January 5, 2018 Policy Brief
A summary for those closely following the debate.
The Horizon: Key Dates
- January 8: First day of 2018 Legislative Session
- February 2: Policy Committee Bill Cut-Off
- February 6: Fiscal Committee Bill Cut-Off
- February 14: House of Origin Cut-Off
- Stuart Elway’s most recent Elway Poll listed priorities of Washington voters by party. Elway notes that both parties and Independents cite three issues in their “top 5” priorities – education, economy and taxes:
- Democrats: Education (39%); Health care (24%); Economy (24%); Taxes (23%); Homeless (20%)
- Republicans: Taxes (31%); Education (27%); Economy (25%); Transportation (19%); State spending (16%)
- Independents: Education (29%); Economy (29%); Taxes (29%); Transportation (21%); Homeless (20%)
- In early December, Senate Democrats provided a preview of some of their priorities:
- Voting Rights Act. to create more civic engagement and better access to the democratic process.
- SB 5991: The DISCLOSE Act, to improve transparency in elections
- SB 5992: on bump stocks
- SB 5995: on prescription generic drug pricing
- SB 5996: on the disclosure and discussion of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace
- SB 6003: Breakfast After the Bell, aimed at reducing childhood hunger
- As of January 4th, there have been 205 bills pre-filed for the 2018 legislative session.
- 70 awards and counting – Martin Sortun Elementary in Kent has been awarded for its achievements, in 2017, it was honored as a National Title I Distinguished School, one of the top 100 schools in the country for student achievement. Title I schools have at least 40% of their students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program.
Social Media Chatter
What We're Reading
School funding still a top priority for new Legislature – Yakima Herald
“Here are a few things to watch in the next 60 days of the session, along with a few predictions from several Eastern Washington lawmakers.”
Why Education Matters to Your Health – Chronicle of Higher Education
“A recent report, by the Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton, made the stakes clear: Men and women who haven’t been to college live shorter, less healthy lives, and are losing ground compared with college graduates…This is about more than money — the findings suggest that pain, stress, and social dysfunction may all play a role.”
The League of Education Voters interviewed Lisa Wellman, Chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, on her priorities for 2018, among other subjects.
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