Legislative Update from Olympia
22 May 2015
NOT THERE YET
SECOND SPECIAL SESSION?
NOTHING ON FIREARMS
While budgeteers are still appear at an impasse, there have been some significant developments this week. The most important was a new biennial revenue forecast that adds $400 million to anticipated revenues. That would appear to negate the need for new taxes, major new taxes anyway. About $500 million separate the Republican Senate and Democrat House budget proposals right now. Even Governor Inslee acknowledges that the his proposed $1.4 BILLION tax increase is unnecessary.
That has not stopped the governor from pushing for a new tax on carbon fuels, and House Democrats are calling for a new tax on “the rich:” a capital gains tax, as well as a business tax raise. What’s the $500 million for? Pay raises for teachers (many of whom are now striking in violation of state law) and state employees (mostly union members ). The governor has said that if the House and Senate fail to agree on the required budget bills by next Thursday, the 30th day of the special session, he will call for an immediate second special session.
If a biennial budget is not adopted by July 1st, most state agencies will be forced to shut down. Then we’ll REALLY save money!
There has been no floor activity since April 29th, the first day of the special session — no action on gun bills. All the budget work is in the classic smoke-filled back rooms (of course, no indoor smoking allowed these politically correct days; another tradition gone).
As we begin the Memorial Day weekend, let us not forget that this holiday is not about the start of the summer season, a three-day weekend or backyard barbecues. It began formally shortly after the Civil War/War of Northern Aggression (take your choice) and was originally called Decoration Day (to decorate the graves of soldiers killed in the war). Its purpose was to commemorate the 600,000 lives lost during the bloodiest war in American history. The name was later changed to Memorial Day to honor ALL who made the supreme sacrifice in all of our wars.
Whatever activities you have planned for this weekend, pause for a few minutes to remember those who gave their lives that you might enjoy this day. The peace and prosperity we enjoy were paid for in blood.
|Mental health/guns||Cody (D-34)||S. W&M|
* indicates change in status this week
ESHB = Engrossed Substitute House Bill, SHB/SSB = Substitute Bill (bill amended in committee), HB = House Bill, SB = Senate Bill, H. Aprop = House Appropriations, H. Jud. = House Judiciary, S. L&J = Senate Law & Justice, S. W&M = Senate Ways & Means
At this point, there is no published agenda for next week.
LEGISLATIVE HOT LINE: You may reach your Representatives and Senator by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Toll free!!! The hearing impaired may obtain TDD access at 1-800-635-9993. Also toll free!!!1-800-562-6000 TDD 1-800-635-9993
OTHER DATA: Copies of pending legislation (bills), legislative schedules and other information are available on the legislature’s web site at “www.leg.wa.gov“. Bills are available in Acrobat (.pdf) format. You may download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe’s web site (http://www.adobe.com). You may also obtain hard copy bills, initiatives, etc, in the mail from the Legislative Bill Room FREE OF CHARGE by calling 1-360-786-7573. Copies of bills may also be ordered toll free by calling the Legislative Hotline at (800) 562-6000. You may also hear floor and committee hearing action live at http://www.tvw.org/ (you need “RealAudio” to do this, available free at the TVW web site).
By reading the House and Senate “bill reports” (hbr, sbr) for each bill, you can see how individual committee members voted. By reading the “roll call” for each bill, you can see how the entire House or Senate voted on any bill. The beauty of the web site is that ALL this information is available, on line, to any citizen.
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Upcoming WAC gun show(s):
Puyallup 27-28 June
Monroe 11-12 July
“The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”Article 1, Section 24
- Constitution of the State of Washington
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