As week three winds down, legislative activity is really winding up! Budget discussions are well underway, policy cut-off is next Thursday, February 3, 2022. After policy cut-off, only four additional days until fiscal cut-off! Short legislative sessions truly are a whirlwind!
 
The policy committees are moving a lot of bills through, many of which will be referred to the fiscal committees. If you are tracking a bill through leg.wa.gov you might find that it can take a while for a bill that passed out of the policy committee for example, to show up as referred to the fiscal or Rules committee. Generally, when there is a lag, the backup is about getting bills updated in the system, not a problem with the bill! Things take time…
 
While many bills are in process this session (someone indicated they heard over 900 have been introduced!), many decisions will likely happen in the budget. Because there aren’t hearings on budget provisos it can be hard to know how to track them, advocate for them, etc. Similar to bills that you are supporting, talking to your legislators about budget provisos is important! They may not be on any of the budget committees but they can talk up the item, keep track of it through the process, and help ensure that it is included in the budget! 
 
A few bill highlights for week three:
HB1747, Relative Guardianship Bill passed out of the Children, Youth and Families (CYF) Committee and is heading to House Appropriations.
HB1905, Reducing Homelessness for Youth and Young Adults passed out of the CYF committee and was referred to House Appropriations.
SB5793, Stipends for Low-income or Underrepresented Community Members of State Boards, etc., passed out of the Senate State Government committee and is scheduled for a hearing in Ways & Means.
 
For summaries and status updates on many, many, many more bills, check out the (fixed) Partners for Our Children tracker!
 
Week four is scheduled as all remote. We may have more legislators on the floor after the fiscal cut-off, when they are moving many bills in a short period of time! We’ll see!
 
Remember, for great information about bills, committee hearings, you name it, go to leg.wa.gov. 
 
Thanks all! Have a good week.