Capitol News
February 27, 2017
Melissa Johnson, WSLHA Lobbyist

Last Friday marked the fiscal committee cutoff where bills with a fiscal impact must be voted out of the committee. Again, the caveat is that bills deemed "necessary to implement the budget" or "NTIB" remain alive throughout the legislative session.

Last week, the House passed the House Democrats' education reform bill, HB 1843. It passed on a party-line vote. It includes minimum salaries for certificated and classified staff. It also addresses the levy cliff. There is still no funding source identified to pay for this bill. In Senate news, the Senate Republicans revealed last week that their plan will cost an additional $300 million. They still maintain that they can pay for their bill within existing revenue. The Senate Democrats' plan is being heard in the Senate Ways & Means Committee on Monday. It's an understatement to say that the parties are very far apart on their approaches to education reform.

This week, the House and Senate will conduct full time floor action, to vote on bills that are still alive. This week also marks the halfway point of the (regular) legislative session. The house of origin cutoff (House bills out of the House; Senate bills out of the Senate) is Wednesday, March 8th. Bills that make it through the house of origin cutoff then move to the opposite chamber and begin the process over in that chamber.

Thank you to all of our members who contacted the chairs of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Ways & Means Committee, asking for a vote on our years of service bills. Unfortunately, both have died in these committees. However, this does not mean that the issue itself is dead. WSLHA will continue to work with the Legislature as they negotiate the education reform legislation to ensure that credit for non-school experience for ESAs is addressed.

This Week's Events 

Ways & Means (Senate) - SHR 4, - 2/27 @ 10:00am 

  • SB 5825 - Public Hearing - Addressing the state's paramount duty to fully fund K-12 education by creating a new partnership between the state and local school districts. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.)
  • SJR 8207 - Public Hearing - Amending the Constitution to exempt regular local school district levies from the one percent constitutional limitation. 

WSLHA High Priority Bills

Bill #

Abbrev. Title

Short Description




SHB 1059 (SB 5023)

School levy lid revs./delay

Delaying implementation of revisions to the school levy lid.

S Ways & Means



HB 1843 (SB 5623)

Basic education program

Fulfilling the state's paramount duty for all children through equitable and responsible investments in the state's basic education program and reductions to local effort contributions.

H Approps



SB 5177

Hearing loss training

Requiring long-term care workers to be trained to recognize hearing loss.

S Health Care



SB 5179

Hearing instrument coverage

Requiring coverage for hearing instruments under public employee and Medicaid programs.

S Health Care



SB 5607


Concerning education.

H Approps



SB 5726

Public school empl. benefits

Addressing public school employee benefits.

S Ways & Means



SB 5825

K-12 education funding

Addressing the state's paramount duty to fully fund K-12 education by creating a new partnership between the state and local school districts.

S Ways & Means