Thanks to Seth Dawson, we have this useful information to share about the upcoming legislative session.
For the 2011-2012 Legislative Session, the Olympia House of Representatives will have 21 Standing Committees:
- Agriculture & Natural Resources (AGNR)
- Business & Financial Services (BFS)
- Capital Budget (CB)
- Community Development & Housing (CDH)
- Early Learning & Human Services (ELHS)
- Education (ED)
- Education Appropriations & Oversight (APPE)
- Environment (ENVI)
- General Government Appropriations & Oversight (APPG)
- Health & Human Services Appropriations & Oversight (APPH)
- Health Care & Wellness (HCW)
- Higher Education (HE)
- Judiciary (JUDI)
- Labor & Workforce Development (LWD)
- Local Government (LG)
- Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness (PSEP)
- Rules (RUL)
- State Government & Tribal Affairs (SGTA)
- Technology, Energy & Communications (TEC)
- Transportation (TR)
- Ways & Means (WAYS)
2011-12 House Standing Committees/Issue Areas
Please note: This is a general description of issue areas considered by committees; not a definitive or exhaustive listing. It is provided solely to assist members in requesting committee assignments.
Agriculture & Natural Resources
The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee considers issues relating to agricultural production, marketing, and sales; animal and plant disease control; fisheries and wildlife; forest practices and forest fire protection; water; and mining. The committee also considers the management of certain state-owned lands.
Business & Financial Services
The House Business & Financial Services Committee considers the licensing and regulation of businesses and professions (except for health care professions). The committee also considers issues relating to insurance, including the activities of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency, the solvency of insurance companies, and the rates and practices of insurance companies. Financial services issues include the safety and soundness of state banks and credit unions, the regulation of consumer credit and lending, and the regulation of securities and investments. The committee also considers consumer protection issues relating to motor vehicles, financial services, and insurance.
The House Capital Budget Committee considers the state capital budget which approves money for the construction and repair of public buildings and for other long-term investments, such as land acquisitions and transfers. In addition, the committee considers state money that is either given or lent to local governments or nonprofit organizations for infrastructure, housing, and cultural and heritage facilities. The committee also considers legislation that authorizes state debt and legislation that affects state buildings and land.
Community Development and Housing
The House Community Development and Housing Committee considers issues relating to the economic and social vitality of communities, including the establishment and operation of special districts that provide community services, community development funding, strategies to build self-sufficiency for low income communities, small business, business assistance and financing, tourism, and trade. Housing issues considered by the committee include the accessibility and affordability of housing, state assistance to low-income housing, housing authorities and the Housing Finance Commission.
Early Learning & Human Services
The House Early Learning and Human Services Committee considers issues relating to early learning from birth to kindergarten, as well as a broad array of issues affecting children and families, including parent education, foster care, dependency, child protective services, child welfare services, children's mental health and family reconciliation services. The committee also considers family support programs, including TANF and Disability Lifeline, issues relating to persons with developmental disabilities, adults in need of drug and alcohol treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and at risk-youth, youth violence prevention and juvenile offenders.
The House Education Committee considers kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) educational policy and finance issues.
Education Appropriations & Oversight
The House Education Appropriations & Oversight Committee considers issues relating to funding and oversight of early learning, K-12, and higher education programs and agencies and makes funding recommendations to the Ways and Means Committee. In addition, the committee considers bills relating to early learning, K-12 and higher education with limited fiscal impact.
The House Environment Committee considers issues relating to climate change, renewable energy standards, recycling and solid waste, hazardous waste, toxics, air quality, aquatic lands, oil spill prevention, the State Environmental Policy Act, and parks and recreation. The committee also oversees the Puget Sound Partnership's activities in Puget Sound and Hood Canal.
General Government Appropriations & Oversight
The House General Government Appropriations & Oversight Committee considers issues relating to funding and oversight of general government, natural resources and corrections programs and agencies and makes funding recommendations to the Ways and Means Committee. In addition, the committee considers bills relating to general government, natural resources and corrections with limited fiscal impact.
Health & Human Services Appropriations & Oversight
The House Health and Human Services Appropriations & Oversight Committee considers issues relating to funding and oversight of health and human services programs and agencies and makes funding recommendations to the Ways and Means Committee. In addition, the committee considers bills relating to health and human services with limited fiscal impact.
Health Care & Wellness
The House Health Care and Wellness Committee considers a broad range of issues relating to the provision of physical and mental health care services, long-term care, and strategies to promote better health. Health care service issues include the licensing and regulation of health care facilities and the credentialing of health care providers. The committee also regulates pharmacies and pharmaceutical drugs, and has oversight and regulatory responsibility for state and local public health programs. The committee also considers issues relating to the accessibility and affordability of health care in both the private health insurance market and public health programs such as Medicaid and the basic health plan.
The House Higher Education Committee considers issues relating to the state's public and independent baccalaureate colleges and universities, public community and technical colleges, and private career schools. Issues include governance and coordination of higher education, financial aid, tuition, distance learning, and the licensing of private colleges and career schools.
The House Judiciary Committee considers a wide variety of subjects relating to civil and criminal law, including issues involving commercial law, torts, probate, guardianships, civil commitment, drunk driving, courts and judicial administration, landlord/tenant law, and Consumer Protection Act remedies and processes; and family law issues such as marriage, marriage dissolution, child support and adoption.
Labor & Workforce Development
The House Labor and Workforce Development Committee considers issues relating to industrial insurance, unemployment compensation, collective bargaining, family leave, safety and health standards, and employment standards, such as wage laws and employment discrimination. The committee also considers issues relating to the building and construction trades, and workforce development issues, including apprenticeships, job skills and working retraining, and implementation of the Workforce Investment Act.
The House Local Government Committee considers issues relating to the operations and financing of counties, cities, and some special districts. The committee also considers issues relating to the Growth Management Act and related land use issues, such as local permitting and the subdivision of property.
Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness
The House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee considers issues relating to law enforcement agencies, crime prevention, criminal penalties and sentencing, registration and civil commitment of sex offenders, adult correctional programs and institutions, mentally ill offenders, and state and local government preparedness to respond to public emergencies, including the interoperability of emergency communications systems.
The House Rules Committee considers all bills reported from policy and fiscal committees and determines whether, and in what order, to schedule their consideration on the floor of the House. The Rules Committee also reviews, adopts and schedules consideration of floor resolutions.
State Government & Tribal Affairs
The House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee considers issues relating to the processes of government, including state agency rule-making, state government reorganization, elections and campaign finance, public disclosure, ethics in government, procurement standards, and public employment. The committee also oversees various state agencies and officials, and considers the regulation and oversight of liquor, tobacco and gambling, and issues relating to veterans and the government-to-government relationship of the state and Indian tribes.
Technology, Energy & Communications
The House Technology, Energy & Communications Committee considers deployment, regulation, and access to technology and electronic communications; energy availability, production, and conservation; and related infrastructure issues.
The House Transportation Committee considers the transportation budget, revenue sources for transportation funding, and issues relating to transportation policy and transportation agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the Washington State Patrol.
Ways & Means
The House Ways and Means Committee considers the operating budget bill, global fiscal issues such as pension policy and compensation, and bills with larger fiscal impacts. The committee also coordinates the work of the Education Appropriations & Oversight, General Government Appropriations & Oversight, and Health and Human Services Appropriations & Oversight Committees in developing the operating budget. The committee also considers issues relating to state and local revenues, such as increases or decreases in taxes, exemptions from taxes, and changes in the administration of taxes. (Note: Issues involving revenue for transportation purposes, such as gasoline taxes, are usually considered by the House Transportation Committee.)