Good morning. Today is Friday, day 68 of a 105-day session.
Lawmakers today are recovering from the latest state revenue forecast, announced Thursday. According to the most recent numbers, the state faces a shortfall of about $5.3 billion over the coming 27 months, a gap that is about $778 million bigger than predicted in the last forecast, which came out in November.
Having the new figures paves the way, though, for the Legislature to begin work in earnest on the biennial budget, and the chairs of the Ways and Means committees in both houses said Thursday that they want to finish it before the end of the regular session on April 24.
The Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee will hear House Bill 1930, which would strengthen background-check requirements for people who work in child care and the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear House Bill 1923, which would add to the checks people have to undergo to get a concealed pistol license in Washington.
The House Environment Committee is scheduled to have a work session on renewable energy in Washington and the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee is having one on children whose parents are in jail.
Both the House and Senate are scheduled for a 10 a.m. floor session.
The Earth Wisdom Foundation, a non-profit centered around the values of North American Aboriginal people, is holding a Spring Equinox ceremony at Heritage Park.