Capitol News
March 6, 2017
Melissa Johnson, WSLHA Lobbyist

We have reached the official halfway point of the regular legislative session! This means that the pace of work will become more intense, as cutoff deadlines come quicker in the second half of the session. And work on the budgets will also intensify. Legislators typically wait until the March revenue forecast is released (March 16th) to reveal their budgets. The Senate goes first this year, so we can expect the Senate Republican budget soon after the revenue forecast release. The House Democrats will follow soon thereafter. Then the real work begins, with negotiations between the House and Senate on a final budget. 

The House and Senate conducted full time floor action last week, voting on bills that remain alive after the fiscal committee cutoff. They will have three more days of floor action this week before the house of origin cutoff (House bills out of the House; Senate bills out of the Senate) on 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.

This Week's Events 

Early Learning & K-12 Education (Senate) - SHR 1, 3/9 @ 1:30pm

  • Work session on K-12 funding

Health Care & Wellness (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 3/10 @ 10:00am

  • SB 5177 - Public Hearing - Requiring long-term care workers to be trained to recognize hearing loss. 
  • SB 5436 - Public Hearing - Expanding patient access to health services through telemedicine by further defining where a patient may receive the service. 
  • ESSB 5180 - Public Hearing - Establishing the legislative advisory committee on aging.

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