Read through the list of “good” and “bad” bills we’ve been watching and their current status. Updated April 24, 2013
- A “dead” bill may still move forward at the pleasure of the Speaker.
- Components of “dead” bills can sometimes be included in other bills, depending on the title of the bill.
GOOD BILLS THAT ARE DEAD
Cottage food industry. House Bill 1135 removes gross sales limitations on cottage food operations so that this “buy local” industry can prosper. Public Hearing in House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources.
Drug testing for welfare recipients. House Bill 1190 would require drug testing of welfare/TANF recipients whose initial assessment indicates likelihood that they are using illegal drugs. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Early Learning & Human Services Committee.
Improving transparency in school performance. House Bill 1476 replaces vague adjectives in the state accountability index with the letters “A” through “F” to provide a clear and understandable picture of school performance to students, teachers, parents, and the community. Public Hearing in House Education Committee.
Reclassify hydropower as renewable energy. House Joint Resolution 4200 proposes an amendment to the state Constitution to require hydroelectric generation be recognized as a renewable resource. It would help recapture our state’s competitive advantage of offering abundant, affordable, clean energy for manufacturers and consumers. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Environment Committee.
Prioritizing state investments in storm water control. House Bill 1235 would require the Department of Ecology to prioritize storm water assistance funding to local governments to help them satisfy their storm water permit requirements before funding other storm water-related projects. Public Hearing in House Environment Committee.
Counting BPA hydroelectric efficiencies as “renewable” under I-937. House Bill 1347 would allow utilities to count new efficiency measures that produce incremental power they receive through the Bonneville Power Administration as “renewable” under the Energy Independence Act, keeping costs low and giving utilities credit for energy efficiency measures. Public Hearing in house Environment Committee.
Require permit decisions in 90 days. House Bill 1236 would require agencies to make permit decisions in 90 days or the permit is granted. This would add certainty and eliminate unnecessary delays in permit decisions in order to significantly stimulate economic activity. Let’s free up those who are ready to put people to work. Did not receive a Public Hearing in House Government Accountability & Oversight Committee.
Retail group purchasing of spirits. House Bill 1281 would allow retailers to band together to purchase spirits from a distributor. This would likely bring costs down for all participants from large-quantity purchases. Public Hearing in Government Accountability & Oversight Committee.
Regulatory Fairness Act. House Bill 1162 would require agencies to do a cost burden analysis before adopting rules to prevent new obligations costing more than $500 on individuals without Legislative approval. Public Hearing in House Committee on Government Operations & Elections.
Regulatory Freedom & Accountability Act. House Bill 1163 provides comprehensive reforms that would reduce the regulatory burden on Washingtonians and protect property rights. Public Hearing in House Committee on Government Operations & Elections.
Moratorium on rulemaking. House Bill 1478 would impose a moratorium on formal and informal rule-making by state agencies, except in certain specified instances, to last for three years or until the state is no longer facing financial deficits. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Government Operations & Elections Committee.
Procurement accountability. House Bill 1143 makes improvements to how state contracts are administered. Public Hearing in House Committee on Government Operations & Elections.
Legislative approval of certain agency rules. House Joint Resolution 4204 would propose a constitutional amendment to require certain agency rules to gain legislative approval. Public Hearing in the House Government Operations & Elections Committee.
Restoring state need grant award amounts for students at private, nonprofit degree-granting institutions. House Bill 1878 helps ensure equity between students attending public research universities and students attending private, nonprofit degree-granting institutions as it relates to the State Need Grant program. Public Hearing in House Higher Education Committee.
Capping excessive bonuses for university presidents. House Bill 1176 restricts university administrator bonuses to no more than twenty percent of their base salaries. Did not receive a Public Hearing in House Higher Education Committee.
Modifying unlawful possession of a firearm. House Bill 1147 would make 2nd degree unlawful possession of a firearm by an adult a predicate offense for 1st degree unlawful possession of a firearm except where the 2nd degree conviction was based on a gross misdemeanor rather than a felony conviction. Public Hearing in House Judiciary Committee.
Prohibiting the possession of firearms by a criminal street gang associate or member. House Bill 1729 would include possession of a firearm by a criminal street gang member or associate as defined in RCW 9.94A.030, as a prong of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 2. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Judiciary Committee.
Amending provisions governing structured settlements by removing age barriers and clarifying legislative intent. House Bill 1097 would increase the use of structured settlements by eliminating the arbitrary age restriction and clarifying legislative intent. This would allow more workers to move on with their life while providing cost savings to the state. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Labor & Workforce Development Committee.
