Washington lawmakers convene 60-day legislative session

Washington lawmakers on Monday returned to the capitol in Olympia to convene their 60-day legislative session.

Leaders in the House and Senate this year are tasked with writing a supplemental budget to make changes to the current two-year spending blueprint. They will release their supplemental budget plans in the coming weeks and will work to negotiate a final budget before the session concludes mid-March.

Democrats hold a 28-21 majority in the Senate and a 57-41 edge in the House.

Lawmakers in both parties have said that addressing homelessness will be a priority this year, as will transportation funding following an initiative that lowered annual vehicle registration costs but is currently on hold pending a legal challenge.

Meanwhile, Monday also saw Washington state’s first female speaker of the House sworn in. Democratic Representative Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma is also the first gay lawmaker to take the role presiding over the chamber. (AP)