Ding, ding, ding – that’s the sign of the first cutoff!
Prepared by Marie Sullivan, WSPTA Legislative Consultant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, February 15, marks the first cutoff of the session, signaling the Legislature is one-third of the way through this 105-day session. Most committees finished up their work by Friday, February 12, while a few will use Monday to move bills out of the policy committee to stay alive this session. The next cutoff to watch is February 22 when bills need to pass out of the House and Senate fiscal committees.
Stimulus bill on the way to Governor’s desk
The Senate debated and passed ESHB 1368, the federal stimulus appropriations act, on Wednesday, February 10. Like their counterparts in the House, Senate Republicans offered several amendments to expand the size of the appropriation and tap the state’s Budget Stabilization Account (BSA) (i.e., Rainy-Day Fund) for things like small business/landlord assistance and reopening schools. However, unlike in the House (the vote was 61-36), all but two Senate Republicans voted in favor of moving the measure forward to the Governor’s desk for signature. Governor Jay Inslee is expected to sign it sometime in the next week but no later than February 19. As a reminder, school districts will receive about $688 million under ESSER II; to get the funds flowing, districts will need to submit an updated reopening plan by March 1 and a student learning loss recovery plan by June 1.
Keep up with the bills and committee hearings related to WSPTA member-generated legislative priorities and long-term positions by utilizing the bill tracking and upcoming events report.
Additional ways to stay connected:
- Each week a new newsletter, “Focus on Advocacy,” will be sent each Monday to subscribers to keep you informed on what is happening during the legislative session and how it aligns with WSPTA priorities. To subscribe simply click on the “Update your Profile” link at the bottom of any newsletter to select this newsletter.
- Subscribe to the Action Network to participate in timely action alerts through the session. As a bonus, subscribers to the Action Network receive the new “Focus on Advocacy” newsletter.
- Advocacy questions can be directed to WSPTA Advocacy Director Sherry Rudolph.