Monday, February 10, 2014

E-Wire for Feb. 10th

It’s a happy Monday here in Olympia folks!

Bills continue to be heard in committee in advance of fiscal policy legislative cut-off.  For the PTA, about 1/3rd of the bills we have been following have died, but that leaves a lot of legislation moving forward.  Some of these bills we never expected to move forward, and many, at least in the Senate, have been merged with other bills to make larger Omnibus Bills dealing with broad topics (read:  SB 6552 –Improving student success by increasing instructional hour and graduation requirements).  This one will be held today at 1:30 in Senate Ways & Means and Senator Dammeier has promised to reveal the plans for reallocating the money budgeted in 2013 for the 1080 instruction hours.  Should be interesting.

Which brings me to the definition of “dead” – The OED (Oxford English Dictionary) defines “dead” as “no longer alive.”  The legislature defines bills as dead if they don’t make legislative cut-off at 5PM on Tuesday.  There may be 50 Ways to Say Goodbye if you believe Train, but there are probably as many or more ways to resurrect bills which are “no longer alive.”  We will be hearing about these as we go into the week.

Keeping that in mind, here’s the E-Wire!

Top Story: 40th Anniversary of the Boldt Decision.  Not sound familiar?  Read on -

Part time faculty can organize their own separate union under SB 5844 which passed Senate Commerce and Labor this Friday -

Former State Republican Chairman Chris Vance has his predictions for the November Elections

We’d love to post a few articles from the Stranger, but the titles are NSFW – sooo, you can search yourself at and have at it!  Speaking of Bertha - Tim Ceis has a new Client – Bertha

Senator Braun of Centralia laments the failure of the constitutional amendment to require a 2/3rds vote for tax increases.  Those of us who believe in the McCleary decision breathe a sigh of relief in response.

Ban on therapy to change a child’s sexual orientation moves forward in the House with amendments

Jana Carlisle with the Partnership for Learning editorializes on supporting 24 Credit Graduation.  Laudable goal – but there needs to be some caveats for funding and supporting all children including those with special needs

Cool history of the “Pay It Forward Tuition Program” idea instigated by John Burbank. This concept was presented at the 2013 WSPTA Legislative Assembly in October.   It is in House Appropriations – HB 2720 and a bit more about the program here -

Senator Baumgartner’s Bill that would have placed caps on Higher Ed Tuition was gutted in committee and turned into a study

Seattle Times comes out in favor of banning toxics

The division in the Majority Coalition Caucus breaks open over the Dream Act look here and here  and Austin Jenkins points out although it is a step in the right direction we still underfund the state need grant program

Robin Lake opines on the lag in Washington State’s STEM education

Teachers respond to survey in Alaska – results not too surprising

The E-Wire is written by PTA Legislative Staff and Edited by Legislative Director Sherry Krainick.  Have any thoughts or suggestions?  Write us!

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