Capitol News
March 20, 2017
Melissa Johnson, WSLHA Lobbyist

As legislative budget writers finish their respective budgets, they received good news this week in the form of the March revenue forecast. The forecast shows a $247 million increase for the current biennium; a $303 million increase for the 2017-19 biennium; and a $186 million increase for the 2019-21 biennium.

The Senate Republican budget should be released either this Monday or Tuesday. The Senate will act quickly on its budget, with a public hearing on the day it's released, and a vote by the Senate by week's end. With Senate Republicans holding firm on "no new revenue," their budget is expected to have cuts to health care, human services, and other areas of state government to pay for K-12 funding. The House Democratic budget should be released the week of March 27th.

This Week's Events 

Education (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 3/20 @ 1:30pm

  • SB 5662 - Public Hearing - Authorizing the superintendent of public instruction to designate a member of the professional educator standards board.

Higher Education (House) - HHR D, JLOB - 3/21 @ 8:00am

  • SSB 5022 - Exec Session - Providing information to students about education loans.
  • HB 2143 - Exec Session - Expanding opportunities for higher education students.

Higher Education (Senate) - SHR 3, - 3/21 @ 8:00am

  • 2SHB 1169 - Public Hearing - Enacting the student opportunity, assistance, and relief act.
  • E2SHB 1440 - Public Hearing - Establishing a student loan bill of rights.

Health Care & Wellness (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 3/21 @ 8:30am

  • 2SSB 5179 - Public Hearing - Requiring coverage for hearing instruments under public employee and medicaid programs.

Human Services, Mental Health & Housing (Senate) - SHR 2, - 3/21 @ 1:30pm

  • SHB 1477 - Public Hearing - Concerning disclosure of health-related information with persons with a close relationship with a patient.

Health Care & Wellness (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 3/22 @ 1:30pm

  • 2SSB 5179 - Exec Session - Requiring coverage for hearing instruments under public employee and medicaid programs.

Higher Education (House) - HHR D, JLOB - 3/22 @ 1:30pm

  • SSB 5022 - Exec Session - Providing information to students about education loans.
  • HB 2143 - Exec Session - Expanding opportunities for higher education students.

State Government, Elections & Information Technology (House) - HHR E, JLOB - 3/22 @ 1:30pm

  • SB 5798 - Public Hearing - Changing rule-making requirements to require a yearly expiration.

Early Learning & K-12 Education (Senate) - SHR 1, - 3/23 @ 1:30pm

  • ESHB 1886 - Public Hearing - Establishing a legislative task force to review issues relating to the responsibilities of the superintendent of public instruction and the state board of education.

WSLHA High Priority Bills

Bill #

Abbrev. Title

Short Description

Status

Sponsor

Position

SHB 1059 (ESB 5023)

School levy lid revs./delay

Delaying implementation of revisions to the school levy lid.

C 6 L 17

Wellman

 

ESHB 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.

S Ways & Means

Sullivan

 

SB 5177

Hearing loss training

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

H Rules R

Bailey

 

SB 5179

Hearing instrument coverage

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

H HC/Wellness

Bailey

Support

SB 5607

Education

Concerning education.

H Approps

Braun

 

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

Mullet