The Legislature is quickly completing its work, as the end of the 60-day supplemental session rapidly approaches. The shorter session also means that deadlines continue to speed by. Last Thursday, February 3rd, marked the cutoff for all policy-related bills to be passed out of committee and read into the floor record in their house of origin. This past Monday, February 7th, marked the same for bills with a fiscal impact.
So far, bills have worked their way through readings and committee hearings in their chamber of origin. After February 15th, they will repeat the same process in the opposite chamber. Just a couple weeks later, policy bills will only have until February 24th to pass the opposite chamber, and fiscal bills have a deadline of the 28th. The last day to consider (pass) opposite chamber bills is March 4th, except initiatives and alternatives to initiatives, budgets and matters necessary to implement budgets, differences between the houses, and matters incident to the interim and closing of the session.
Anywhere from hundreds to thousands of bills can be introduced during each legislative session, but only about 20% are delivered to the Governor. During the 2021 session, over 580 bills were introduced in the House, and almost another 500 in the Senate, over the course of the 105-day budget session. Of those, only 335 bills passed the Legislature. More information about the previous session can be found on our 2021 Legislative Report.
Our legislative priorities are outlined in the 2022 Joint Legislative Agenda, coauthored by COP and the SBCTC. These issues include compensation for faculty and employees, high demand program expansion, and learning recovery.
So far during the 2022 session, hundreds of bills have been introduced in each chamber. The COP team has tracked over 130. Of these, about 75% (or 97 bills) are moving forward after the policy cutoff on February 3rd. Along with our higher-education partners, COP has testified over 15 times in both the House and Senate. Topic areas include the capital budget, student financial aid, dual credit, diversity, equity, and inclusion, military students, apprenticeships, and more. We also expect to see House and Senate supplemental budget proposals in the next few weeks.
The 2022 legislative session is scheduled to Sine Die on March 10th. From there, passed bills head to the Governor’s desk, where they can be signed or vetoed partially or fully. The Governor only has line-item veto authority as it pertains to the budget. Under certain rules, a bill can even become law if the Governor doesn’t act on it after a certain number of days. The legislature must have a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers to override the Governor’s veto. Once a bill is signed by the Governor or advanced without the Governor’s signature the bill is delivered to the Secretary of State, who assigns the legislation as part of the revised code of Washington.
More information on legislative processes and government functioning can be found by reading our Washington Governing and Legislative Framework Primer.
Session Cut Off Calendar:
- February 15, 2022 – Last day to consider (pass) bills in house of origin (5 p.m.).
- February 24, 2022 – Last day to read in committee reports (pass bills out of committee and read them into the record on the floor) from opposite house, except House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees.
- February 28, 2022 – Last day to read in opposite house committee reports (pass bills out of committee and read them into the record on the floor) from House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees.
- March 4, 2022* – Last day to consider (pass) opposite house bills (5 p.m.) (except initiatives and alternatives to initiatives, budgets and matters necessary to implement budgets, differences between the houses, and matters incident to the interim and closing of the session).
- * After 5:00pm on the 54th day, only initiatives, alternatives to initiatives, budgets and matters necessary to implement budgets, matters that affect state revenue, messages pertaining to amendments, differences between the houses, and matters incident to the interim and closing of the session may be considered.
- March 10, 2022 – Last day allowed for regular session under state constitution.
You can read more about the important issues of this session with COP’s 2022 Bill Tracker.
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