With the 2023 session now halfway over, the Legislature will hit the critical house of origin deadline at 5 p.m. Wednesday. At that point, bills introduced in the House and Senate that are not necessary to implement the budget can no longer be considered by the chamber in which they were introduced. Committee work will pick back up at the end of the week with public hearings on bills sent over from the House.
JOINT SESSION WITH FINNISH PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ
Monday, March 6
A joint session of the Legislature will be convened Monday morning in the Senate for an address from Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. Watch on TVW.
Senators will be hard at work on the floor throughout the first part of the week, passing bills ahead of the house of origin cutoff, which arrives at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Once the house of origin deadline arrives, bills introduced in the House and Senate that are not necessary to implement the budget can no longer be considered by the chamber in which they were introduced.
SUPPORT FOR THE HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE
Thursday, March 9
The Health & Long-Term Care Committee will hear public testimony on House Bill 1001, sponsored by Rep. Mari Leavitt, which will help address our state’s health care workforce shortage, specifically in the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology, through an interstate compact. Watch on TVW.
TAX THE RICH
Thursday, March 9
The Ways & Means Committee will hear public testimony on Senate Bill 5486, the Washington State Wealth Tax, which would help fix our upside-down tax code by creating a narrowly tailored 1% property tax on extreme wealth derived from the ownership of stocks, bonds, and other financial assets, with the proceeds dedicated to trust funds for education, affordable housing, disability services, and tax credits for working families. The first $250 million of assessed value is exempted, meaning only the wealthiest people in Washington would pay the tax, including some of the wealthiest individuals in the world. Watch on TVW.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH WORKFORCE
Friday, March 10
The Health & Long-Term Care Committee will hear public testimony on House Bill 1069, sponsored by Rep. Mari Leavitt, which will address our state’s shortage of mental health counselors by creating a compact to allow professionals licensed in member states to practice across state lines. Watch on TVW.