As the Washington state Legislature attempts to lay the final bricks in the bridge to a deal on the state budget, state Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) wants her constituents to know that she has been doing backbreaking labor in the most critical hours of the fight.
In a post to her personal Facebook account on Monday, Jinkins was not stingy with her kudos, counting herself in a collective “we” of yeoman-like House Democrats whose failed effort to hammer out a budget deal resulted layoff notes being sent to state workers: [bold added]
“My apologies to the over 50,000 Washington State employees who will start getting lay-off [sic] notices today and to the millions of Washingtonians who are at risk of losing needed and wanted services. We in the House who have been working so hard to achieve a budget compromise without tearing apart our education system, higher ed and our social safety net. There’s not much point in having stayed strong for The People this long and giving up now. I hope the other side isn’t intent on destroying our people and our economy.”
“I promise you I will be putting all my effort into accomplishing this task,” Jinkins also said in an email sent Monday from an official account.
The only problem is that this past weekend, when the clock was running out on a midnight Monday deadline for sending out the temporary layoff notices, Jinkins was across the country in the capital that sits on the shores of the Potomac, not the one adjacent to Puget Sound.
Based on screenshots NW Daily Marker has obtained of posts made this past Sunday to Jinkins’ personal Facebook account, the legislator was on the other side of the country for most of last week, visiting attractions in and around the Washington, D.C. area while in town to attend conferences.
Jinkins absence from Olympia is also noted in roll call records of votes taken by the state House Sunday through Tuesday.
A post made last Thursday by Jinkins explains that she went back to D.C. to attend conferences.
The value of taking the trip during the final days of a critical second special session is debatable. Playing a game of smoke and mirrors about where you are during session may be less of a grey area for Jinkins’ constituents.
She had 9 missed votes. For the entire session, 6 of the top 7 vote missers were Republicans.