"I just see this as one more step in the privatization of so many pieces of government. ...We're seeing it everywhere, and we have to put a stop to it. We have to see what (are) our priorities as a cicilized society, and raise the revenue to fund those priorities. And parks are one of those priorities."
-Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, urging the Senate to vote against a parks-funding proposal, Senate Bill 5897, which he says doesn’t adequately fund the state’s parks system. The measure passed the Senate on a 44-3 vote Friday.
THIS WEEK IN THE LEGISLATURE
Gov. Jay Inslee plans to sign 15 or more bills Monday, including a measure that will change the language of some existing laws from gender-specific references to gender-neutral terms.
The House and Senate will each hold daily caucus meetings and floor sessions. Lawmakers only have until April 28 to agree on a budget if they want to avoid a special legislative session.
The main sticking points: Many Republicans object to the House version of the budget, including nearly $1.3 billion in revenue from tax extensions and the closure of some existing tax breaks, while many Democrats say the Senate budget cuts would hurt vital services for seniors and the poor.
Many legislative committees will also hold public hearings next week. And while only bills deemed “necessary to implement the budget” are supposed to be considered this late in the session, lawmakers can make exceptions to that rule.
At least one such exception is in the works, as the Senate Law and Justice Committee has scheduled an 8 a.m. public work session Tuesday for two bills that would toughen drunken driving laws. Senate Bills 5902 and 5912 are sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley. The meeting is scheduled for Hearing Room 2 in the John A. Cherberg Building.
ELSEWHERE ON CAMPUS
On Tuesday, seventh-graders from Kamiakin Middle School will hold a band concert in the rotunda of the Legislative Building. The performance is scheduled from 12:15-1 p.m.
On Thursday, The Puget Sound Adventist Academy Choir will hold a performance in the Legislative Building rotunda. The concert will begin at noon and continue for an hour.
On Friday, Hawaiian music and hula dancers will be performing from 9:15-9:45 a.m. in the rotunda of the Legislative Building. The performance is sponsored by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.-Olympian staff