State lawmakers extend deadline on 2 key bills dealing with veteran tuition, homelessness

Staff writerMarch 8, 2014 

Legislature legislative building

In this photo taken Jan. 9, 2014, the Legislative Building at the Washington state Capitol in Olympia, Wash., is shown as rain falls on the sundial in the foreground.


Two bills that state lawmakers have identified as priorities weren't subject to Friday's cutoff deadline for non-budgetary legislation, leaders of both chambers agreed.

Leaders in the House and Senate issued a letter saying they will take additional time to work on a bill to provide veterans with in-state tuition. Legislative leaders also said they would continue to work on legislation to extend a $40 real-estate document recording fee that funds programs for the homeless.

Friday's letter announcing that the two bills would be exempt from the Friday deadline was signed by House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle; House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington; Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina; and Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville.

“The veterans’ tuition bill is designed to provide education opportunities for our veterans. The document recording fee provides targeted funding for vulnerable citizens who are struggling with homelessness," the letter said.

“House and Senate leadership is in agreement that these issues are not subject to today’s cut-off, and we look forward to delivering this important legislation to the governor before Sine Die.”

The 60-day legislative session is scheduled for adjournment -- or Sine Die -- on Thursday.

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