Wow! Another cut-off has come and gone: As of 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17th, bills had to be out of the opposite house or die. Well, this is the rule except for those that are deemed NTIB (necessary to implement the budget) or are kept alive through another mechanism. The cut-off dates and rules generally apply. However, it is important to remember that it’s not over ‘til it’s over!!! And while the legislative session is scheduled to end on April 28th, there’s always the possibility of needing to go into a special session.... But hopefully not!
With the last cut-off (other than Sine Die) behind us, the focus now is on concurrences and disputes, as well as budget negotiations. In terms of concurrences, bills that were amended by the opposite house have to be concurred. If the original house does not agree with the changes made by the opposite house then they ask the opposite house to recede from their amendment(s). And if the opposite house doesn’t, the bill is in dispute and members from the House and Senate try to work out their differences. If/when they do reach agreement, the bill goes back to both houses for final passage. So again, it’s not over ‘til it’s over!
Once a bill has had the final passage vote, it needs to be signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. It is then delivered to the Governor for his signature. Once the bill gets to the Governor, the five or 20-day rule kicks in; if a bill is delivered to the Governor before five days before the last day of session, he has five days to take action on it. If it gets to the Governor less than five days before the last day of session he has 20 days to act... excluding Sundays! One other tidbit, if a bill is delivered to the Governor, and he doesn’t take action within the designated timeframe, the bill goes into effect. If you want to be notified of a bill signing, contact the Governor’s office. Let them know which bill(s) you are interested in and then await a call! Notice can be very short, but at least you’ll know when the bill is going to be signed.
Regarding the budget, rumors abound! Will they end on time? Are there the votes for this or that? What are you hearing? These questions are asked with considerable frequency and really the answer to all of them is, we really don’t know! I remain optimistic, but time will tell.
As you can see vis-a-vis the Partners for Our Children bill tracker, a number of important bills passed. For example, on Wednesday night HB 1593 passed! This bill creates the Behavioral Health Innovation and Integration campus within the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM). It requires the UWSOM to create a plan to develop and site a teaching facility providing inpatient care and workforce training. The bill was Governor requested legislation and sponsored by Speaker Chopp! Way to go!!
Cut-off days/nights can be quite interesting... and that turned out to be the case on the Senate floor shortly before the 5:00 cut-off. Check it out on TVW archives: https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2019041188 -- beginning at approx.. 2:54:25. The job of the President of the Senate can certainly be challenging!
We will do our last regular session tracker next week; however, will do a final update sometime after Sine Die on the 28th. And.... once a budget has passed and is signed, we will post a final budget comparison. Hard to believe the 2019 session is drawing to a rapid close!
Have a great weekend!
Questions? Concerns? Contact Nicole Sadow-Hasenberg, Communications Manager, Partners for Our Children.