The debate got us thinking about how Dino Rossi might vote on unemployment based on his record as a legislator here.
By 2003, Rossi's final year in the legislature, he had risen to the chair of the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee, charged with creating the budget. From there he joined his fellow Senate Republicans in fighting for a massive overhaul of the state unemployment program.
That wasn't the only time Rossi voted to cut back eligibility for state unemployment and other welfare benefits. WorkFirst is Washington's welfare-to-work program requiring jobless (or very low-income) parents to spend 30 hours per week learning new skills or applying for new employment.
In 1999 state Democrats sought an exception for moms with kids under age 1, in part due to the difficulty of finding affordable child care. The bill had broad support, even getting an "aye" from the notoriously far-right, and late, Sen. Jim West, R-Spokane. But Rossi and 10 other Republicans voted against the bill, which later died in the House.