March 20, 2023

Budget Releases and Revenue Forecasts will Dominate Next Two Weeks in Week 10 Report

Prepared by Marie Sullivan,  

Monday, March 20th will be a big day in Olympia – the Senate will release its 2023-25 capital budget at 10:30 AM, followed by a public hearing in the Senate Ways & Means Committee at 4 PM. That afternoon, the Economic & Revenue Forecast Council will meet at 2:00 PM and will offer the latest predictions on revenue collections and the state’s economic situation.  

The Senate 2023-25 operating budget will be released on Thursday, March 23, with a public hearing in the Senate Ways & Means Committee at 2:00 PM Friday. At this time, it appears the Senate budget committee will leave the budget over the weekend and return the following Monday for possible amendments and executive action. 

The House has indicated it will release its 2023-25 budget proposals the week of March 27th 

Policy committee bill activity 

Work continues in policy committees, with the next deadline March 29th for bills to pass out of the opposite chamber policy committee to stay alive.  

Last week the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee heard public testimony on bills relating to special education funding, school meals, creating a high school performance-based graduation pathway, and strengthening the educator workforce. Many of those bills have been scheduled for a vote this upcoming week.  

In the House Education Committee, public testimony was offered on special education funding, enhancing media literacy, and updating High School and Beyond Plans. Also in the House, the Appropriations Committee took testimony on a bill to create a new transportation safety net grant program for “special passengers” and expanding the pilot program for students experiencing homelessness and foster youth.  

No big changes were adopted on any bills passing out of the policy committees last week.  

Advocacy in Action! 

March 13th was a busy day for the Washington State PTA, with four members testifying in both the Senate and House education committees.  

  • WSPTA past president Michelle Nims shared a personal story about her daughter’s experience in high school to underscore the importance of HB 1308, which would add a performance-based pathway for graduation purposes during a Senate committee hearing March 13th. Michelle’s testimony can be heard here 

WSPTA members testified on Tuesday and Wednesday too.  

  • Parent advocate Natalya Yudkovsky asked House Education Committee members to support E2SSB 5243, meaningful high school and beyond plans. Natalya shared the elements of the revised HSBP supported by WSPTA, including elements added at the association’s request for student data privacy and making sure technology needs for the platform are covered, including the portability of a universal platform. Her testimony can be found here 
  • Speaking on the Senate version of special education funding, issue submitter Tanya Aggar testified before the House Education Committee March 14, asking legislators to fully fund professional development in inclusionary practices, address the teacher shortages in special education, and special education advocates who can help parents navigate the complex K-12 system for their students with disabilities. Tanya’s testimony is here 
  • WSPTA advocacy committee member Tori Emerson testified as Other on ESHB 1436, the House bill regarding special education funding, before the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Committee on March 15th. Tori asked senators to consider amending the House bill to remove the cap and increase the multiplier to the levels found in E2SSB 5311. Listen to her testimony here 

The Week Ahead – Remote Testimony is available for ALL public hearings 

While the action is in policy and fiscal committees, this week also kicks off budget releases, with the Senate going first. As a reminder, the next cutoff is for bills from the opposite chamber to pass out of policy committees by Wednesday, March 29. Fiscal bills must pass out of fiscal committees by April 4th 

Schedule is subject to change – public hearings only, check full Weekly Schedule for all events: 

Early Learning & K-12 Education (Senate) – SHR 1 and Virtual J.A. Cherberg – 3/20 @ 1:30pm 

  • HB 1146 – Public Hearing – Notifying high school students and their families about available dual credit programs and any available financial assistance. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support)
  • SHB 1207 – Public Hearing – Preventing and responding to harassment, intimidation, bullying, and discrimination in schools. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support)
  • HB 1230 – Public Hearing – Requiring school districts and other public education entities to make information from the department of health available. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/High)
  • EHB 1478 – Public Hearing – Establishing a statement of student rights. (Remote Testimony Available).
  • E2SHB 1479 – Public Hearing – Concerning restraint or isolation of students in public schools and educational programs. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Medium)

Education (House) – HHR A and Virtual JLOB – 3/20 @ 1:30pm 

  • SB 5180 – Public Hearing – Adopting the interstate teacher mobility compact. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Low)
  • E2SSB 5315 – Public Hearing – Concerning nonpublic agencies operating special education programs for students with disabilities. (Remote Testimony Available). (Monitoring)

Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4 and Virtual JACB – 3/20 @ 4:00pm 

  • SB 5200 – Public Hearing – Concerning the capital budget. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.)

Capital Budget (House) – HHR B and Virtual JLOB – 3/21 @ 8:00am 

  • SSB 5126 – Public Hearing – Providing common school trust revenue to small school districts. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support)

Law & Justice (Senate) – SHR 4 and Virtual JACB – 3/21 @ 10:30am 

  • SHB 1562 – Public Hearing – Reducing the risks of lethality and other harm associated with gun violence, gender-based violence, and other types of violence. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Monitoring)

Postsecondary Education & Workforce (House) – HHR B and Virtual JLOB – 3/21 @ 1:30pm 

  • 2SSB 5048 – Public Hearing – Eliminating college in the high school fees. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Medium)

Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4 and Virtual JACB – 3/21 @ 4:00pm 

  • 2SHB 1176 – Public Hearing – Developing opportunities for service and workforce programs to support climate-ready communities. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Low)
  • HB 1232 – Public Hearing – Enhancing the college bound scholarship program. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Low)
  • 2SHB 1559 – Public Hearing – Establishing the student basic needs at public postsecondary institutions act. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support)

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – SHR 1 and Virtual J.A. Cherberg – 3/22 @ 8:00am 

  • E2SHB 1392 – Public Hearing – Promoting the fair servicing and repair of digital electronic equipment. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Low)

Early Learning & K-12 Education (Senate) – SHR 1 and Virtual J.A. Cherberg – 3/22 @ 1:30pm 

  • 2SHB 1550 – Public Hearing – Assisting eligible children in need of additional preparation to be successful in kindergarten by establishing the transition to kindergarten program. (Remote Testimony Available). (Monitoring)
  • SHB 1658 – Public Hearing – Authorizing public high school students to earn elective credit for paid work experience. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support)

Postsecondary Education & Workforce (House) – HHR B and Virtual JLOB – 3/22 @ 1:30pm 

  • SSB 5499 – Public Hearing – Concerning the multistate nurse licensure compact. (Remote Testimony Available).

Law & Justice (Senate) – SHR 4 and Virtual JACB – 3/23 @ 8:00am 

  • E2SHB 1143 – Public Hearing – Concerning requirements for the purchase or transfer of firearms. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Medium)
  • SHB 1240 – Public Hearing – Establishing firearms-related safety measures to increase public safety. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/High)

Health & Long Term Care (Senate) – SHR 4 and Virtual JACB – 3/23 @ 10:30am 

  • 2SHB 1724 – Public Hearing – Increasing the trained behavioral health workforce. (Remote Testimony Available).

Early Learning & K-12 Education (Senate) – SHR 1 and Virtual J.A. Cherberg – 3/23 @ 1:30pm 

  • SHB 1044 – Public Hearing – Providing capital financial assistance to small school districts with demonstrated funding challenges. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support)

Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4 and Virtual JACB – 3/23 @ 4:00pm 

  • E2SHB 1181 – Public Hearing – Improving the state’s response to climate change by updating the state’s planning framework. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support)

Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4 and Virtual JACB – 3/24 @ 2:00pm 

  • SB 5187 – Public Hearing – Making 2023-2025 fiscal biennium operating appropriations. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute which includes the 2023 supplemental budget.)
Category: Advocacy , Legislative

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