House of Origin Cutoff
To survive the House of Origin Cutoff, bills must be passed out of the chamber where they were introduced.
The House of Origin cutoff deadline was Wednesday, March 8, at 5 p.m. With some exceptions –primarily bills that are necessary to implement the budget– the House will now be turning its attention to bills, passed by the Senate, that are now being referred to House committees. The next few weeks we’ll be busy with more public hearings. Over in the Senate, they’ll be doing the same thing, holding hearings on bills we sent them.
Remember, you can sign up for email updates from committees so you can keep up with what is happening in your state legislature. And you can also look up specific legislation to see its latest status.
Patient safety and worker fairness
Every person who goes into a hospital should feel confident they’ll get the best care possible. Front-line health care workers like nurses want to provide the best care possible for patients.
Schools can take a breather
Last week, on an 87-10 vote, the House of Representatives passed ESB 5023 to fix the looming $358 million levy cliff crisis facing public schools next year. Without this bill, school districts have been forced to write budgets for the upcoming school year that include teacher layoffs and other reductions in spending.
In an effort to lessen the negative impacts from the Great Recession on school budgets, in 2010 the Legislature gave local school districts some additional leeway to raise local levies to help make up for state funding shortfalls. This additional flexibility is set to expire this year.
Equal Pay Passes
Last Wednesday, on International Women’s Day, the House passed the Equal Pay Opportunity Act, which prohibits pay secrecy policies, allows discussion of wages, and prohibits retaliation for asking for equal pay.
Too many people still believe that lawmakers and policy folks are just imagining there’s a problem, but gender discrimination in pay does, in fact, exist.
Thanks for reading my newsletter and for sending me your feedback. I truly appreciate hearing from you and getting your input on the issues that our communities are facing.