Signs of progress as legislature’s first deadline approaches

Today marks the first legislative cutoff. For those outside the Olympia bubble, it means that, to stay alive, any policy bill that doesn’t impact the budget (or transportation) must move out of its committee of origin by today. It’s an important benchmark because it tells us what bills have traction and what’s likely to be left by the wayside.

Signs of progress as we approach today’s deadline:

On Transportation: After a packed public hearing earlier this week, the Senate Transportation Committee approved the bipartisan transportation proposal announced last week. We’re pleased to see lawmakers understanding the urgency of this issue and taking decisive action. We’re hearing a floor vote could come soon. We’ll let you know when that’s happening and how you can voice your support.

On Education: The Senate Education Committee moved SB 5744, a measure aimed at supporting effective teachers. It directs districts to base reduction-in-force policies on performance, not seniority. It also gives principals greater authority in hiring decisions. Both components are key to supporting great teachers in every classroom.

On the other side of the capitol, the House Education Committee moved HB 1813, a bill to support K-12 computer science education, standards and teacher training. There’s a lot of support in Washington for improved STEM education and this bill is good step.

Look for more activity in Olympia as that first deadline approaches later today. TVW will have ongoing coverage. You can also stay up to date via our Twitter and Facebook feeds.