The House and Senate will convene for a joint session at 11:15 a.m. today to hear the State of the Judiciary address, which will be issued by Barbara Madsen, chief justice of the Washington State Supreme Court, at 11:30 a.m.
In committee, legislators will hear a bill that would allow out-of-work corporate officers to receive unemployment benefits. House Bill 1056 will receive a hearing before the Labor & Workforce Development Committee at 8 a.m. today. Committee members are also scheduled to vote on the bill today.
The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee will meet today to discuss a performance audit of the Washington State Ferries, focusing on vessel construction costs in particular. The committee will take public testimony when it meets at noon. The committee will also discuss an audit of how well long-term care workers are meeting state-mandated certification requirements.
The Senate Law & Justice Committee will hear a bill that would classify assaulting a working police officer or corrections officer with a deadly weapon as first-degree assault, a class A felony. Another bill before the Senate Law & Justice Committee today would make someone who kills a child 14 or younger qualify for a charge of aggravated first-degree murder, a crime that can be punished by death or by life in prison. The committee will hear both Senate Bill 5058 and Senate Bill 5015 when it meets at 1:30 p.m. today.
The Senate Transportation Committee will hold a work session on former Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed 2013-2015 transportation budget at 3:30 p.m.
Two other work sessions will deal with healthcare issues. The Senate Ways & Means Committee will discuss low-income healthcare at 3:30 p.m., while the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health & Human Services will discuss the fiscal implications of the Medicaid expansion allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act when it meets at the same time.
A Disability Legislative Reception will also take place tonight. The Washington State Developmental Disability Council will bring a few hundred people to the Columbia Room of the Legislative Building from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.