Halftime in Olympia: a look at the numbers and what’s next
Today, February 11th is the 30th day or halfway point in this year’s 60-day legislative session. The deadline for committee action on policy bills in the house of origin hit Friday, February 7th, and the next deadline is Tuesday, February 18th, the last day each house can act on its own policy bills.
Currently, there are 207 bills on the House Regular Calendar waiting for debate on the floor (called Second Reading). The Senate has 52 bills on its floor calendar. So far this session, lawmakers have introduced 1,300 bills, 694 in the House and 606 in the Senate. The House has passed 50 bills, and the Senate has passed 19 bills, but no bills other than legislative housekeeping and memorial measures have passed both houses. In all, for the 2013-14 legislative session cycle, lawmakers have introduced 3,889 bills, of which 401 have passed the legislature.
The bills that are currently up for debate and legislative action cover a broad array of subjects, among them topics such as designating a state waterfall and creating Seattle University license plates, but they do not include the major issues that have made headlines in recent weeks.
The remaining bills that see action will likely be passed either with party-line votes or near unanimous consent. Further action would then depend on the opposite chamber, and any amendments to bills in the opposite house would have to be reconciled between the House and Senate before being sent to the governor.
Once the deadline for considering policy bills in the house of origin passes, legislative action will shift to budget issues such as additional education funding, new taxes and a transportation package. The next thirty days should make for an interesting time in Olympia, and WashingtonVotes.org News will continue to help keep you on top of the latest action.