“If it is rejected however, we will be back in special session the very next day because our budgets will all be $2 billion out of balance...I do not think sending (changes to Initiative 1351) back to the people in this manner is the best way to do it, because it puts us in kind of a high-stakes game here.”
– Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, speaking against Senate Bill 6088, which would modify the class-size initiative voters approved last fall to reduce class sizes only in kindergarten through 3rd grade. The original measure would have reduced class sizes in all grades. The changes to I-1351, which the Senate approved on a 27-22 vote Monday, would still require the approval of voters.
The Senate approved a proposed operating budget Monday on a 26-23 vote. The spending plan proposed by Senate Republicans would increase funding for K-12 education without raising taxes on the general population. Senate Democrats criticized the proposal for its failure to fund labor contracts negotiated with state workers, as well as how it would scale back a voter-approved initiative to lower class sizes.
TUESDAY IN THE LEGISLATURE
Tuesday marks a key deadline for fiscal committees to advance bills that were sent over from the opposite chamber.
The House and Senate transportation committees will meet Tuesday, though no public hearings are scheduled on legislation. Instead, the committees will consider whether to vote out bills that have already have received public hearings. The House Transportation Committee will meet at 10 a.m. in Hearing Room B of the John L. O’Brien Building, while the Senate Transportation Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. in Hearing Room 1 of the John A. Cherberg Building.
Both chambers’ budget-writing committees will also meet Tuesday, though neither had a set agenda as of Monday. The House Appropriations Committee will meet at 8 a.m. in Hearing Room A of the John L. O’Brien Building, while the Senate Ways & Means Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. in Hearing Room 4 of the John A. Cherberg Building.
WEDNESDAY IN THE LEGISLATURE
The House and Senate will convene for floor action at 9 a.m. Both chambers may continue with floor action into the evening.