Legislative Update for January 8, 2021
The 2021 legislative session kicks off on Monday, January 11th and both the House and the Senate will convene for opening day and swearing-in ceremonies.
In the published plans for the House of Representatives, they “require an in-person quorum to vote on House rules. This will be held at a Thurston county facility large enough to accommodate all House members and maintain physical distancing. The members will be sworn in and sign their oath of office during opening day proceedings. The press may observe the proceedings, but no guests will be permitted on site.”
The first day for the Senate requires “an in-person quorum of at least 25 members to vote on changes to Senate Rules. Those who wish to be physically present for this vote will vote in shifts in a manner that will provide for adequate social distancing.”
All opening day ceremonies, committee hearings, and floor sessions will be broadcast on TVW. Check out their website for links to all of the action. They have some fantastic daily and weekly reporting on everything legislative.
While much uncertainty remains about how usual legislative business will work, we will jump in next week to remote committee hearings to share testimony related to several bills. Up next week will be the first chance to weigh in on Governor Inslee’s proposed budget as well as several bills in both the House and Senate Education committees. Also planned for next week are overviews of various agencies and workgroups related to childcare, early learning, juvenile justice programs, and impacts on higher education including FAFSA completion.
We are thrilled that the Governor’s budget contains funding for our principal intern and mentor programs as well as funding for outdoor education and support for student leadership programs. Governor Inslee also proposes increasing staffing levels for counselors in elementary schools. We also know that there are bills in the works to hold funding stable with regards to enrollment and transportation, as well as a bill to expand the flexibility of LAP dollars.
Bills being heard next week include:
- HB 1028 (repealing the edTPA assessment for new teachers)
- SB 5030 (developing comprehensive school counseling programs)
- SB 5044 (developing anti-racist and cultural competency training for educators)
I’ll have more to report next Friday. If you have questions or want to get involved in advocacy, please contact me!
In the meantime, check out these resources for more information: