Friday, April 29, 2011

Legislature Special Session, my guess

The Special Session rewinds the clock on a couple bills I am watching.

The first bill is the state budget HB 1087. This is pretty much how the state will be for the next two years.

The second bill is a King County stimulus bill, HB 1997. It is dressed up as the Arts bill, the Convention Center bill, what it is at its most basic element is a stimulus bill.

Both bills were returned to the House Rules Committee by Special Session Resolution. My guess is that the House passes its version again, passes HB 1997 again and the Senate amends them both on the Senate floor, they go back to the House for concurrence.

I would rather have HB 1997 give up $100,000 to the affordable housing fund, and $100,000 to the state arts and heritage fund, both drawn from the state tax credit on the car rental tax.

I would prefer that HB 1997 were simplified so that over the next decade King County had the flexibility to determine for itself what tourism related infrastructure investments to make, and not have their hands tied by some state representative from sone other part of the state that really doesn't give a ratsass what happens in King County beyond just wanting to milk its residents and businesses for state tax revenue to be spread around the state.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Special Session begins for Washington State Legislature

For the dedicated followers of Arts and Heritage funding bills I am armed with my trusty iPhone that got me through my final year at UW to read tea leaves and highlight just what makes a Special Session so Special.

First, lots of rules are tossed out the window. Bills have usually matured to the point that most lawmakers know what the will vote for or know what it would take to change their vote. So, bills move faster, get hearings faster, voted out of committee faster.

Second, what was left for dead is revived with the magic wand of the Resolution.

To that second point. . . Ta da!
HB 1997 lives again (ok, lots and lots of other bills are in the same "alive" status, and could live that way until the next full session.)
Apr 22  By resolution, returned to House Rules Committee for third reading.
  Apr 26  By resolution, reintroduced and retained in present status.
HB 1997

Nothing is really happening yet, but being alive is better than the alternative.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

While we are skimming money off King County and spreading it around the state

How about them arts?
So, the Washington State Legislature will return on Tuesday for a Special Session, fact.
The House version of the operating budget bill HB 1087 has $100,000 going from the King County arts, heritage, and affordable housing bill, HB 1997 to the state's affordable housing fund, fact.
This does not appear to be in the Senate's amended version of HB 1087.
The two versions need to be reconciled, hopefully keeping HB 1997 alive and necessary for implementing the budget (House version), and that bill will get passed.

What I am wondering is why $100,000 wasn't skimmed off for the state's arts and heritage appropriation? It's not like I am looking for less money for King County, but, mmmm, I'm thinking that those if us in King County that car about arts would understand that expenditure. Maybe the funds could would have to be administered by a King County non-profit to be spent in the state and outside of King County.
Just askin' think about it, come on, really think about it.

Word to (thanks for the kind words), to this point, I believe it is HB 1997 that is alive, and SB5834 is not alive as it does not have a housing component and was not specifically identified in a budget bill.
So there.

And now something "Special"

Friday, April 22, 2011

They'll be back: Olympia special session starts Tuesday | Seattle Times Newspaper

Everybody look shocked.

The special session will start at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Lawmakers plan to adjourn Friday, ending the regular session without reaching deals on the operating budget or the construction budget. The 105-day regular session had been scheduled to end on Easter Sunday.

The full Senate is expected to return to Olympia on Tuesday, while the House will send most of its members home until budget negotiations reach an ending point.
Local News | They'll be back: Olympia special session starts Tuesday | Seattle Times Newspaper

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Seattle Times: Gregoire says special legislative session needed to finish budget

I'm a little behind since I was out of town for a week, so, here is the governor stating that a Special Session for the Washington State Legislature is needed.

Gov. Chris Gregoire said she's talked to leaders in the House and Senate and does not expect them to finish the work by the scheduled end of the session on April 24.

"They can't mechanically get there. I think it's unfortunate," the governor said Friday afternoon.

Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said earlier in the day that she thought it was unlikely lawmakers would finish on time. Brown said the Senate was interested in a short weekend break and then continuing until they finished the job.

But Gregoire said she wasn't certain if she'd call them back immediately.
Politics Northwest | Gregoire says special legislative session needed to finish budget | Seattle Times Newspaper

I'll go back to what I have been thinking for a while, HB 1997 will come back as an economic development bill in a Special Session.

Washington State Legislature Special Session Likely

With the House passing its budget last week with the passage of HB 1087 the Senate has roughly a week to pass the budget bill back. HB 1087 was in Executive Session on Friday (amendments and voting) it is unlikely that both houses will come to an agreement and have time to pass supporting bills that make the budget function, and have time for the House to consider the changes made by the Senate.

With a Special Session becoming mire likely, this is how it works:
- If two-thirds in the House and Senate vote to do so, the Legislature can call itself into special session. If they go this route, they can limit the scope of the work that they do.

- During a special session called by the Legislature, a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate can add items to the agenda.

- If the governor calls the Legislature into special session, she can suggest what they work on but they are not bound to that suggestion.

- In either case, the special session is limited to 30 days a pop.

- Some recent special sessions include 2001 and 2003 — each had three special sessions.

- Last year, the Legislature had two special sessions — a 30-day session immediately after regular session, and a one-day special session in December to make early-action budget cuts. Both were called by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Details on how special sessions work, in case you forgot

Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D) was quoted by TVW on the chances of completing the people's business before Easter Sunday, the last scheduled day of the regular session.

If they can't get out by Friday, then they will take the weekend off and let the legislators that travel from around the state a chance to go home for a few days.

None of this is surprising.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Seattle sports stadium taxes may live on after all | Strange Bedfellows — Politics News -

All true, the House Ways & Means Committee passed the operating budget with Amendment 464 that adds $100,000 to the Affordable Housing Account using revenue from HB 1997.

Well, I guess HB 1997 is now necessary to enact the state budget, making it exempt from legislative cutoff.

House Operating Budget bill is HB 1087, and is on the House Floor calendar as of 4/8/2011. (Ed update: HB 1087 and its Amendments are being debated now, 3pm, 4/9/2011) (second Ed. HB 1087 passed the House 53 to 43, with 1 absent, 5pm 4/9/2011).

I thought this would have happened in a Special Session, but, I guess it makes better sense to have the House put it in and pass it over to the Senate.
The operating budget bill is in the Rules Committee racking up amendments (as expected). When they get rolling on the operating budget bill it could be an all day affair.

Once the House version of the Operating budget passes to the Senate then it will go to the Senate Ways & Means Committee, then it's game on.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

Sent from my iPhone
Visit me here:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

AP: WA senators leave key budget hearing in protest

The power of the petty.

Democratic state Sen. Brian Hatfield of Raymond says he left a key Senate budget committee hearing on Friday in protest because one of his bills was killed in the House.

Earlier this session, Hatfield introduced and the Senate passed a bill that would change the types of biomass accepted as part of a clean energy law, grandfathering in pulp mills, including one in Hatfield's district. The House did not act on the bill.

Hatfield says he and Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom of Medina left in protest to get leadership's attention.

Their absence may have stalled the progress of a bill that would have extended temporary taxes on hotel stays, restaurants and car rentals to help fund economic projects in King County.

King County officials had expected to the measure to move out of committee, but fell a vote short.

Hatfield told the Aberdeen Daily World Saturday that he wanted to "rattle the cage." He says their absence shouldn't be blamed for the stadium taxes bill not going forward, though he says there may have been "collateral damage" from his protest.

Local News | WA senators leave key budget hearing in protest | Seattle Times Newspaper