Today, Friday, February 7, is cut off number one; the last day that bills can get out of their original (policy) committee. Bills that do not get out today are basically dead...at least, for the most part! Bills that don't make it out of the original policy committee can stay alive in a number of ways, including, but not limited to, turning into a proviso that would be included in the budget, being amended onto another bill at some point, and if 'necessary to implement the budget,' being brought up at a later time. [Side note: the term 'necessary to implement the budget' is difficult to define precisely; however, in general it refers to bills that need to pass in order to address something that was included in the budget.]
So what's next??!! Bills with a fiscal impact have to be heard and passed in their respective fiscal committee by COB on Tuesday, Feb. 11th. As you know, many bills are moving along, and there are not many days between today and 11th! The House Appropriations Committee will meet on Saturday February 8th to hear bills, and then will meet again on Monday the 10th and Tuesday the 11th. The Senate Ways and Means Committee is not meeting over the weekend, however they will meet all day on Monday and Tuesday. From now until Tuesday night is a major crunch time, yet some bills will not get heard/passed.
A number of bills will make it through the fiscal committee. Some bills that do not have a fiscal impact went right to Rules. It is very likely the Rules Committee will start meeting more frequently in order to get bills onto the floor of the House/Senate for a vote. Again, however, many will not get out of Rules and will either die or find another avenue to continue to make it through the process. One step at a time!!
Just a reminder that the Partners for Our Children weekly bill tracker is not summarizing amendments on all of the bills, only some. Therefore, if you are involved with a bill and want to make sure you know if/how it has been amended, go to leg.wa.gov and when you click on the bill, scroll to committee materials where you will find the amendments.
And FYI, HB2661, the House comprehensive early learning bill was heard on the 6th in House Appropriations! Also, the Family Connections Program bill (HB2525) is scheduled for a hearing in Appropriations, as is the Children's Behavioral Health Workgroup bill (HB2737). And a number of other bills we are tracking are scheduled for a hearing on Sat!!! The Ways and Means schedule for Monday the 10th has not yet come out. Hopefully soon!
Hard to believe another week has flown by and the session is nearly ½ over! Short sessions do go quickly that's for sure!!
Stay up-to-date on bills
Please use the Partners for Our Children weekly bill tracker which we update every Friday. We track many bills relevant to children, youth, and families throughout the legislative session. While we will track a large number of bills, we don't track them all and sometimes we miss important relevant legislation. If you think we've missed one (or more) that is relevant, please let us know. Also, if our brief summaries miss the mark, let us know that too! We are very open to feedback.
Because of the breadth of many bills, we also want to remind you that you can review the complete text of any bill on www.leg.wa.gov
Contact Laurie Lippold, State Policy Director and/or Nicole Sadow-Hasenberg, Communications Manager, Partners for Our Children
Thanks for your continued interest in issues
related to children, youth, and families!