The gavels have sounded! The 2013 Legislature kicked off its 105-day session today with swearing in ceremonies and a Senate rule change that shifted power to a majority coalition caucus made up of 23 Republicans and two Democrats. This session promises to be challenging. The state budget is already $1 billion in the hole, prior to making the down payment required by the Supreme Court to boost K-12 funding. Some lawmakers place the down payment at about $1 billion next biennium, bringing the budget gap to about $2 billion.
In addition, one-sixth of the Legislature is comprised of new members elected to the House and Senate this past fall. This means new committee chairs and in some cases, new leadership roles.
The SBCTC government relations team will keep you posted on all committee hearings, proposed legislation, and other details important to our colleges and students. This session we’re changing “Leg News” to a twice-weekly blog to deliver fast-breaking news. Stay tuned!
This week in Legislative News
You will find the hearings we are tracking for this week in the hearing schedule, located at the link on the left-side toolbar. Here are a few we expect to highlight in the January 16 edition of Leg News:
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
House Higher Education Committee (8:00 am)
Work session: Washington Student Achievement Council, higher education priorities for 2013 session
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
House Labor and Workforce Development Committee (8:00 am)
Work session: Update on Washington’s support of aerospace
House Higher Education (1:30 pm)
Work session: Higher education priorities for 2013 session
News, notebook, resources
Legislative News will be published Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the legislative session. Information will be posted at this blog and State Board members, trustees, college presidents, public information officers, and LISTSERV subscribers will be notified via e-mail when editions are published. You may subscribe or unsubscribe to SBCTC Leg News at any time.
The SBCTC Legislative Notebook includes general legislative information, House and Senate member listings, committee lists, and more.
At the SBCTC Legislative Session page, you can find legislative resources for the community and technical college system, including past and current session materials, legislative summaries, policy briefs, bill status, hearing schedules, link to TVW, and more.