Is anyone else having a hard time believing that it is already April and that we soon will be in week 13 of the session? Wow!
It was another very busy week that included the policy cut-off last Friday and the fiscal cut-off today. The fiscal committees have been hearing and exec’ing many bills, including their budgets; all the members are putting in very long hours.
With the exception of an occasional glitch, remote hearings, executive sessions, and floor action all seem to be going smoothly. Legislators and staff are doing a really good job…. People seem to be able to adapt!
What’s next? After today focus shifts to House and Senate Rules, floor action, and the budget. The Senate actually passed their budget yesterday so things are moving along!
The time between fiscal cut-off and the cut-off for bills to get out of the opposite house is quite short, with the opposite house cut-off coming up quickly on April 11th. Basically, the timeline means the legislature will be working pretty much every day until the end of session (remember the 105-day schedule includes weekends). As a reminder, session is scheduled to end on April 25th.
The Family Resource Center bill (HB1237) passed the opposite house and wasn’t amended by the Senate, so it does not have to go back to the House for concurrence! It will be on its way to the Governor’s office soon!
Other bills to highlight this week are:
SB5237 – aka the Fair Start for Kids Act – passed out of the House Appropriations Committee and is headed to Rules.
SB5151 – aka Child Specific License bill – passed out of House Appropriations and is headed to Rules.
SB5214 – aka Economic Assistance Programs – passed out of House Appropriations and is on its way to Rules.
As you might imagine, getting all the bills that have passed out of the policy and fiscal committees and voted out of the opposite house won’t be possible by the end of session. A number of bills will die.
We are embarking upon a really tough part of the legislative calendar when everyone wants their bills to move along, but, unfortunately there just isn’t time to take action on all that are still alive.
Please keep using the Partners for Our Children bill tracker, updated every Friday. We do our best to keep up with the status of the bills we have been tracking, recognizing things happen quickly.
TVW and leg.wa.gov continue to be invaluable for watching hearings and floor action, checking on the status of bills on a regular basis, reading the full text of bills, and more.
As always, please feel free to contact us (contact info below) if you have questions!
Have a great weekend and more next week.