Welcome to Week 18 of the 2015 Legislative Session
It’s hard to believe, but this is the end of the 3rd week of the special session, and unfortunately, it is highly likely that there will be a 2nd special session. Although budget discussions are going on, it is our understanding that negotiations really haven’t begun, and the House and Senate (Ds and Rs) appear to remain far apart with respect to the big question of the need for additional revenue.
And speaking of revenue, two revenue bills were heard this week – SHB 1484, the bill establishing a capital gains tax, was heard in the House Finance Committee, and HB 1314, a bill dealing with carbon emissions, was heard in House Appropriations. At this point, neither bill has been scheduled for executive action, and it is unclear if either will be brought up for vote.
Also on the subject of revenue, the revenue forecast council met on May 14th and decided that they would move the next forecast up – from the middle of June to Monday, May 18th, at 2:30pm. The hope is that the forecast will be positive, thereby providing at least some relief with respect to the significant gap between the House and Senate budgets. Fingers crossed!
In addition to occasional hearings, the Governor has been busy taking action on bills. Parents for Parents, Extended Foster Care, the Homeless Youth Act, and many more bills have all been signed and will go into effect on July 24th (please note that the Extended Foster Care bill has a delayed implementation date of July 1, 2016).
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Have a good weekend!
Public Policy Director