House GOP leaders ready for rules fight on Friday

By | January 31, 2013 | Comments

House Republicans are expected to offer up a package of rule changes on Friday they say are needed to protect their right to affect legislation during the 2013 session.

It is unclear if the Democratic-controlled House will rally insupport of any of the amendments when lawmakers meet on the House floor at 10 a.m., but GOP leaders say they are ready to make their case.

The four rule change proposals include:

  • Prioritizing education funding through a stand-alone K-12 education budget.
  • Requiring two-thirds majority vote for tax increases, placing the provisions of Initiative 1185 into House rules.
  • Giving priority for people who travel to Olympia to testify in committee hearings before lobbyists and agency personnel.
  • Ensuring every House member who does not get a bill heard during session has the chance to pick one and receive a hearing.

On Wednesday, House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt (R-Chehalis) said voters who passed Tim Eyman‘s initiative requiring a two-thirds vote to increase taxes should have protection.

“We do believe there is a chance the courts might throw out the two-thirds, so we thought it would be good to honor the will of the people by putting this in the House rules,” he said.

Democrats hold a 55-43 seat advantage in the House and have control over key committees, which is a source of frustration for the minority.

“It’s difficult to get a vote on the House floor for things we think are important,” said Rep. J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm). “They represent about 137,000 people and those people deserve a vote”

TVW will have live web streaming of the House floor debate at 10 a.m.

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