SINE DIE!!!!  The third special session (fourth session of 2015) adjourned sine die around 12:30 pm this afternoon.  Since July 1st, legislators have been trying to resolve issues related to I-1351 (class size initiative) and the student assessment requirements, in order to reconvene and adjourn.  They also had a few other significant bills that had not been voted on by both houses last week...
 
It appears that over the past few days, an agreement was reached with respect to I-1351 (HB 2266) and the student assessment bill (SB 6145), which led to the Senate coming in yesterday (July 9th) to vote on both bills plus the capital budget bond bill, and the House coming in today to vote on the student assessment bill and a couple of critical transportation-related bills (they had already passed the I-1351 suspension bill and capital bond bill).  The bills received the necessary number of votes to pass (e.g., the I-1351related bill, HB 2266, needed a 2/3 vote to pass since it has not been two years since the passage of the initiative.  After two years, changes can be made with a simple majority).
 
In sum, HB 2266 suspends implementation of I-1351 for four years, and SB 6145 delays implementation of the student assessment requirement for two years.  Unfortunately, SB 6145 did not include an emergency clause, which means the bill does not go into effect until October, which means students will not be able to graduate until that time - which, as you might imagine, could be a significant issue with respect to college, etc.  It is very likely the Governor and others will be trying to figure out how not to have college delayed for this group of students...
 
So, after one long session and three special sessions, legislators, staff, everyone is breathing a major sigh of relief that the legislature adjourned and (hopefully!) won't reconvene again until January 2016!  In the meantime, there is a lot of interim work to do to prepare for 2016, but many legislators will be taking some time off, going back to their other jobs, and reflecting upon the work that took place since January of 2015.  
 
We apologize for the delay in getting the final budget comparison sent and will do so ASAP.  We will also make any final changes to the Bill Tracker.
 
Don't forget!  POC will be co-hosting the Frontiers of Innovation community forum on July 30th, 10:00 am to noon, at UW Tower.  It should be an informative morning and a great opportunity to get up to speed on the exciting work that has been happening around the state!  To RSVP, please contact: SNYDEJM@dshs.wa.gov.  Hope to see you there!
 
If you have any questions, email us at info@partnersforourchildren.org. Also, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates on our work during the legislative session and throughout the year.
 
Thank you for your commitment to children and families!  Enjoy the summer!

 
Laurie Lippold
Public Policy Director