It is so hard to believe that, including today, only three days remain in the 2021 remote legislative session. Wow!! Much remains to do in these three days but, hopefully, the legislature will be able to pass the operating, capital, and transportation budgets before midnight on Sunday night – Sine Die!
A number of other issues still are in need of resolution, including HB1477 (setting up the 988 Behavioral Health crisis response system); SB5476 (the State v. Blake decision); and SB5096 (capital gains). So, no rest for the weary, yet!
The legislature has been busy getting through the concurrence calendar, that is passing bills that were amended by one chamber or the other and the original chamber deciding whether or not to agree with the changes. Conference committees also are working to resolve the differences between the bill as it passed the original chamber and was amended by the opposite chamber when the original chamber doesn’t agree with the changes.
In fact, the Fair Start for Kids Act (SB5237) was amended by the House, the Senate did not concur, a conference committee was appointed, the differences were resolved; yesterday, both the House and Senate voted to approve the bill as agreed to by the conferees! The bill, after being signed by the Speaker of the House, Chief Clerk, President of the Senate, and Secretary of the Senate, will head to the Governor! And just a reminder, once they arrive on his desk, the Governor has 20 days to take action on bills.
It is expected that the operating budget will be released on Sat. and voted on Sunday. The capital budget came out yesterday (April 22nd) and includes $350 M for affordable housing and homelessness! It also includes funding for many community-based projects, funding to develop a plan for the campus Amara is developing in Pierce Co., AND funding for a planning effort related to the development of a program for families involved in the child welfare system with substance use disorder modeled after Rising Strong in Spokane!
This is our last regular update and tracker for the 2021 session. We will compile and distribute an end-of-session update and the budget highlights document. And, if anything changes as a result of action by the Governor (i.e. if anything we have been tracking is vetoed) we will let you know!
We hope that the information provided throughout the session has been useful. We welcome feedback and are always looking for ways to improve what we do. Thank you so much for your interest and involvement in the legislative process….
A number of significant bills passed, and it was definitely a memorable session!