[1/12/17] Listen To KOZI Friday Mornings At 7:45 To Hear Legislative Session Update

Posted in Feature

Monday marked the beginning of a new Legislative Session in Olympia, which is poised to be one of the more difficult sessions in recent memory due to the State Supreme Court’s deadline to fully fund basic education in Washington. But that’s far from the only issue, not least of which is approving a state budget for the next two years.

The 65th Washington Legislature convened at noon Monday, starting the clock on a scheduled 105-day session.

Lawmakers acknowledge there’s a lot of heavy lifting in the next four-and-a-half months. How to fully fund education, addressing compliance of the federal Real ID Act and fixing a court decision that casts doubt on whether new wells for homes can be drilled in Washington, an issue close to residents of North Central Washington.

And then there’s the issue of taxes – more than $4 billion dollars in tax increases proposed by Governor Jay Inslee.

House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen said its time to put aside partisan concerns and work collaboratively to find solutions. The Snohomish Representative said the citizens of Washington are best served when Republicans and Democrats work together.

011217 Legislative Session 1 :12 “…but now it’s time to govern.”

Deputy Senate Democratic Leader, Andy Billig of Spokane, said Senate Democrats are focused on meeting the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, which said the Legislature was not meeting its constitutional responsibility to fully fund basic education for the state’s 1.1 million schoolkids.

011217 Legislative Session 2 :34 “…now and in the long term.”

12th District Senator Brad Hawkins, sworn in Monday morning, agrees. He said Tuesday, while lawmakers do have to concentrate on education as a predominant issue for the state, he doesn’t want it to distract from other statewide problems.

011217 Legislative Session 3 :25 “…now and in the long term.”

Hawkins said he worries about potential overreach by the judicial branch into the legislative branch through actions like the McCleary decision.

With Hawkins moving from the House to the Senate, Chelan-resident Mike Steele was elected to the House seat in November’s election. On Monday Steele was appointed to three legislative committees: Education, Capitol Budget, and Technology and Economic Development.

Steele said his House committee assignments will allow to affect change in a way that will support local communities, provide for growth and help encourage tourism.

During the legislative session, Representatives Mike Steele and Cary Condotta will join us Friday morning at 7:45 AM– starting tomorrow.