Monday, January 13, 2014

Legislative Session - Day 1

Good morning from the E-Wire!  We are down in Olympia now as the House and Senate prepare for caucuses and opening session.

Breaking news for our Eastern Washington Members – Representative Haler’s Groundbreaking Legislation to attempt to fill the access to health care gap in Southeast Washington has received a hearing in House Higher Education.  The bill, HB 2109, will be heard on Friday the 17th at 8AM in House Hearing Room A.  Here is the link to the bill: 

This afternoon, the House will be engaging in the first round of legislative hearings in Education, Early Learning, and Appropriations.  The E-Wire will be there, taking notes and sending you an update later today.  This morning, the following Education and Whole child related bills were introduced.  The bill list included all pre-filed bills, but E-Wire readers have already seen that list so, here are the rest…

HB 2201 – Representative Reuven Carlyle – Creating a series of procedures to better ascertain the extent of the costs and efficacy of tax loopholes in Washington State and developing reporting requirements and ending outdated reporting requirements.  This is a fairly large piece of legislation from one of E-Wire’s favorite fiscal policy wonks, Representative Carlyle.  The bill is designed to improve tax loophole data collections, create a Department of Revenue workgroup for recommendations to improve DOR annual surveys and reports, and authorizes public disclosure of certain firm-specific tax information.

HB 2202 - Representative Reuven Carlyle – Establishing an open data portal so improve sharing of open public records with the public electronically.  Some exceptions apply in order to protect privacy, patent, confidentiality agreements, etc.

HB 2205 By Representative Takko – Modifying mental status evaluation provisions to provide for orders requiring mental status evaluation or treatment may (instead of must) be based on a presentence report.  This bill is the companion bill to SB 5967 by Padden and Kline.

HB 2207 By Representatives Haigh and Orcutt - Eliminating the reduction in state basic education funding that occurs in counties with federal forest lands. – This bill has the exact same effect as Senator Ericksen’s bill prefiled last week EXCEPT – the Senate bill has a broader title whereas this bill is very specific to rural schools offset.

There will be more soon, but before we hit the digital press, a musical arrangement appropriate to the start of the legislative session.  You’ve probably heard this one on the radio, but any song with the lines “How can I ever be an optimist about this” and “if you closed your eyes does it almost feel like you’ve been here before” probably warrants a listen.

Now that the music has stopped  - welcome to E-Wire!

First off, Senator Litzow responds to McCleary funding this session

And if you have forgotten

Before we hit the bill cycle - Crosscut asks - Who will pay for Bertha's problems

Newspapers Initiate Coverage of the Session

While I am typing this

Rodney Tom feels pressure in Majority Coalition Caucus

Community College track offering options for reducing college debt

WSU Offers Degree online to address needs

Danny Westneat offers his thoughts on Eastside Catholic - spoiler - the Students are winning

What other states are learning about dropout re-engagement

The push to add arts and design to STEM

The Race and Gender Gap with Technology Starts in High School

Kent Schools introduce I-Grad

Cleveland, Ohio’s Fiscal Challenges with poverty and special needs requirements

College Drop out numbers high in US

Expanded Pre-K battlegrounds set

Challenges with student mental health diagnosis and treatment

Garfield HS Student Hazing

Co-teaching with computers (we are seeing a lot of chatter about this – check it out)

Cuomo suggests merit pay for teachers

Highline schools are searching for capital needs answers

Great New York Times article on Income Inequality (you will be hearing that a lot this election cycle)

And while we are on it, Conservative Activist Ron Unz is pushing for a $12 minimum wage to go to the ballot in California

Schools support Epi Pen utilization, but questions remain

Central Washington HS Students off to Carnegie Hall – have a listen!

Some legislators will be focusing on education

Schools and Environmental stewardship at loggerheads (pun mine, sorry)

The E-Wire saw this one coming – but it won’t likely move much at the moment

Clark County school shooter case still in review

Since everyone is leaving Snohomish County Politics, you probably need a table to graph the comings and goings (thanks, Herald!)

Summer Learning Loss challenged by legislation introduced by Senator Billig

Olympian challenges Moderate Republicans to take a stand this session

TNT introduces Capital Update Free App (behind a paywall - FYI:  their spelling, not ours)

Spokesman Review offers their spin too

Democrats offer Minimum Wage Hike

That is all for now – look for a later wire to see how day 1 went in Olympia.

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