Policy cutoff day in Olympia—the deadline for any policy bills to make it out of committee—is the perfect time for a snapshot assessment of the action to date in Olympia. (And by the way, Niki will publish one of her insanely comprehensive posts later today about where everything's at with that.)

Me? I'm going to offer my snapshot assessment.

Both chambers, the Republican-dominated senate and the liberal house, have now passed one big deal piece of legislation each and sent it over to the other side.

Today, as Carryn just reported, along party lines, the house passed Rep. Eileen Cody's (D-34, W. Seattle) Reproductive Parity Act, which mandates, (to head off any consequences of Obama's compromises on the Affordable Care Act) that any insurer that covers maternity care must cover abortion.

Two weeks ago, the senate, adding four Democrats to the two that had already joined the controlling Republican bloc, passed a set of workers' compensation bills.

Resting on their clear advantage on social issues, I'm seeing a tortoise and the hare story coming together in Washington state, with Democrats as the hare.

There's your snapshot. Say what you will about the GOP's workers compensation bills—as we've already editorialized, there's no doubt they ratchet back workers rights (and cash flow). But for a session that's all about budgeting, particularly finding money to pay for education: I'm giving the GOP the advantage on messaging. (Of course, with all the kooky Sen. Don Benton, (R-17, Vancouver) bills in play (anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-environmental), the Republicans could surely lose this advantage as the session goes forward.)

What we have now, though, is this: The Democrats in the house, with a lopsided partisan vote, have sent what's widely received as a culture war issue over to the senate; and the Republicans (with a respectable handful of Democrats) have sent a fiscal issue over to the house. (Their concern is the workers' comp trust fund and employer premiums.)

I'm left thinking: That's what the Democrats have got? A pro-choice bill? Really?

Republicans are getting a lot of grief in the post Obama-kicked-Romney's-ass era for being stuck in the last century, but the Democrats in Washington state are relying on the pro-choice card too often (think about Jay Inslee's campaign, think about John Koster's anti-choice implosion that helped decide the contested congressional matchup in the 1st—in the Democrats favor) as the supposedly limbo Republicans focus on fiscal issues. (I get that the RPA is an economic issue, but that's not how it's widely read.)

Resting on their clear advantage on social issues, I'm seeing a tortoise and the hare story coming together in Washington state, with Democrats as the hare.