Legislative leaders in the House and Senate signed a joint letter that releases two bills from Friday’s cutoff deadline, allowing the bills to be considered up until the final day of session.
Friday at 5 p.m. is the deadline for lawmakers to consider policy bills and send them to the governor’s desk for his signature. Only bills related to the budget or taxes are allowed to be considered after Friday’s deadline.
Senate Majority Coalition Leader Rodney Tom, Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, House Speaker Frank Chopp and House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan all signed a letter Friday saying two bills are not subject to the policy deadline.
One proposal would allow veterans and active duty military members to get in-state tuition at Washington colleges and universities without having to establish residency. The House and Senate have each passed a separate veteran tuition bill, but lawmakers are reportedly stalled over which chamber should get credit.
The second measure would make permanent a real estate fee that was set to expire in 2015. It helps fund homeless transition and housing programs. Advocates rallied at the Capitol this week in favor of the measure.
In the letter, the legislative leaders said: “The veterans’ tuition bill is designed to provide education opportunities for our veterans. The document recording fee provides targeted funding for vulnerable citizens who are struggling with homelessness. House and Senate leadership is in agreement that these issues are not subject to today’s cutoff, and we look forward to delivering this important legislation to the governor before Sine Die.”
The final day of session is Thursday, March 13.