Morning update: Session Day 1

Staff writerJanuary 13, 2014 

State lawmakers kick off a 60-day session of the Legislature at noon, and the Democrats who control the House are wasting no time in making their priorities known.

House Democrats plan to bring a measure they call the Washington Dream Act out of the Rules Committee and onto the House floor for a vote -- the first time in years that a floor vote would happen on a session's opening day, they said.

The bill is a leftover from last year so it doesn't have to advance through the whole committee process. But the measure has little chance in the more conservative Senate, where it was bottled up in 2013. It would offer college financial aid to young people who were brought into the country illegally as children. 

A similar fate last year met the measure known as the Reproductive Parity Act, which would mandate insurance coverage of abortion. But Democrats are getting ready to send that measure over to the Senate again, too. A public hearing is set for today at 1:30 p.m. in the House Health Care committee.

Also today, House Speaker Frank Chopp will lay out his agenda for session in his annual speech.

Expect to see repeat performances by doomed Republican bills, too. Both sides will be posturing for the fall elections. Only time will tell if the session ends up being dominated more by dealmaking or by campaigning.

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