OLYMPIA — The 63rd Washington Legislature opened Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, after a political ‘coup’ was staged in the state Senate. On Jan. 10, 2013, the 23 Senate Republicans in the chamber announced they had formally reached a deal with conservative Democrats Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon to form a “Senate Majority Coalition Caucus” to run the state Senate. Technically, there are 26 Democrats in the Senate and 23 Republicans, but with Tom and Sheldon’s maneuver, the Republicans hold a working majority. The Democrats will be in the minority for the first time since the 2006 session.
In the state House, Democrats held a 55-43 seat advantage over Republicans.
The Legislature was called into special session on Nov. 7 by Gov. Jay Inslee to work on a transportation funding bill, including a package that includes extensions of tax incentives for the Boeing Co. so that it will build its new 777X airliner in the Puget Sound region.