The first week of a short session is usually busier than the first week of a 105-day session. In 60 days, there just isn’t enough time to ease into it, and most legislators have at least one year under their belts and need less time orienting.
However, there are 4 changes to legislative seats this year.
- Derek Stanford, D-1, moved to the Senate from the House, leaving his House seat open to the appointment of Davina Duerr, D-1, a member of the Bothell City Council.
- Also, in the House, Democrat Alex Ramel was appointed to fill Rep. Jeff Morris’ 40th District seat.
- Ron Muzzall was appointed to replace retiring Senator Barbara Bailey, R-10.
- King and Pierce County Councils met on Monday, January 13 to appoint a replacement for Kristine Reeves, D-30, seat. Federal Way City Councilmember, Jesse Johnson was selected to fill this vacancy.
Almost the entire first half of a 60-day legislative session is devoted to the house of origin policy committee hearings. Highlights from this week include:
- A Work Session in the House Local Government Committee regarding Local Government Priorities in 2020, scheduled for 10:00 am on January 14.
- A hearing on SB 6134, which would require the state to pay for state and federal elections costs, is scheduled for January 15 at 8:00 am in the Senate Committee on State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections. WSAC will testify in support of the bill.
- SB 6165 will be heard in Senate Ways & Means on January 15 at 3:30 pm. The bill would increase costs for counties by mandating a 1.5% increase for PERS 1 retirement plans. Due to the increased costs, WSAC will be testifying in opposition to the unfunded mandate.
Speaking of bills, ever wonder what the letters and numbers of a bill actually mean? Wonder no longer.
- Bills between 1000 and 4000 are House bills (HB), and bills in the 4000’s are House joint memorials and resolutions (HJM or HJR).
- Bills over 5000 are Senate bills (SB), and Senate joint memorials and resolutions are numbered in the 8000’s (SJM and SJR).
- Bills are numbered consecutively over the course of the full 2-year biennial session, so they did not start over at 1000 and 5000. Last year’s bills were automatically reintroduced this year, and this year’s numbers pick up where last year’s left off.
To watch the hearings, check out www.TVW.org or scroll down to the bottom of the bill’s page on www.leg.wa.gov, where links to the bill on TVW can be found under “Available Videos.” Information about all legislators can be found at the “Member Information/Rosters” tab under “Let Your Voice Be Heard” on the right side of the leg.wa.gov site.