Capitol News
February 13, 2018

Melissa Johnson, WSLHA Lobbyist

With three weeks to go in the legislative session, lawmakers are in shifting into high gear to finish their job on time. With the policy and fiscal committee cutoffs narrowing the field of bills, there are still several hundred bills for the House and Senate to consider before Wednesday's "house of origin" cutoff deadline (House bills out of the House; Senate bills out of the Senate).

The pace of activity gets even faster during the next part of the session. Committee meetings will begin again on Thursday, and bills only have about a week to be voted out of their policy committees to meet the February 23rd deadline. The fiscal committee cutoff is just a few days later, on February 26th. Bills must pass the opposite house (House bills out of the Senate; Senate bills out of the House) by March 2nd. The legislative session is scheduled to end on March 8th.

SB 6157, the prior authorization bill, is in the Senate Rules Committee. This bill must pass by next Wednesday. Please answer the "call to action" email you've received from ASHA on this bill! Legislators must hear from you to ensure that it passes before Wednesday's deadline.

WSLHA is also monitoring a bill from last session, HB 1827. This bill is about teacher recruitment, but it also includes recruitment strategies for other school personnel, such as SLPs and audiologists.

The state revenue forecast will be released on February 15th. This forecast will give budget writers the latest revenue collection projections to finalize the House and Senate supplemental budgets. We expect those budgets to be released on or around February 23rd.