As we near the end of week three, committee schedules are increasingly packed with both hearings and executive action (when the committee votes on bills they have heard). Additionally, floor action is picking up, with the Senate even meeting two evenings this week – something that typically doesn’t happen until much closer to the cut-off for bills to get out of their original house! Many of the bills are from last session, and, once out of the original house, they go to the opposite house where the process starts over!
It looks as if the next revenue forecast will come out on or around February 15th (don’t hold us to that date!) and the first budget (the Senate budget) shortly thereafter. While there isn't talk of cuts being made to existing programs, expectations for adding new services or enhancing existing services are being kept on the low-ish side. So… even though the forecast might be up, the ability to spend money on new programs/services or expand existing services is low. But… that really won’t stop anyone who has a budget ask from making it!
As mentioned previously, Friday, February 2nd is cut-off for bills to get out of their original policy committees. Monday, February 5th is cut-off for the fiscal committees. Given there isn’t much time between the two, we imagine that Appropriations will meet on Saturday, February 3rd. It’s likely the legislature will convene for floor action the following weekend. We’ll see!
As a reminder, the Partners for Our Children Bill Tracker provides weekly summaries of new bills as well as updates on their current status. We will not, however, be summarizing all/most of the amendments incorporated onto various bills. If you want to know if and how a bill is amended, you might want to look at leg.wa.gov. Through that website, you can access bills, amendments, committee schedules, and more. Also, if you miss a hearing or floor action, don’t forget that you can watch it on TVW! TVW coverage of the legislature is quite amazing! Between leg.wa.gov and TVW, you can stay on top of what’s happening in Olympia even from miles away!
Questions, comments, or concerns? Please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don’t forget to check out the Partners for Our Children Bill Tracker!
Have a good week!