Workers’ compensation reform. House Bills 1463, 1464 & 1465 would make additional changes to the workers’ compensation system that were initially made in 2011 – changes to address final settlement options and other reforms, and protect earnings for those who suffer work-related injuries and illness. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Labor & Workforce Development Committee.
Exempting from prevailing wage requirements public works projects undertaken to repair fire damage. House Bill 1249 would exempt public works projects undertaken to repair damage caused by certain wildfires from prevailing wage requirements. This would reduce the cost of the projects dramatically allowing these communities to recover more quickly. Public Hearing in House Labor & Workforce Development Committee.
Exempting prevailing wage for school plant facilities receiving state funding assistance through the school construction assistance program. House Bill 1255 would exempt some schools from having to pay prevailing wage on construction. This would reduce the cost to schools by 33% and assist our school districts in providing structures that are healthier and safer for our children. Public Hearing in House Labor & Workforce Development Committee.
Creating a good faith defense for certain minimum wage and overtime compensation complaints. House Bill 1462 would hold employers blameless when they were following the misdirection of Labor and Industry. Public Hearing in House Labor & Workforce Development Committee.
Suspend GMA in counties with persistent unemployment. House Bill 1619 would Alleviate the cost and encumbrance of controlling growth when none is occurring and when those regulations stand in the way of badly needed economic development. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Local Government Committee.
Drive-by shootings. House Bill 1730 would add drive-by shooting to the list of serious offenses, i.e., a strike. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Public Safety Committee.
Gangs/sentence enhancement. House Bill 1732 proposed a sentencing enhancement to mirror the current gun enhancement of 60 months for a class A felony, 36 months for a class B and 18 months for a class C felony. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Public Safety Committee.
Human trafficking. House Bill 1791 would require those convicted of the sex trafficking prongs of the Human Trafficking criminal offense to register as a sex offender. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Public Safety Committee.
Seizure and forfeiture. House Bill 1792 amends the existing forfeiture statute to allow seizure of property used as conveyances in the commission of permitting or promoting travel for the commercial sexual abuse of a minor. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Public Safety Committee.
Criminal profiteering. House Bill 1793 amends the existing criminal profiteering statute to include permitting or promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Public Safety Committee.
Providing a tax exemption for college instructional materials. House Bill 1160 creates a sales and use tax exemption for required college instructional materials, like textbooks and software, purchased from college-affiliated bookstores. Did not receive a hearing in House Finance Committee.
Providing property tax relief for injured military personnel. House Bill 1214 creates a temporary property tax exemption for active duty members of the armed forces, National Guard, or reserves who have incurred a catastrophic injury in the line of duty. Did not receive a public hearing in House Finance Committee.
Creating a business and occupation tax credit for employers hiring unemployed veterans. House Bill 1615 authorizes a $2,000 business and occupation tax credit for employers who hire veterans receiving unemployment benefits at the time of initial employment with the employer. The credit is equal to $2,000 for each full-time employment position filled by a veteran. Public Hearing in House Finance Committee.
Changing the standard of evidence for property tax valuation appeals. House Bill 1716 lowers the burden of proof needed to rebut the presumption in a property tax appeal that a property valuation is correct. Rather than showing that the valuation is incorrect by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence, a property owner must prove the valuation is incorrect by the preponderance of the evidence. Did not receive a public hearing in House Finance Committee.
Expanding the dairy products tax exemption. House Bill 1748 expands the dairy products business and occupation tax exemption to include sales to purchasers who use dairy products as an ingredient or component in the manufacturing of dairy products. Did not receive a public hearing in House Finance Committee.
2/3’s vote requirement by Legislature. House Joint Resolution 4206 would protect the will of the voters by proposing an amendment to the state Constitution to place restrictions on tax increases by requiring a 2/3’s vote by the Legislature. Did not receive a public hearing in House Finance Committee.
Funding K-12 education first and fully before any other state programs. House Bill 1174 would fully fund K-12 education first, in a separate budget passed before any other appropriations, with existing revenues. The bill would prioritize K-12 education spending to comply with the state’s paramount duty to make ample provision for basic education and address the McCleary decision. Did not receive a hearing in House Appropriations Committee.
Establishing a review period for appropriations legislation. House Bill 1721 requires a72-hour review period for the public and the Legislature to review all omnibus budget bills before the Legislature may take executive action and submit a budget bill to the Governor for approval. Did not receive a public hearing in House Appropriations Committee.
