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: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?year=2014&bill=2109
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extent of the costs and efficacy of tax loopholes in Washington State and developing reporting requirements and ending outdated reporting requirements.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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F90Cw4l-8NY
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.