Published January 24, 2013
Under the Dome: Today is Thursday, Jan. 24, the 11th day of the 105-day legislative session.
Today is Thursday, Jan. 24, the 11th day of the 105-day legislative session. Quoted: "A changeover in the Senate is healthy from time to time. What really is best for the people of this state, and what the people of this state demand and deserve, is for us to get beyond this type of distraction and do the business of the people." ~Sen. Ann Rivers~ R-La Center, commenting on an unsuccessful attempt by Senate Democrats to replace the chair of the Senate’s administrative Facilities and Operations Committee. TODAY Legislature Lawmakers will hear two bills dealing with mentally ill offenders. Senate Bill 5221 would require that prosecutors be notified within 24 hours if someone who has been deemed criminally incompetent is to be released instead of being involuntarily committed. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle, will receive a hearing today at 10 a.m. before the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee in Hearing Room 1 of the John A. Cherberg Building. House Bill 1114 also targets the release of violent offenders who are deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial, but who are not subject to being involuntarily committed. The bill, introduced by Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, would require violent felons to be evaluated at Western or another state hospital, rather than at community treatment facilities or jails. A hearing on the bill is at 1:30 p.m. in Room A of the John L. O’Brien Building. Proposals for cutting disabled veterans and volunteers breaks on the $30 price of a Discover Pass, which provides yearlong access to state parks, will be heard at 1:30 p.m. before the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee, which meets in Hearing Room 1 of the John A. Cherberg Building. The State Department of Transportation will present an update on its tolling program during the Senate Transportation Committee meeting today. The committee will meet at 3:30 p.m. in Hearing Room 1 of the John A. Cherberg Building. Elsewhere Members of the Washington State PTA will rally at the Legislative Building rotunda at noon to urge legislators to improve funding for basic education. The PTA coalition will also meet with legislators throughout the day as part of Washington State PTA Focus Day. BILL INTRODUCTIONS Senate Bill 5246 would require that student achievement growth constitute 50 percent of how teachers are evaluated on three of eight criteria. The proposal is sponsored by Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island.