Good morning. Today is Thursday, the 32nd day of the 105-day session.
Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, DBothell, introduced Senate Bill 5725, which would set up a pilot program for certifying teachers in science, technology, engineering and math at two state schools.
Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, introduced Senate Bill 5742, which would require that money in the Puget Sound ferry operations account not be used for any purpose except the state ferry system. It also would set up a capital vesselreplacement account to be used only for building new ferries.
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Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, introduced Senate Bill 5749, which would modify the Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition program for people who buy the credits through the program on or after April 1 . The bill would limit the amount of tuition increases that GET units would cover and would set up a commission to regulate the number of people in the program and the number of units they purchase.
Lawmakers have said the program, which allows people to buy tuition units to pay for future state university costs, risks running out of money because of the increase in tuition at state universities in recent years.
House Bill 1907, introduced by Rep. Bob Hasegawa, would expand the GET program by paying the enrollment fee for all children born in Washington and adding units to students’ accounts throughout their educational careers.
The Seattle Democrat also introduced House Bill 1908, which would set up a mentoring program to encourage elementary school students to go to college.
Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, introduced House Bill 1912, which would allow law enforcement officers – who get warrants – to set up checkpoints to stop drivers and see if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, introduced House Bill 1915, a bill requested by the state treasurer that would set up an “infrastructure bank” that local governments could borrow from to pay for infrastructure projects.
The Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee passed Senate Bill 5073, which would license medicalmarijuana dispensaries and set up a registry for medicalmarijuana users to protect them from searches and arrest. The measure still will have to be approved by the rules committee and pass a floor vote to make it out of the Senate.
A group of health care workers from around the state plans to picket a bank in downtown Olympia at 10:30 a.m. to draw attention to Wall Street tax breaks.
The House Education Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill 1325, which would require a reorganization of school districts in the state. Under the bill, the Washington State School Directors’ Association would have to reorganize districts, or, if the association’s plan did not increase efficiency, a reorganization commission would be established and would have to reduce the state’s 295 school districts to no more than 150.
The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on House Bill 1180, a bill by Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, that would strengthen anti-harassment orders associated with stalking.
The Senate Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5593, which would require the owners of tanning facilities to get licenses and would prohibit them from letting anyone younger than 16 use ultraviolet tanning beds. A similar bill, House Bill 1363, will have a hearing in the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee.
The House Community Development and Housing Committee is scheduled to vote on House Bill 1554, which would increase the tax credit for the Washington Motion Picture Competitiveness Program to make filming movies in the state cheaper.
The House Higher Education Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill 1822, the companion to Senate Bill 5136, under which the state would partner with an online, nonprofit university to create the Western Governors’ University-Washington.
The committee is also scheduled to hear House Bill 1808, a bill at the request of the governor that would set up a system to make it easier for students to get up to a year of college credits during their senior year of high school.
The Senate Natural Resources and Marine Waters Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5669, a bill, requested by Gov. Chris Gregoire, that would consolidate natural-resource agencies.
The Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee will hear Senate Bill 5511, which would let school districts cut up to three days from the school year if there are midyear cuts to schools. The committee also is scheduled to have a hearing on Senate Bill 5639, the governor’s bill to create an Education Department. The House versions of both bills have had hearings .
The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill 1635, which would allow private driving schools to offer driver’s license tests and charge a fee of up to $25 per test.