Good morning. Today is Thursday, the 67th day of the 105-day session.
Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, introduced Senate Bill 5877, which would set up an Office of Program Integrity within the Department of Social and Health Services. The new office would investigate allegations of misuse of taxpayer money.
Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, introduced Senate Bill 5866, which would let some prisoners out early to cut state costs. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy estimated that doing so could save about $6.6 million over the coming biennium.
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Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, introduced House Bill 2019, which would transfer a three-cent-per-cigarette tax from a fund that pays for education programs into the state’s general fund.
The state revenue forecast for the 2011-13 biennium comes out today. The forecast will be an update on the $4.6 billion shortfall that was predicted in November and will give lawmakers a better sense of the cuts they need to make as they begin debating legislation to implement the state’s biennial budget.
The House Environment Committee will continue from Tuesday its hearing on Senate Bill 5769, a proposal to end coal-fired electricity generation in Washington. It also will hear Senate Bill 5186, which would make knowingly skiing in an area closed to the public a crime of second-degree criminal trespass.
The House Judiciary Committee will hear the Senate version of a bill to protect against oil spills. The proposal, Senate Bill 5439, would add to the damages for which a company that causes a spill could be liable.
The committee is also scheduled to vote on Senate Bill 5000, which would require a 12-hour impound on cars belonging to people arrested on suspicion of driving drunk; Senate Bill 5326, which would increase the penalties for negligent drivers who hit a pedestrian or bicyclist, and Senate Bill 5023, which would prohibit nonlawyers from giving legal advice about immigration.
The House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee will hear Senate Bill 5029, which would allow beer and wine sampling at farmers markets. In the Senate, the Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee will hear House Bill 1172, which would do the same thing.
The House Higher Education Committee will hear Senate Bill 5442, which would allow state universities to set up accelerated, three-year baccalaureate programs.
A group called the Our Economic Future Coalition is holding a rally in response to the state revenue forecast to protest proposed cuts to education, health care and environmental programs.
The Poker Players’ Alliance is coming to Olympia to lobby against what it calls a “draconian ban” on online poker in Washington, and church groups are holding Interfaith Advocacy Day in the Legislative Building.