Legislative Update
June 2017
Week 23 - Legislative Session Updates
By NBCT Marianne Hunter
Gridlock. Impasse. Standoff. Stalemate. Bottleneck. Quagmire. Pickle.

If for no other reason than that the press seems to be running low on synonyms to describe the lack of progress on negotiations, we hope there's a budget agreement very soon.

Depending on who you're listening to, you may be more or less optimistic about that possibility. During a press conference on Monday, Governor Inslee said there's no way the legislature is getting a third special session. He gave legislative leaders a "kick start," and said he would be participating in face-to-face negotiations because they are "getting too close to the rocks" to avoid a partial government shutdown on July 1.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler doesn't seem overly concerned about being called to the office. Spokane Public Radio reports that he gave "no indication of a change in the form or pace of negotiations. "

And a story in the Columbian on Wednesday calls a third special session "likely," even while reporting that Senator Ann Rivers, one of the Republican budget negotiators, "is confident the state won't enter shutdown territory."

Hope those media folks are keeping their thesauruses (thesauri?) handy, because two tweets from News Tribune reporter @melissasantos1 on Wednesday pretty much sums up the week:

1. "There is a lot of news today."

2. "To clarify, there is news everywhere *except* on my beat covering the Washington Legislature where budget talks keep dragging on. #waleg"

On a happier note, there was actually a little bill action this week.

On Wednesday, at the request of OSPI, sponsors introduced HB 2224, and its companion, SB 5951, which would provide flexibility in graduation requirements and support student success during the transition to an ESSA-compliant accountability system by moving the statewide required assessment to the tenth grade for reading, writing, and mathematics and expanding alternatives to the assessment when a student does not meet standard on the tenth grade assessment.

Given their very late introduction, it's unlikely these bills will get any attention, but perhaps they're designed to promote some longer-term planning.

What is still getting attention are the two assessment bills that have been bouncing around since the regular session. On Tuesday, SB 5891, which would delay the use of the high school science assessment as a graduation prerequisite, again passed in the Senate on a vote of 43-5.

Also on Tuesday, HB 1046 , which would delink all state assessments from graduation requirements, was passed in the Senate EL&K12 committee and placed on Second Reading in the Senate Rules committee.

A story in the Spokesman Review explains the significance of those votes and re-votes.

Odds & Ends
From Crosscut, an op-ed by a Riverview School Board member about what we learn when we listen to students.

And finally, here's a fun video from the Franklin Pierce SD about their Teacher Academy.

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.