As the legislature gets ready for the 2021 session, it will be very different.

According to legislative sources for both Republican and Democratic legislators as well as the Seattle Times, the session will be done remotely. House Reps and Senators casting votes remotely.

And, missing will be the sometimes large crowds of citizens who attend public hearings on sensitive or hot button issues. Apparently that will be done via teleconference, according to Opportunity Washington (OW). Citizens will be able to watch, and possibly comment, via remote means.

Anyone who's tried to attend a school board Zoom meeting knows that plan will be a recipe for disaster possibly.  Zoom and such seem to work well for business, but when it comes to governmental agencies, often not so much. We shall see. Judging from the rough production of Gov. Inslee's press conferences, much work will need to be done to streamline the process.

According to OW, during certain hearings, a limited number of Senators will be allowed on the floor especially during debates. The House will apparently follow a very similar plan.

Some of the hot button issues facing the two houses will be addressing the economy, and facing the buzz over an expected substantial unemployment tax increase, or even a new one. Also, with nearly 80 percent voter turnout statewide, including that high in Benton, 76 percent in Franklin and similar numbers all over Eastern WA, the issue of the 51st state is bound to surface.

For years, media commentators and even legislators have told disgruntled eastside voters if you want to offset the King-Pierce-Snohomish power, come out and vote in much bigger numbers.  Show your strength.

Well, that happened this year but it didn't work. King alone had at least 83 percent voter turnout. With the results going against the GOP in Governor, SPI, AG and other offices, now the argument will become:  'we came out in huge numbers, and still got the short stick, so we need to split the state.'

The voter turnout was tremendous, and good, but honestly does add momentum to this idea. 51st. state legislation has been submitted in prior years, dating back to 2012, but never made it out of committee.  Will this be the year it actually makes it to the floor of the House or Senate for a vote?

For more information about the 2021 session from Opportunity WA, click on the button below.

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