Hearings, meetings with legislators, some floor action, and soaking in a little sun made up the majority of the week. Policy committees really sprung into action on Monday, given original house cut-off was last week and a number of legislators tried to get a little bit of a break before they really started delving into bills from the opposite house.
In general, committees have somewhat fewer bills to be considering but they also have less time to deal with them (reminder, cut-off for bills from the opposite house to get out of the policy committees is March 29th). Also, there is very little time between opposite house policy and budget committee cut-offs (6 days!) so to not have a huge and untenable backlog of bills land all at once in the Appropriations and Ways and Means committees, legislators are trying to hear and exec bills a bit more expeditiously. Many bills have already been heard because there was a companion that was already exec’d out of the policy committee, and this helps things move along. For the bills that aren’t companions, policy committee members likely need time to hear more testimony before voting them out . The time will go fast and as is always the case, every bill that made it out of the original chamber will not make it out of the opposite chamber.
This upcoming week is a biggie! The Senate capital budget is being released and heard on Monday the 20th; the revenue forecast that really drives final budget decisions is also happening on Monday; the Senate operating budget is being released on Thurs (23rd) and that budget is being heard on the 24th. So these upcoming couple of weeks will be very busy!
Then on Monday the 27th we are anticipating the release of the House operating and capital budgets with hearings following shortly thereafter. The House and Senate don’t wait long following release of and hearings on their budgets to move them through their respective fiscal committee and onto the floor for passage. After both chambers have passed their budgets, the negotiators will start meeting to sort out their differences and try to come up with an agreed upon budget by April 23rd, the last day of the regular session. And remember, this is all taking place while committee hearings and floor action on bills are still underway. My oh my!!
It won’t be long until the trees on the capitol campus start to bloom and it is a beautiful site to see. Come on down…. Or up…. Or over!!
Have a good week and thank you for your continued interest.
For more info you can always check out leg.wa.gov
Here is the bill tracker for week ten: P4C week ten bill tracker 2023.