2023 Washington State Legislative Report – Week 9

Week Nine

This week the legislature cleared a major hurdle, the House of Origin cutoff. Wednesday, March 8th was the deadline for bills to move out of the chamber (House or Senate) in which they were introduced. This year, 2086 bills have been introduced, and 559 made it out of their respective chambers. With so many priority bills on the floor calendar, legislators worked late nights and weekends to get as much done as they could before Wednesday’s cutoff. Many controversial proposals were debated both in caucus and on the floor, which took up significant time, leaving several bills to die for the session. There are many reasons why bills fail to advance at this point in session. Some bills fail to make it past the cutoff simply because they are not a priority or they lack enough votes to bring the bill to the floor. Some majority caucus priority bills may die because they get weighed down with time-consuming amendments. Others fail to move forward because of the lack of time and the number of bills moving through the process.

It is important to note that no bill is really dead until the end of session as issues can be resurrected in various ways. Also bills deemed necessary to implement the budget, including all revenue proposals, are not subject to cutoffs. Finally, as a reminder the Washington state legislature works on a two-year biennium and therefore bills that do not pass this year will be automatically reintroduced next session.

Read the full report.