Establishing a new veterans’ home. House Bill 1782 would allow the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to operate a new veterans’ home in Walla Walla. This law would also allow parents of children killed while serving in the armed forces to qualify for admittance to any state veterans’ home. Passed Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee; Referred to Appropriations Committee but did not receive public hearing.
Enhancing third grade literacy through early intervention and accountability. House Bill 1452 provides intensive instructional support and a third grade accountability checkpoint to assure that young students master foundational reading skills before they encounter more complex and challenging academic texts. Passed House Education Committee; public hearing in House Appropriations Committee.
Establishing an online higher education transfer and student advising system. House Bill 1320 creates a statewide online transfer and student advising system designed to reduce time to degree and simplify the process for exploring degree programs and course transferability. Passed House Higher Education Committee; In House Appropriations Committee.
Improving the business climate. House Bill 1591 would require three agencies that have many licenses and regulations to review and streamline the regulatory burden. Passed House Committee on Government Operations & Elections; In House Appropriations Committee.
Creating the Agricultural Labor Skills and Safety Grant Program. House Bill 1072would create a more skilled workforce in agriculture and assist workers in obtaining better paying jobs. Passed House Labor & Workforce Development Committee; In House Appropriations Committee.
Requiring a plan for implementing a one-stop business portal. House Bill 1757 would require the Office of the Chief Information Officer in collaboration with other agencies to provide the Legislature with a plan for establishing performance benchmarks, and for measuring the results of implementing a one-stop business portal. Passed House Technology & Economic Development Committee; In House Appropriations Committee.
Eliminating the license plate replacement requirement. House Bill 1387 would eliminate the license plate replacement requirement; however, license plates must be replaced if they are lost, defaced, destroyed, illegible, or difficult to distinguish. Public Hearing in the House Transportation Committee.
Preventing conflicts of interest in construction contracts. House Bill 1801 would require the disclosure of any information where affiliated entities would benefit from a related contract. The bill also requires the WA State Department of Transportation to draft contract provisions so that damages available to a single entity involved in two or more contracts are off-setting. Public Hearing in House Transportation Committee.
Requiring Sound Transit’s Board to be elected. House Bill 1877 would require Sound Transit’s Board of Directors to be elected instead of appointed. The bill directs Sound Transit to draw five board member districts and schedule an election of the board. No public hearing in House Transportation Committee.
Yakima River Basin water resource management. House Bill 1414 sets up a framework to implement measures and projects that will improve water supply and increase fish habitat for the Yakima Basin. Passed House Agriculture & Natural Resource Committee; did not pass House Capital Budget Committee. Could be incorporated in final capital budget.
Transferring closed state parks to local governments. House Bill 1704 would allow local governments to enter into agreements with the state Parks and Recreation Commission to take over maintenance and operations of parks slated for closure. Washington’s state parks add value to communities and allow many middle- and low-income families to enjoy a vacation where they may not be otherwise able. Keeping our parks open provides the additional benefit of keeping them from falling into disrepair. Passed Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Reducing tax fraud committed by electronic means. House Bill 1427 prohibits the possession or use of any automated sales suppression devices or phantom-ware and sets criminal penalties and mandatory fines for persons receiving or using these devices. Passed House Finance Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Addressing local sales and use tax changes. House Bill 1604 reduces the frequency of local sales and use tax changes from four times per year to twice a year. Passed House Finance Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Removing the one-year waiting period for veterans or active members of the military for purposes of eligibility for resident tuition. House Bill 1011 expands eligibility to pay resident tuition for students on active military duty, National Guard members, and their spouses and dependents under certain conditions. Passed House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education; in House Rules Committee.
Providing flexibility for how school districts address truancy of students. House Bill 1477 provides flexibility and reduces costs for local school districts. The requirements that a school provide notice, schedule conferences, and take other steps when a student over age 7 has one or two unexcused absences in a month are limited to students in the sixth grade or above. Passed House Judiciary Committee; passed House Appropriations Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Authorizing the use of wheeled all-terrain vehicles on certain public roadways. House Bill 1632 would authorize the use of wheeled all-terrain vehicles on certain public roadways with a speed limit of 35 mph or less if the operator fulfills various registration and equipment requirements. Passed by House Transportation Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Limiting differential tuition. House Bill 1043 repeals the authorization for public institutions of higher education to charge differential tuition to resident undergraduate students. Passed House Floor 95-1; referred to Senate Higher Education Committee.
Green docks. House Bill 1090 would increase the ability for property owners to use green materials when building docks by increasing the exempt dollar amount for docks to $20,000. Passed the House Committee on Local Government; passed House 95-0; passed by Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee; in Senate Rules “X” file.
