The legislative building in Olympia.

The legislative building in Olympia.

During a legislative outlook breakfast this morning, Kelly Love, president of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, had a couple of tips for lawmakers.

First, she said she would appreciate it if lawmakers could used “fewer words, more meaning.” Second, she asked the legislative panel to leave the partisan bickering for the campaign trail.

I got the sense halfway through the breakfast Parker felt like the Southwest Washington delegation wasn’t heeding her advice and she asked them to start raising their hands in response to a couple of questions.

For example: Do you all agree cities and local jurisdictions should receive some of the taxes from marijuana?

Hands shot up.

The questions got more difficult to answer by raising hands from there.

But there was one last attempt to foster some bipartisanship.

In their closing statements, lawmakers were asked: What do you love about the other party? And what are they doing right?

Here’s what they said;

  • Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, said, “They elected Annette Cleveland in the 49th Legislative district. I get along pretty well with her … We work together for the interests of Clark County and that’s what it’s all about.”
  • Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, said he agreed with a statement Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, made about the importance of funding mental health programs.
  • Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Felida, said “love” was a strong word, but he has noticed a willingness of the two parties to collaborate more recently.
  • Cleveland said Republicans have done an effective job at “supporting and promoting women,” which she appreciates.
  • Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, said “iron sharpens iron” and she appreciates the Democrats willingness to argue toward solutions.
  • Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, seemed to struggle the most with the question. He said in his role as presiding officer he routinely calls upon the Republican party to “give us clarity about the proposal that is front of us.” He added, “I”m thankful, thankful, the Republican party has repeatedly had that clarity.”
  • Rep.-elect Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, said she’s looking forward to giving Moeller “some more clarity.”
  • Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, said she’s most proud the “other side of the aisle worked together with all the Republicans in Olympia to pass a sustainable budget that didn’t raise taxes.”
  • Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, said he appreciates the ability to argue with members of the Democratic party one one bill and in the next moment, work together to get another bill passed.
Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or Follow her on Twitter .

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