Good morning. Today is Wednesday, the 66th day of the 105-day session.
The Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee will hear House Bill 1849, an alternative to the governor’s Education Department proposal. The measure would set up a study of education governance in Washington, a compromise approach some lawmakers have criticized for moving too slowly.
The House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee is scheduled to both hear and vote on Senate Bill 5021, which would strengthen campaign-finance disclosure requirements in the state. The measure is a response to some complex campaign-finance maneuvering by a firm called Moxie Media in the 38th district’s 2010 primaries.
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The House Higher Education Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5749, which would reform the state’s Guaranteed Education Tuition Program, a move the measure’s sponsors say is necessary to keep the program from running out of money down the road.
The House Community Development and Housing Committee will have a hearing on Senate Bill 5482, which would authorize state and local government agencies to use affordable housing money to house victims of human trafficking and their families.
The Senate Natural Resources and Marine Waters Committee will hear House Bill 1186, which would add to the requirements that tankers traveling through Puget Sound have to adhere to. The Senate already passed a weaker version of the measure that would increase the damages for which a company that causes a spill could be liable.
The Senate Financial Institutions, Housing and Insurance Committee will hear House Bill 1362, a proposal to set up a foreclosure-mediation process for indebted homeowners in Washington.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee will hear Senate Bill 5717, the Senate version of a measure that would implement some of the recommendations from the governor’s Higher Education Funding Task Force, and Senate Bill 5542, which would allow tobacco stores that get a special endorsement from the state to have cigar lounges. Money from the endorsements would be used to fund Basic Health, a state-subsidized health insurance program.
The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5540, which would authorize school districts to put traffic-safety cameras on school buses. The cameras would take pictures of the license plates on cars that pass buses illegally, and law enforcement officers would be able to issue tickets based on that information.
The Legislative Ethics Board is holding a public meeting at 11:45 in Senate Hearing Room 3 in the Cherberg Building.
The next state revenue forecast is coming up Thursday, after which lawmakers will have a better idea of the budget shortfall the state faces over the next two years. According to the last forecast, released in November, the Washington shortfall is about $4.6 billion.
The same day, the Our Economic Future Coalition plans a rally against proposed budget cuts to education, health care and environmental programs on the north steps of the Legislative Building.