Washington Legislature begins 105-day session

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington lawmakers started their 105-day legislative session Monday, tasked with writing a new two-year state budget while addressing a variety of costly issues, including addressing the state’s troubled mental health system.

Democrats increased their margins in both legislative chambers after the November election, and now hold a 28-21 majority in the Senate and a 57-41 edge in the House. A total of 22 new members were sworn into the House Monday and six new members were set to be sworn into the Senate.

For the first time in years, lawmakers will write a new two-year budget without the primary focus being satisfying a court mandate on education funding, though they say there’s still work to be done to continue to improve basic education.