Good morning. Today is Thursday, Feb. 18, the 39th day of the 60-day legislative session.
The Washington Senior Lobby will hold a legislative day at United Churches, 110 11th Ave. S.E., Olympia. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with morning activities at the church. The Olympia-based group, led by Walt Bowen, expects to draw more than 300 people from throughout the state.
• Gov. Chris Gregoire will hold her Government Management Accountability Program meeting at 7:30 a.m. in the Columbia Room.
• The American Massage Association’s state chapter will hold its Massage Awareness Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Rotunda.
• Advocates for early learning will hold a Head Start rally at noon on the Capitol steps.
• Representatives of Washington newspapers will hold events during the day at the Capitol and Temple of Justice.
The Mockingbird Society will hold its youth advocacy day Friday to urge funding for safe housing and aid to foster youth. A focus of the event is set for 11 a.m. at Tivoli Fountain.
The House was set to resume debate at 8 p.m. Wednesday on a bill making it easier to raise taxes, and a vote was expected later in the evening.
Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6130 would temporarily suspend the two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases under Initiative 960, and Senate Democrats say they will vote to accept the House’s amendments on the bill as soon as Monday.
The House battled over that same bill for nearly seven hours late Tuesday evening on a Republican proposal to table the bill indefinitely, but Democrats rejected it on a 51-46 vote that saw nine Democrats cross over in support of the GOP position.
A big question is whether to raise a broad tax or a number of smaller taxes that have targeted effects – or to close more tax exemptions.
Democratic Rep. Sam Hunt of Olympia said Wednesday that a bill that would help put height limits on future buildings on Olympia’s isthmus died because of differences among House Democrats.
Some House Democratic Caucus members did not want the state interfering with municipal interests on the issue.
House Bill 2082 had the City of Olympia’s support but died at Tuesday’s bill deadline. Hunt said it could have taken a couple of hours to work through a floor vote, and there were too many other bills that needed the time.
Hunt said that despite the setback, the city and state have time to consider options over the next nine months.
Compiled by Brad Shannon, staff writer