01/15/13 Senate Coalition Approved Over Democrat Objections (AUDIO)
A Republican-dominated coalition took power in the Senate, establishing a new majority leader on the first day of the legislative session and rejecting Democrats' offer to co-chair all Senate committees. On a 25-23 vote Monday, the newly formed "majority coalition" caucus voted themselves in as the majority, essentially deposing Democratic state Sen. Ed Murray, who was elected as majority leader in November. The new coalition has said that Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom of Medina will serve as their new majority leader. But Democrat Karen Keizer of Kent calls the new majority coalition a power grab that conflicts with the results of the last election . .
Democrats have a small majority in the Senate, controlling 26 of 49 seats. But Tom and fellow Democratic Sen. Tim Sheldon have said they'll work with the chamber's 23 Republicans in the new coalition and will caucus with them. That new caucus now holds a 25-24 advantage.