Here is our daily look at what's going on today and coming up tomorrow at the Washington State Legislature. It's the middle of week five in the 105-day legislative session. The top job remains to write a balanced and sustainable state budget, though policy bills have dominated the agenda so far.
What's hot today
This morning's House Judiciary Committee was all gun bills. The hearing room was packed with regular citizens and lobbyists from both sides of the issue. Freedom Foundation members testified that the proposed legislation would infringe on state and federal constitutional rights and provided impassioned personal testimony about the importance of the right to self defense. A number of medical organizations and clergy testified in favor of gun restrictions, several mentioning that the bills were just "a start."
This afternoon, the Senate Labor Committee will hear a slew of prevailing wage bills. Some would expand the current policy, others would limit it. The Freedom Foundation last year showed how Washington's prevailing wage law in fact locks in artificially high wage rates on state projects, bilking taxpayers and cheating school kids, drivers, and anyone else who uses state infrastructure. The Freedom Foundation has provided the data and analysis to committee members.
What's up tomorrow
Proponents of tax hikes get to make their case tomorrow--Valentine's Day--before the Senate Ways & Means Committee. Look for all the biggest tax consumers to show up and make their case for more and more and more money from taxpayers.
Don't forget to stay up to date via The Olympia Report.