Welcome to Week 3 of the 2013 Legislative Session!
Bills continue to be introduced (upwards of 1,000 bills have already been introduced over the past 3 weeks), hearings and work sessions continue to take place, and some floor action has occurred. There will be a bit more of a scramble over the next week to get bills introduced as the Feb. 22nd cut off is getting closer and closer. Bills that are not out of their original committee by 5:00pm on February 22nd will die... unless they are "necessary to implement the budget," in which case they remain in play until the budget is passed. And, of course, dead bills can be amended onto living bills as long as the title of the living bill is consistent with the subject of the dead bill!
With respect to the budget, rumor has it that Governor Inslee is not planning on introducing a budget but instead will identify his budget priorities. The House and Senate are both expected to release budgets, likely sometime after the next revenue forecast in March. Until then, many discussions will be taking place about the ability to raise (or not) additional revenue, how to fund the McCleary K-12 decision, what to cut, etc. etc. etc. Agreeing on a 2013-2015 budget will be a challenge, particularly given the current deficit, the requirement to fund McCleary, multiple years of significant cuts to health care, human services, higher ed, (among other hard hit areas of the budget), and the overall political dynamics!
Coming up next week are several work sessions of particular interest:
- Feb. 5th, 1:30pm: Briefing on early childhood learning.
House Early Learning and Human Services
- Feb. 5th, 1:30pm: Evidence Based Practices
- Feb. 8th, 1:30pm: Homeless Families
- Feb. 5, 1:30pm: James Harvey, National Superintendents’ Roundtable - “A Broader, Bolder Approach to Education”
Senate Ways and Means
- Feb. 5, 3:30pm: Children’s Administration and Early Learning Operating budget issues
If you are unable to attend a hearing or work session, you can always view it by visiting TVW.org. Hearings and floor action are recorded and archived!
To see all of the new bills that have been introduced over the last week, visit the Bill Tracker. We have also updated all of the bills that were introduced in the first two weeks of the legislative session.
Have a good weekend.....