Text Box: Week 7: 
February 25, 2018

Session Context /

The week Ahead

 

 

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Bill/Issue Updates

2—3

 

 

 

 

Deep Dive: Trust Lands - Why do we care?

3-4

Mark your Calendars

 

Stay Connected

 

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Text Box: Session Context & The week ahead 
Text Box: Jessica Vavrus, 
Gov’t Relations Director
Email: j.vavrus@wssda.org
Desk:  360-252-3010
Mobile: 360-890-5867
Text Box: “In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm...                   in the real world all rests on perseverance.” 
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 18th Century German writer/statesman

Note: On mobile devices, some hyperlinks to TVW archived recordings may not link to the exact location indicated.

Today marks day 49 of the 2018 Legislative Session. With only 11 days remaining, a lot was accomplished this week and the coming weeks will prove to be busy-as-ever as we approach the final countdown to Sine Die on March 8th. This week was a busy one with the House and Senate releasing both their supplemental operating and capital budget proposals and policy committees scrambling to hear and act on bills before the final policy cut-off that occurred Friday, 2/23.

 

With regard to the budgets, it is important to remember that supplemental budgets are meant to address gaps in the two-year budget adopted in the previous legislative session (in the case of the capital budget, the 2017-19 budget was actually adopted this session). To understand some of the background context behind the budget proposals check out:

· Senate Democratic Caucus Budget News Conference, 2/19/18 (includes briefing on the Senate’s supplemental and capital budget proposals)

· House Democratic Caucus Budget News Conference, 2/20/18

 

In addition, the Republican Leadership Media Availability this week (2/20) provided greater insights into the sticky issues under negotiation in the next two weeks. Specifically, leaders discussed the various approaches to meeting the Supreme Court’s order to fully fund educator salaries starting in the 2018-19 year, efforts to bring property tax relief, and their commitments to finding ways to address school safety.

 

Finally, over the past couple of weekends, many legislators have hosted in-person or virtual Town Hall meetings. Hopefully you were able to attend! Even if you weren’t, it is important to continue to stay connected to your policy makers as they navigate the bills and issues that remain “alive” in the coming 11 days. Many amendments will be proposed and legislators need to understand the impacts their vote will have on school districts. The Bill/Issue Updates section of this report provides insight into a few of the bills and issues that are still alive and WSSDA’s comprehensive Bill Watch List (updated 2/24) provides a full listing of bills and their status.

Week 8 Schedule:

Following final fiscal committee action on Monday, most action will be on the House and Senate Floors. Check out their calendars: House  Senate

Final milestones in the 2018 Legislative Session: 

· February 26—Fiscal committee cutoff (opposite house)

· March 2 — Last day to consider opposite house bills (except budgets and matters NTIB and differences between the houses)

· March 8 — Last day of regular session

Friday, 2/23 marked the second important policy bill cut-off where bills had to be voted out of their second policy committee in order to really stay alive. These bills were either referred to the appropriate fiscal committee or to Rules for next steps. Though, it is important that bills are only ever technically “dead” if they are voted down by the House or Senate; or if, by December 31 of the second year of the biennial session (in this case, by 12/31/18), they do not become law.

 

Monday, 2/26 marks the second fiscal cut-off for bills assigned to fiscal committees be voted on, unless they are considered Necessary to Implement the Budget (NTIB).

 

Click here for a look at the schedule for next week and the following pages for an update on select bills from each of WSSDA’s position categories. It is important to note that several bills currently are still awaiting potential action in the opposite house’s fiscal committee. WSSDA’s Bill Watch List provides a comprehensive status update.

 

LEARNING

Þ ESHB 1046 - Concerning certificates of academic and individual achievement. This bill decouples the current requirement for students to pass the high school assessments for English language arts, mathematics, and science in order to graduate.

Status: Though some might say the bill is “dead” is it important to note that it does provide some cost savings to the overall budget and therefore could be considered NTIB. Rumors are out and about that this bill could still be voted on by the House and fast-tracked in the Senate to the floor for a vote.                                                                                                                                                                         Continued on p.2...

Text Box: Bill/Issue updates

Snow this week in Olympia made for treacherous and chilly travels to

committee meetings!