When newspaper editorialists laud the new majority in the state Senate, they like to describe it as a coalition between Republicans and "two moderate Democrats." So how moderate (or for that matter, Democratic) are Senators Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon? Judging from their cosponsorship of SB 5159, not very.

SB 5159, sponsored by Tom, Sheldon, and nine Republican senators, would repeal Washington's Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act. Passed in 2007, implementation was delayed in 2009 and again in 2011. Under the current framework, starting in October, 2015, benefits of up to $250 a week for up to five weeks would be paid to to individuals unable to work because they are on family leave. The goal was to bridge the gap for low-income families who qualified for unpaid leave under federal law, but couldn't afford to take the time off without pay.

Why Tom et al are looking to kill the program now, I don't know. The program has never been funded, so there's no money to save by eliminating it. I guess they just don't think that low-income workers should ever be able to afford to take family and medical leave... which doesn't sound either moderate or Democratic to me.