Washington Legislature kicks off 'difficult session'
Buckle your seatbelts, it could be a long, bumpy ride.
The Washington state Legislature convened today for the start of a 105-day session in which lawmakers will debate a new a two-year state operating budget, weigh various tax proposals including Gov. Jay Inslee’s $8 billion tax package (over four years), and attempt to meet the final requirements of the state Supreme Court’s McCleary education funding ruling.
“I will tell you that my view is that it’s going to be a difficult session,” Gary Chandler, AWB’s vice president of government affairs, told AWB members last week during a webinar previewing the session. “We have some concerns as we move forward in different aspects of [Gov. Inslee’s] budget for the business community that we will continue to convey to the governor and his office, and the Legislature.”
Gov. Inslee will kick off the event with opening remarks, followed by the new state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, who will give a report on K-12 education. Skylar Olsen, senior economist for the Seattle-based Zillow, will deliver the keynote address during the lunch hour.
Throughout the day’s event, House and Senate members will take part in panel discussions regarding education, taxes and the budget, labor and workforce and an outlook on possible health care changes at the state and federal level.
The event will culminate with a "hill climb" to the Capitol where attendees will have the opportunity to speak to their elected officials about the issues they care about and that impact their communities.