The House closed out session with a lovefest for House Democratic Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, who will retire this year.
This evening the House held a lovefest for House Democratic Majority Leader Pat Sullivan (left), who will retire this year. SCREENSHOT from TVW

The Washington State Legislature is closing up shop today: Democrats in the Legislature expect to wrap up work between 7 and 8 pm, which will mark the fifth year in a row that lawmakers turned in their work on time — the last time that happened was 1899. Right now the House is at east until 7 pm. The Senate's now heading to the floor to vote on bills that would give businesses a B&O tax break and incentivize cities to build affordable housing.

Update, 9:50 pm: LOL they're still going, it may take closer to midnight than I presumed.

Update, 11:36 pm: With 24 minutes or so to spare, the Leg calls it. Before the last gavel fell, two somewhat surprising things happened. 1) HB 1099 died for some reason. That bill was the only one left this session that could have increased housing density. Last I heard the realtors hated it out of ignorance of what was in the bill, and so conservative Dems such as Sen. Kevin Van De Wege plus Republicans felt that pressure. If the source of their hatred derived from some other origin, their lobbyist declined to clear that up with me when I asked for comment yesterday. 2) SB 5919 died. That bill would have expanded the ability of cops to engage in potentially deadly vehicle pursuits. Let's just hope that one doesn't come back.

A lot of big stuff happened during this short session thanks to billions in federal $$$, and a lot of big stuff didn't happen. But on a high level, in the budgets we're looking at $17 billion dollars for a transportation package that includes a bunch of money for widening highways (bad!) and a bunch of money for transit/bike/ped stuff (good!), more than $700 million for affordable housing/shelter over the course of two years, hundreds of millions for education, $350 million to shore up the paid family medical leave account, and tons more. On the policy side, headline items include some new gun controls, some bad police bills, a new state college loan program, and, again, much more. Look for a big-ass roundup of everything that went down in Olympia (and everything that didn't) tomorrow.

WA State lawmakers dropping like flies: After a bunch of other retirements this year, Sen. Tim Sheldon and Rep. Jesse Johnson both said they plan not to run for reelection this year, the Seattle Times reports. Sheldon has pretended to be a Democrat throughout his career, but he's caucused with the Republicans for years. So long, dude! Hopefully Dems can find a progressive in Potlach with a gift for rhetoric, but his seat will probably fall to a Republican. Rep. Johnson spent last session pushing police accountability bills through a tough crowd, and this session he's had to restrain the backlash. He would have also faced a tough race for his Federal Way seat.

Speaking of Federal Way: Political alignments in the race to replace King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg have solidified. Stephan M. Thomas is trying to take the progressive lane, KCPAO chief of staff Leesa Manion is looking to hold the center lane, and SPOG / KCPOG just endorsed Federal Way Mayor Jim Farrell, which suggests he wants to cruise in the right lane.

Northwest Film Forum announces new director: Cara Mia Harris will replace the mighty Vivian Hua as the leader of the arthaus cinema. Hua announced their departure in the fall of last year.

Time is running out to help Glo's glow up: As you all know, Capitol Hill's coolest little (literally) brunch spot is on the move, and they're trying to raise $350,000 by April 15 to pay expenses. So far, they've raised more than $148,000. Toss 'em a couple bucks if you got 'em!

UW cherry blossoms currently operating at 40% peak proficiency, KING 5 reports, but they'll reach 70% starting next week. Botanists consider 70% "peak bloom," apparently. Personally, I consider every stage of a cherry tree peak bloom, even the moment it becomes its own monument. Guess I can't escape this blurb without a link to this Neruda classic, wherein he expresses his desire to do to you what spring does to these trees.

Baseball's back: The players and management worked out a deal. "The new five-year collective bargaining agreement will increase the players’ minimum salary, among other provisions," the New York Times reports. I'm certain Conor Kelley will have more in tomorrow's This Week in Worker Conquests column.

No, I told you to eat your heart out, Heidi Montag:

In other celebrity news: Turns out Grimes and Elon Musk conceived a child in secret through a surrogate, according to this Vanity Fair exclusive. The child's name is Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, nicknamed "Y." My sole contribution to this discourse: people constantly slipped the word "sidereal" into poems, and I had to look it up every single time. It means, "of, relating to, or expressed in relation to stars or constellations." Anyway, can't wait to party with this fam at Burning Man — word is they're split but still friends.

You'll need to continue wearing masks on planes and public transit through April 18: The Biden administration extended the date "so the CDC can 'work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor,'" Politico reports.

Facebook Meta goes to war: The social media company, helmed by some of the coolest and wisest heads in the business, decided to allow Facebook and Instagram users "to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukrainian invasion," Reuters reports. More social media blathering is just what this invasion needs.

Speaking of this invasion: Diplomatic talks between Russian and Ukraine stalled as the aggressor continued to bomb the hell out of the southern city of Mariupol, according to the Washington Post. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko said "people had sheltered in basements, bodies littered the streets and the single functional hospital was at capacity." Meanwhile, over in Kyiv, 20 musicians and a conductor from the Kyiv-Classic Symphony Orchestra performed music in the capital's central square. They risked the threat of bombs to play the national anthem, "Beethoven’s 'Ode to Joy' and 'Lileya,' a ballad by Konstantin Dankevich, one of Ukraine’s most well-known composers." According to the Associated Press, "Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 100,000 people have been evacuated during the past two days from seven cities under Russian blockade in the north and center of the country, including the Kyiv suburbs." And, less consequentially, Uniqlo and Disney join the list of companies refusing to do business in Russia.