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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Ledge: Senate Ds Offer Rs One More Seat On Committees

In recognition of their tenuous majority, Senate Democrats have proposed to give minority Republicans an additional seat on each policy committee, including the budget-writing Ways and Means committee. That would mean Democrats would have just a one vote advantage over Republicans. "No majority, Republican or Democratic, has allowed for such a narrow split in at least a decade," says a Democratic Caucus press release. 

Senate Democrats have also proposed to create a new Committee on Education Finance and Results that would have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans and co-chairs from each party. The Committee would focus on finding a way to comply with the recent Supreme Court ruling that found Washington is not adequately funding basic education.

Two conservative Democrats, Senators Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon, previously proposed a power-sharing deal in the State Senate. There's even been talk of a philosophical majority of Republicans and conservative Democrats forming to elect Senator Tom majority leader

Senate Democrats recently elected Senator Ed Murray as majority leader. 

I'll add reaction from Republicans when I get it.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."