Politics & Government

Under the Dome: Thursday, (April 9), the 88th day of the 105-day legislative session


“I think the concerns are that people are not happy that the Legislature is actually getting involved in talking about compensation policy. We should be involved in that. We’re involved in every other aspect of the budget.”

– Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond and the Senate budget writer, expressing frustration about the Legislature's inability to negotiate labor contracts with state workers. Under state law, contract negotiations take place between the governor's office and state worker unions, and the Legislature has the authority only to approve or reject the negotiated contracts.


The Senate introduced a $3.9 billion capital budget proposal Wednesday. The Senate plan includes $100 million more for building and infrastructure projects than the capital budget plan that passed the state House last week.


With the Legislature in the final three weeks of its 105-day session, lawmakers will be spending long hours voting on bills on the House and Senate floor. The House and Senate are scheduled to meet for floor action every day this week.

The Senate Ways & Means Committee will meet at noon Thursday and plans to vote on the the Senate’s capital budget proposal. The vote is scheduled to take place in Hearing Room 4 of the John A. Cherberg building. No other committee meetings are scheduled this week.

The regular session of the Legislature is scheduled to end April 26 – though lawmakers are likely to enter into a special session if they can’t reach a deal on a new two-year operating budget by then.


Thursday will bring both massages and beef to the Capitol Campus.

From noon to 3 p.m., the Washington Cattlemen’s Association will hold its annual barbecue – commonly known as Beef Day – on the west side of the Capitol Campus.

Meanwhile, Massage Awareness Day will take place on the third floor mezzanine of the Legislative Building from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Massage therapists with the American Massage Therapy Association will offer free massages to lawmakers.