March 15, 2013
Wednesday, March 13 marked the last day that bills could be considered in their House of Origin. In other words, bills introduced in the House needed to pass out of the House, and bills introduced in the Senate needed to pass out of the Senate. If they didn’t make the cut, they are considered dead for this year, however it is possible that some of those bills come back if considered necessary to implement the budget. Read a summary of dead and alive bills.
The legislature now begins another round of committee hearings. Bills that passed the Senate floor are being heard in the House, and bills that passed the House floor are being in the Senate. They have until April 3 to pass policy bills out of committee and send them to the floor.
On Thursday morning, March 14 the Senate adopted SR 8636 honoring Western, the UW, and Gonzaga for the Peace Corps recognition announced in February. Senator Bailey, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee introduced the resolution with 22 co-sponsors.
The Washington State Caseload Forecast Council released its forecast yesterday, showing an increase in the state budget deficit of around $300 million. The revenue forecast is set to be announced next week, March 20th, and budget writers are expecting more bad news.
Western has two request items still moving through the process. HB 1614/SB 5472 would allow Western to offer the Clinical Doctorate in Audiology. Both the Senate and House versions are moving forward through their respective higher education committees. HB 1544/SB 5559 would authorize Western to offer the Education Specialist degree, and these bills are also still moving along.