Good morning on the 18th day of session. Senate budget writers hope to move a package of “early-action” budget cuts to the governor’s desk next week. As they develop their proposal behind closed doors, there are other bills making progress today:
- Senate Health is scheduled to vote at 1:30 on Senate Bill 5039, which would require health insurance plans to cover treatments to help people stop smoking.
- House State Government could vote at a 10 a.m. hearing on a bill that would force Pierce County to move to all-mail voting.
- The same committee may also vote on House Bill 1202, which would allow spirits sampling in liquor stores. And it is holding a public hearing on HB 1092, which would give each of the 147 members of the Legislature his or her own unique district. Right now, two House members and a senator share a district. Under the bill, a House member would represent half of one of those districts.
- Senate Ways and Means hears various proposals authorizing salary reductions for state elected officials. The commission that oversees the salaries has said that it cannot reduce them under the state constitution; it can only raise or freeze them.
- House General Government Appropriations hears a bill creating a fee companies transporting oil in Puget Sound would have to pay. Money from the fee would go into an oil-spill preparedness and response fund.
- House Environment considers whether to expand the Washington Conservation Corps and create a Puget Sound Corps.
- House Community Development holds a work session on homelessness in the state. Today is Homeless Awareness Day in Washington and the day that the annual Commerce Department count of homeless people across the state is released.