Welcome to our new weekday newsletter about the Legislature

It’s Day 1 of 60 of the 2020 session in Olympia. Here’s Jerry Cornfield’s take. And tune in tomorrow.

Welcome to our new weekday newsletter about the Legislature

2020 Washington Legislature, Day 1 of 60

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

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OLYMPIA, Jan. 13, 2020 — Good morning.

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Cornfield Report. This is where I will provide snapshots of life in and around the Capitol during the 60-day legislative session getting under way today.

The session will begin at noon for Washington’s Democratic and Republican citizen legislators. There’s a bunch of pomp and ceremony planned, including remarks from incoming House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma. You read that right. Rep. Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, the speaker the past two decades, stepped down last year and she is his successor.

Then on to committee hearings many will go. All told, nine panels will meet this afternoon.

Even before those festivities, supporters of Initiative 976, the voter-approved measure to lower car tabs, will hold a rally at 11 a.m. on the Capitol steps. They’re calling the event the “Uphold The People’s Vote Rally,” and it is hosted by Concerned Taxpayers of Snohomish County, a Facebook group, and The Right View of Washington State.

There are other big story lines today. Weather for one. Everyone was expecting to find snow on the ground Monday, and lots of it around here by the end of week.

Another topic: sports. For some it will be the Seahawks season-ending setback. For others, it will be tonight’s college football national championship between LSU and Clemson. Kick-off is 5 p.m.

What we’re writing and reading

Welcome to our new weekday newsletter about the Legislature

Sixty days will go fast. Lawmakers all want to leave on time March 12.

What do they want to tackle in the next two months?

As I noted in Sunday’s Herald, a few policy disputes, a bit of tension and a historic change of command await them on Day One.

James Drew of the News-Tribune in Tacoma outlined four things on lawmakers’ agenda.

Here’s another take on what to expect by Joseph O’Sullivan of The Seattle Times.

The fate of embattled Republican Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane Valley is going to suck up a lot of time and energy. Especially if Shea gets a chance to face his accusers, as Jim Camden writes in the Spokesman-Review of Spokane.

What’s happening

Today at 1:30 p.m., they’ll be talking about House Bill 2216 to increase the ante for 100-square sports pools from $1 a square to a maximum of $5 a square. Rep. Carolyn Eslick, R-Sultan, is the sponsor, and the hearing is planned in the House Commerce and Gaming Committee.

At 3:30 p.m., Gov. Jay Inslee’s team will outline his proposed supplemental operating budget to the House Appropriations Committee and his supplemental transportation budget to the House Transportation Committee.

And speaking of the governor, on Tuesday he will deliver his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature. It’ll get under way around 11:45 a.m.

You can find agendas and documents for today’s hearings here.

TVW streams them live and archives them pretty quickly too.

Legislative agendas, schedules and calendars


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Beat reporters: Jerry Cornfield (Herald) | Rachel La Corte (AP) | Joseph O’Sullivan (Times) | Jim Brunner (Times) | Melissa Santos (Crosscut) | Jim Camden (Spokesman-Review) | Austin Jenkins (NW News Network) | James Drew (News Tribune)

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