Good morning. Today is Wednesday, the third day of the 105-day legislative session.
“The tough times we are going through will demand equally tough decisions from all of us. You will have to make decisions that will make life harder for people back home. And you will have to make decisions that may keep you awake at night because in your heart, they just seem wrong. I know because I have had all of those thoughts while drafting the budget that I have presented to you.”
Gov. Chris Gregoire, addressing lawmakers during her State of the State speech
STATE OF THE STATE
Gregoire used her State of the State address to reiterate her support for consolidating government agencies, enacting pension and health care reform, creating a Department of Education and reforming the Washington State Ferry System.
Republican lawmakers responded with a speech by freshman Rep. Ann Rivers, who also called for smaller government and reforming workers’ compensation.
Rep. Christine Rolfes said she planned to introduce a bill by the end of the week to require industry to pay more for oil-spill preparedness in Puget Sound.
Other bills introduced included one to create a state board of naturopathy, and protect vulnerable adults from financial exploitation.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen will give the State of the Judiciary address at 11:30 a.m. in the Senate. She will talk about the recession’s effects on the justice system.
Several bills will have hearings in the House Judiciary Committee, including House Bill 1017, which would require a 12-hour impound on cars belonging to people arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
In the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee, hearings will include one on Olympia Rep. Sam Hunt’s bill to move the state entirely to mail voting.
The Senate Committee on Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness will hold hearings on three bills dealing with corrections.