation that gets tossed around a lot. Perhaps we should save it for the times we really, really mean it. Certainly, for praising outgoing state Sen. Steve Litzow, it’s appropriate. On the big issues of the day, Litzow was right at the center of the action. Especially on K-12, early learning and […]

McKenna on KIRO: Lawmaker takes on social media Ethics Board case

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the Legislative Ethics Board case that Rep. Melanie Stambaugh (R-Puyallup) chose to fight. The issue centers on whether or not public officials are allowed to share taxpayer-funded legislative videos and updates on campaign Facebook pages. Rob McKenna: “And the Ethics Board isn’t saying that Rep. Stambaugh can’t […]