The 2018 legislative session starts Monday, January 8, and is scheduled to last 60 days. With the election of Manka Dhingra to the senate, Democrats have narrow majorities in both houses. This should mean an end to the legislative gridlock and seemingly endless special sessions of the last several years.
Here are some of the major issues to look for in the next two months:
Republican Senators held the capital budget hostage last year, which has held up funding for school construction and forest health projects. Bonding authority for construction projects requires a 60% supermajority, so even with Democrats in control of both houses, a capital budget is not guaranteed. Failure to pass funding for construction and maintenance will result in job losses and increased costs in the future.
With the Supreme Court poised to enact the biggest attack on public employee union rights in history, our allies in the state legislature are working to strengthen and protect public employees’ rights to organize and negotiate.
Do you want to get involved? Got an issue that you want to raise with your legislator? Contact Seamus Petrie, your WPEA lobbyist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.