Moving from Policy to Budget

From LWVWA 4/2/23 Legislative Newsletter.

The cutoff for policy bills to pass out of committee was this past Wednesday. The cutoff for bills to pass out of the fiscal and transportation committees is Tuesday, April 4. Then the session will be down to brass tacks: getting the final bills passed and then focusing on budget.

This past week, the Senate passed its operating budget and the House is about to pass theirs. What happens next is that they have several weeks of floor action to finish the policy bills while the leadership negotiates the final budgets, reconciling the differences between the House and Senate. There are three budgets: operating, capital and transportation, so this process is quite complicated.

Because of this timing, Issue Chairs describe some of the budget issues they see as well as policy recommendations in their respective weekly updates. Please check out the issues in which you have the most interest from the list below.

Criminal Justice Reform

HB 1324 Eliminating juvenile offenses from offender scores
This bill eliminates juvenile offenses from offender scores used to determine sentencing ranges for crimes. It was passed to the Senate Rules Committee for second reading Mar. 29.
Tell your Senator to add retroactivity back into the bill. Add these talking points:

  • Please restore the retroactivity provision to HB 1324
  • Retroactivity is necessary to reduce the racial disparities that have plagued our criminal legal system
  • The bill also accounts for discoveries in developmental brain science and ensures that people are not punished twice for the same crime

Be involved. Legislators need to hear from you!

Money in Politics

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Thank you for supporting the League’s priorities!

There are several other ways you can follow the hearings and legislative process:

  • Via TVW (Washington State’s public affairs TV network), and
  • On the Washington State Legislature website.

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