Washington is officially halfway through its 60-day legislative session. In a short session, the first “half” is devoted to hearing and passing bills in their houses of origin.
From January 13 through February 7, the legislature focused on hearing bills in their policy committees – such as health care, human services, and local government.
They, then, have the next four days to pass bills out of their fiscal committees – Appropriations, Ways & Means, Transportation, Finance, and Capital Budget.
The deadline to pass bills out of their house of origin is 5 pm on February 19th. Then, the process starts all over in the opposite house.
At each interval, the number of bills remaining “alive” and worthy of scrutiny diminishes, and the goals of the legislature start to take shape. From this point forward, WSAC staff will focus their efforts to tailor bills to meet the needs of our members as well as begin lobbying on budgetary matters in earnest.
We expect to see budget proposals released toward the end of February, about a week after the official state economic and revenue forecast is adopted on February 19th.