Legislative Update
April 2017
Week 16 - Legislative Special Session Updates
By NBCT Marianne Hunter

"Student tells Rs & Ds: 'Put aside your differences and show me that you believe in our collective future . . . My teachers need you.'" 
@nealtmorton , reporting on SB 5929 public hearing
The first special session convened on Monday under a cloud of frustration shared by just about everyone involved. A NW Regional News story describes the "acrimony" and "gridlock" legislative leaders are facing, and Governor Inslee indicated that nothing "short of waterboarding" was going to get the leadership to the budget negotiating table. So that sounds promising.

For example, SB 5929 is a tax bill sponsored by Senate Republicans. They don't support it, but hope to force Democrats to vote on it, thus proving the point that the Ds will vote in favor of anything to do with raising taxes. Toward that end, the Ways & Means committee held a public hearing on Wednesday that stretched on for 4 hours as a parade of teachers, students, small business owners and other concerned citizens offered testimony. An article in the Seattle Times describes the fun.

Actually, most legislators are long gone, leaving the budget folks behind to continue their gamesmanship and the bipartisan "McCleary group" to continue meeting as they have throughout the session. In an Everett Herald opinion piece, columnist, Jerry Cornfield, describes the 8-member committee as "tight lipped," but claiming to be "making progress."

On a more positive note, the legislature did manage to pass 17 bills related to education during the regular session. These have all been delivered to, or signed by the Governor. And, as mentioned previously, other education bills will reappear in the "go home" budget that will eventually be passed, if only to avoid a government shutdown.

Otherwise, not much to report on for this week. We'll keep you updated when and if any progress is made! In the meantime, for breaking news, we recommend following #WAedu and #waleg on Twitter.

Odds and Ends
This week the Seattle Times' Ed Lab takes a more "nuanced" look at the teacher-shortage issue.

And finally, we've all been to this staff meeting, right?

Have a great weekend!

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Note about 
l egislative updates: 

CSTP relays these legislative updates to provide information on bills, budgets and legislative processes. CSTP doesn't have a legislative agenda, but does track legislative issues most relevant to teaching.