Washington State legislators are heading to Olympia this week as the 2017 legislative session begins.
The session starts with the swearing in of newly elected representatives including Brad Hawkins who replaces Linda Evans-Parlette in the Senate and Mike Steel who was elected to fill former house member Hawkins seat. Incumbent Representative Cary Condotta also returns after his reelection to the House.
The top issue heading into the 2017 legislative session will be education funding as lawmakers work to develop the next two-year budget. Governor Jay Inslee was also set to deliver his inaugural address on Jan. 9. The Governor met with the media last week to preview the upcoming budget and the need to work across the political aisles to keep the ship of state on course.
“This is a situation where legislators of both parties are all on in the same boat,” Inslee said. “Both the left and right side of the boat need to row this year, so the boat doesn’t go in circles. If they both take an ore, we’re going to get this job done.”