A Vodka wrinkle, a recess mandate and, at last, an official state dinosaur

It’s Day 99. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112

2023 Washington Legislature, Day 99 of 105

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: jcornfield@heraldnet.com | @dospueblos

Want this in your inbox Monday-Wednesday-Friday? Subscribe here.

OLYMPIA, April 17, 2023 — A good Monday afternoon. This is it. The final week of the 2023 session.

Lawmakers have until 11:59:59 Sunday night to finish their legislating chores. A moment later and they’ll be marching down to Gov. Jay Inslee with a request for special session.

Don’t worry. Won’t happen. Not with one party in control of both chambers, and one of the caucuses eyeing a unique record.

“If the Legislature is able to complete its work on time and adjourn Sunday, it will mark the sixth year in a row a legislative session has finished on time — the first time that’s happened in our state’s 133 year history!” exclaims a Senate Democratic Caucus release.

The To-Do List

Budgets. Three of them — operating, transportation and capital. Probably won’t see any online before Thursday, maybe Friday.

Lot of wrinkles in the two-year operating budget, which pays for state government’s day-to-day workings. For those stubborn wrinkles, House and Senate budget negotiators could try vodka. Works well on sleeves and collars so why not a grant program here and a staffing level there? And if there are leftover spirits, well. they can toast success with it Sunday.

Tax Wild Card

If they don’t choose vodka, will they choose taxes to balance their spending plans?

Democrats want to drop a big sum into housing. How big is uncertain. Gov. Jay’s billion-dollar bond is on the table, mostly untouched. House Democrats continue talking up a retooled real estate excise tax. Senate Democrats, for the most part, seem comfortable with dialing in dollars from existing sources as they wait to see what their friends in the other chamber can pass.

Two bills to ditch the 1 percent cap on annual property tax increases aren’t dead either. House Bill 1670 — which is in House Rules Committee — and Senate Bill 5770 — which is nowhere — would each reset the cap at 3% for counties, cities and the state.

Under negotiation

Bridging the divide on the Blake bill looms as a marque challenge this week.

House Democrats staked out a position opposed by all Republicans and a majority, albeit slim, in the Senate Democratic Caucus. It’s all about the penalty. A conference committee had not been sought as of Monday morning. That could change.

As lawmakers wrestle with how to deal with those using drugs in public places, cities are moving ahead with their own responses. They are passing, or prepping to pass, their own laws making it a crime subject to arrest.

Done and delivered

Tons of bills are streaming toward the governor’s desk. Among them:

Senate Bill 5257 requires public elementary schools provide at least 30 minutes of recess each day starting in the 2024-25 school year. This applies to school days exceeding 5 hours. Schools unable to comply can get a waiver.

House Bill 1002 reclassifies the crime of hazing from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor, and, in cases involving substantial bodily harm, to a class C felony.

Senate Bill 5263 puts the state on course for allowing broader medical use of psilocybin, AKA magic mushrooms. Calls for the University of Washington to conduct a pilot offering psilocybin treatment of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, mood disorders and substance use disorders.

Senate Bill 5236 sets out new rules for writing and enforcing hospital staffing plans. Hospital administrators and nurses will decide how many nurses are assigned in each patient care unit, and how to assure workers get rest and meal breaks. Violations can lead to fines.

House Bill 1020 designates the Suciasaurus rex as the Washington State dinosaur. Apparently 12 states already have official dinosaurs. So, too, does Washington, D.C. It’s Capitalsaurus. Even got its own day. Seriously.

Maybe something to consider for 2024?

To subscribe to the Cornfield Report, go to www.heraldnet.com/newsletters. | Previous Cornfield Reports here.

News clippings

Compiled by: House Democrats | House Republicans

On TV

Non-profit TVW covers state government in Olympia and selected events statewide. Programs are available for replay on the internet, and the channel is widely available on Washington cable systems.

TVW schedule | Current and recent video | Shows

Links

Contact your legislator | District lookup | Bill lookup

Legislature home | House | Senate

Caucuses: House Democrats | House Republicans | Senate Democrats | Senate Republicans

Office of the Governor

Laws and agency rules

Beat reporters: Jerry Cornfield (Everett Herald) | Tom Banse (NW News Network) | Jim Brunner (Seattle Times) | Laurel Demkovich (Spokesman-Review) | Jeanie Linsday (KUO)| Joseph O’Sullivan (Crosscut) | Melissa Santos (Axios) | Shauna Sowersby (McClatchy newspapers) | Claire Withycombe (Times)

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Junelle Lewis, right, daughter Tamara Grigsby and son Jayden Hill sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Monroe’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
On Juneteenth: ‘We can always say that there is hope’

The Snohomish County NAACP is co-sponsoring a celebration Saturday near Snohomish, with speakers, music and food.

A fire marshal takes photos of the back of a home that caught fire on Tuesday, June 18, 2024 in Tulalip, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Man suffers burn injuries in Marysville house fire

Around 2:30 p.m., firefighters responded to a report of a mushroom cloud coming from a home at 27th Avenue NE and 81st Street NE.

A Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplane test its engines outside of the company's factory on March 11, 2019 in Renton, Washington. Boeing's stock dropped today after an Ethiopian Airlines flight was the second deadly crash in six months involving the Boeing 737 Max 8, the newest version of its most popular jetliner. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images/TNS)
Boeing lost track of up to 400 faulty 737 Max parts, whistleblower says

The claims were detailed in a Boeing inspector’s complaint on June 11 and made public by a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.