Watch out for your pocketbooks: The WA State Legislature goes into session
Olympia, WA - The 60-day legislative session begins at noon Monday with ceremonies in the temporary House and Senate chambers. The Washington Legislature's 49 Senate members and 98 House members will conduct business in makeshift chambers on the Capitol Campus while renovations to the Capitol continue.
A joint legislative session begins at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, with Gov. Gary Locke's State of the State address following at 4 p.m. Both will be in the Olympia High School Performing Arts Center. TVW will televise the address live on Channel 23 in South Sound.
Hopes are high for completing work on time, according to new Senate Majority Leader Bill Finkbeiner, R-Kirkland, and House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam. Both want to get done in 60 days. But there are major issues unlikely to see easy resolution with a Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House.
Top issues include revamping the state's unconstitutional primary election system, reducing costs of malpractice and liability insurance for doctors and contractors, writing a state supplemental budget, giving 50-cent hourly pay raises to unionized home care workers and improving the state's business climate.
STAYING IN TOUCH
- TVW, the state's public affairs station, provides daily coverage of the Legislature on Channel 23 locally.
- A wealth of information about legislators and their bills is posted on the Legislature's official Web site, www.leg.wa.gov.
- The Olympian provides daily coverage plus information about coming action in the newspaper and online at www.theolympian.com.
CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR
Along with other information, all of the addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers for state senators and representatives are included in The Olympian's guide to the 2004 legislative session, included inside today's newspaper.
You also can relay a brief message to one or more legislators or the governor by calling the toll-free Legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000.
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