We are closing in on the final days

Published Mar. 28, 2008

Friday was the last day that bills could be passed out of their policy committees unless they impact the budget. Today is the last day that those bills who have made it this far can be passed from their fiscal committee. This week advocates will focus on bills still alive in the process as they must be pulled from the Senate or House Rules committee to the Floor for a vote. Since there are many bills on a huge variety of issues still alive, advocates and lobbyists struggle to get legislators to “pull” their issues to the floor.

There are two lists of bills that legislators work from to decide which bills they will vote on. One is the “white sheet” that bills get listed on when they go to the Rules committee. From there they get placed on the “green sheet” which means they are then eligible to go to the Floor for a vote.

The other action of great importance to be watched is the budget conferencing. Now that the Governor, the House and the Senate have all submitted their budgets, the budget conference process begins. Seven legislators from the House and Senate as well as a representative from the Governor’s office form a budget conference committee to try to come up with one budget that is a compromise of the previous ones. This budget is then submitted to the full legislature for approval, then finally to the Governor for her signature.

Contact the Arc of Washington if you would like to learn more information about the bills still in the process. Our last Advocacy Day will be this Wednesday with a focus on the budget process. It will also be a celebration of all that we have accomplished this legislative session. Be sure to join us!

The Olympia Insider video podcast is a concise preview and review of what’s happening with developmental disability advocacy in Washington’s capitol city.

What can you do to help in these final days of session?

The Arc of Washington State has an Action E-list you can sign up for that makes it very easy for you to let your legislators know what is most important to you. When bills or budget items need emails or phone calls targeted to your legislator you will receive an email with basic information about the issues and a suggested email you can revise or just send that will go directly to your legislator from you with just the click of a button.

You can also participate in this process by phone, email and personal visits to ask legislators to make sure that bills you are most concerned about get pulled to the Floor for a vote. This week’s Advocacy Day will be at United Churches at 10 am for an update on the budget process.

This session is almost over, March 13th is the last day. You’re doing a great job with your advocacy efforts. Change is made by those who show up, you are doing a great job of showing up!

Heading into the home stretch,

Diana Stadden
Arc of Washington State
Policy and Advocacy Coordinator