Working to transform the child welfare system.

FEBRUARY 03, 2023

We are getting to the point in the session where it will be harder for a bill that hasn’t already been introduced to be heard and passed before the Policy cutoff on the 17th. Committees tend to decrease the amount of time spent hearing new bills and increasing the time they are spending voting on bills during executive session. That is not to say bills introduced even closer to the cut-off won’t get heard/passed since the saying ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’ often plays out in the legislative arena! And as we know, nothing is really dead until the gavel hits sine die. Don’t worry, bills introduced in a long session can come back next session. So if there is a bill that doesn’t make it this time, it can come back around during the ’24 session! However, if we focus on the typical process fewer bills will be introduced over the next couple of weeks. Policy committees will work hard to get bills heard and passed before the Feb. 17th cut-off. After that, there is one week to get bills to a fiscal committee to be heard and passed. Given the large number of bills that have a fiscal impact, all that make it out of the policy committees probably won’t get heard in Appropriations or Ways and Means (the two fiscal committees). And if a bill is lucky enough to get through their respective fiscal committee it will need to go to the Rules committee. This is another committee that gets more bills than they can take before the original house cut-off, March 8th. Likewise, there will likely be more bills coming out of Rules than can be heard on the floor of the House and Senate. A lot of bills will move on to the opposite house, but many won’t. That said, many come to this work with a never give up approach so they will generally keep working until the final gavel hits to try to find a way to get their bills through these committees! Please note, the Rules committee doesn’t hold hearings or have regularly scheduled meetings. They convene to determine if a bill should advance to the floor calendar. The Rules committees are open to the public but there is no public comment like in other committee hearings. If a bill isn’t going to make it out of committee, it is possible to amend the language onto another bill. It depends if there is another bill with a workable title, and the willingness of legislators to offer the amendment! We won’t be summarizing or including amendments on most of the bills and rather will attempt to indicate if a bill has been amended. If a bill has a substitute it has been amended and you can always look up the amendments on leg.wa.gov! The link to ‘committee materials’ should take you to the amendments and once there you will be able to see what they were and if they were adopted or not! That’s it for the week! Things are speeding along, that’s for sure! Thanks for your ongoing interest.Here is the bill tracker for week four: P4C week four bill tracker 2023. Laurie Lippold, State Policy Director, Partners for Our ChildrenJarel Sanders, State Policy Associate, Partners for Our Children