State House will debate Dream Act on opening day

  • Mon Jan 13th, 2014 9:08am
  • News

By Jerry Cornfield

Washington’s Legislature begins its 2014 session today and the House of Representatives intends to add a dash of politics to the pomp and ceremony.

Leaders of the majority Democrats intend to vote on a bill to make college-bound illegal immigrants eligible for state financial aid. The legislation known as the Dream Act passed the House on a 77-20 vote last year but did not get acted on in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Also today, a House committee will hold a public hearing on a controversial abortion rights bill known as the Reproductive Parity Act. This legislation barely passed the House in 2013 and, like the Dream Act, did not get voted on in the Senate.

Meanwhile, about 100 public school teachers are rounding up support from lawmakers for a bill to provide teachers with their first cost-of-living wage adjustment in five years. Members of the Washington Education Association and American Federation of Teachers are hoping to get at least 51 House members to be sponsors of the legislation.

The 2014 session is scheduled to last 60 days.