One week to go! 
 
5:00 today was the cut-off for bills to be out of the opposite house. The Senate adjourned late, late, last night (12:20 am on March 4th), and the House met until much later. Legislators were all working very hard to get through as many bills as they could before the cut-off.
 
Questions often come up related to what happens after the opposite house policy cut-off. Much of the work is budget related from here until the end of session. Nonetheless, there also are bills deemed ‘Necessary to Implement the Budget’ that need to be passed, bills that need to have their differences resolved (more on this in a minute!), and many, many decisions that need to be made about the budget. While we can’t watch everything going on, we do know that many aspects of the process can’t be addressed until after the opposite house policy cut-off, which leaves little time before sine die!
 
So, what about situations where there were differences between the bill passed by the original house and the bill as it passed by the opposite house? When a bill is amended by the opposite house, it has to go back to the original house for concurrence/dispute. When the original house agrees with the changes, they vote to concur and send the bill off to the Governor! 
 
When they don’t agree, they ask the opposite house to recede from their amendments. If the opposite house recedes, great! Basically, they re-vote on the bill and send it on its way. If they don’t agree to recede, the bill goes into conference, where members of the House and Senate convene to address concerns and try to reach agreement. Sometimes language from another bill that has died gets amended onto a living bill in conference and sometimes when the changes are more subtle. In any case, the goal is to resolve differences, have both chambers re-vote on the bill, and then move it on. Of course, it is possible that the differences aren’t able to be resolved, and, then, unfortunately, the bill could die. Usually, however, it is more likely than not that differences are resolved and the bill lives on!
 
A question about bill signings came up recently…will they be in person? Remote? While we haven’t seen anything official, rumor has it that signings will be remote again this year. Maybe they’ll be back live in 2023!
 
While Partners for Our Children is tracking a lot of bills, we want to highlight a few that have made it through both chambers. These bills include:
 
HB1747 – Relative Placements/Guardianships – Passed both chambers, was not amended so is headed to the Governor
HB1890 – Children’s Behavioral Health Strategic Plan – Passed both chambers, however, was amended in the Senate so will go back to the House for concurrence
HB1800 – Children’s Behavioral Health Parent Portal – Passed both chambers, however, was amended in the Senate so will go back to the House for concurrence
SB5793 – Stipends for people with lived experience --- Passed both chambers but was amended in the House so will go back to the Senate for concurrence
HB1905 – Reducing homelessness for youth and young adults discharged from public systems--Passed both chambers, so will go to the Governor
 
Partners for Our Children tracks many, many, bills on our tracker. As you know, the legislature is meeting all day, so bills that pass after the tracker is updated on the website will not be changed until next week. All were updated mid-day though, and we always do our best to have the tracker as up-to-date as possible.
 
Remember….. legislative action can be watched live on TVW.org and information about bills can be obtained on leg.wa.gov
 
Thank you for your continued interest and involvement!