GOOD BILLS THAT ARE ALIVE
Quality science used in public policy. House Bill 1112 requires agencies to use credible science and identify their sources when taking regulatory action. Passed House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources; passed House 97-0; passed Senate 47-0; delivered to governor.
Promoting policies to support academic acceleration for high school students. House Bill 1642 helps ensure students reach their full academic potential by incentivizing school districts to adopt a policy that automatically enrolls students who pass state high school assessments in the next most rigorous advanced course offered by the school. Passed House Education Committee; passed House Appropriations Committee; passed House 85-12; passed Senate 86-9.
Identifying the science behind environmental policy. House Bill 1113 would require the Department of Ecology to identify the peer-reviewed science, scientific literature, and other sources of information being relied upon before taking significant agency action related to certain agency programs. Passed House Environment Committee; Passed House Floor 96-0; passed Senate 48-0; delivered to governor.
Providing tax relief for honey beekeepers. House Bill 1558 repeals the expiration dates for current tax exemptions for honey beekeepers and creates a new sales and use tax exemption on purchases of honeybee food. Passed House Finance Committee; passed House Appropriations Committee; passed House 98-0; passed Senate Agriculture and Rural Economic Development; referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee; included in budget proposals.
Sampling of spirits. House Bill 1332 would allow spirits retailers the option to provide samples of products to customers with the proper protections in place. With the implementation of Initiative-1183, the privatization of spirits sales, our state became home to a new private industry. This would help our state’s newest small businesses by allowing them to showcase their products. Passed Government Accountability & Oversight Committee; passed House 85-12; passed Senate Commerce and Labor Committee; in Senate Rules Committee.
Extending the sunset review process. House Bill 1860 would allow the Legislature to continue to evaluate agencies and programs for effectiveness. Ensuring accountability to our taxpayers is of utmost importance. Passed Government Accountability & Oversight Committee; passed by House 96-0; passed Senate 48-0; governor signed.
Modifying stalking and harassment protection order provisions. House Bill 1383 creates a new civil protection order for victims of stranger stalking, who are unable to obtain a Domestic Violence Protection Order or Sexual Assault Protection Order. The bill specifies that this is not meant to apply in garden-variety disputes where an anti-harassment order would suffice. Based upon last year’s Attorney General request legislation. Passed House Judiciary Committee; passed House 98-0; passed Senate 47-0; delivered to governor.
Addressing criminal incompetency and civil commitment. House Bill 1114 addresses the “gap” between the criminal justice and civil mental health systems by requiring most inpatient evaluations for involuntary treatment after criminal charges have been dismissed to occur at state hospitals. Modifies procedures and standards for involuntary treatment of persons who have been deemed incompetent to stand trial for violent felonies. Passed House Judiciary Committee; passed House Appropriations Committee; passed House 87-11; passed Senate 47-1.
Concerning information on firearm offenders. House Bill 1612 requires WSP to maintain a central registry of firearm offenders. Firearm offenders are persons who have been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity in this state of various felony firearm offenses listed in the act or of unlawful possession of a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle, or unlawful use of a loaded firearm. The registry is only for law enforcement purposes and is not subject to public disclosure, and requiring registration is at the discretion of the court. Passed House Judiciary Committee; passed House 85-10; passed Senate 41-7; passed House with Senate amendments 89-8.
Veterans preference for public employment. House Bill 1537 allows service members with separation orders to claim veterans’ status when applying for state jobs. Passed House Committee on Government Operations & Elections; passed House 97-0; passed Senate 48-0; delivered to governor.
Sexual abuse against a child. House Bill 1352 extends the statute of limitations for several criminal offenses related to sexual abuse against a minor and extends the period for filing a civil action based on childhood sexual abuse. Passed House Public Safety Committee; passed House 95-0; passed Senate 48-0; signed by governor.
Directing certain agencies to fully participate with the Business License Center Act. House Bill 1403 directs a number of agencies to fully participate with the Business License Center Act by providing DOR with certain information about the agency’s licenses to provide a convenient, accessible, and timely system for businesses to acquire and maintain the necessary licenses to conduct business. Passed House Technology & Economic Development Committee; passed House 97-0; passed Senate 47-0; delivered to governor.
BAD BILLS THAT ARE DEAD
Pet food tax. House Bill 1229 would have created a new fee (tax) on pet food to pay for pets of low income individuals to be spayed or neutered. Public Hearing in House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources.
Lowering standards for high school students. House Bill 1450 eliminates the requirement that students meet standard in science and geometry to graduate high school. Public Hearing in House Education Committee.
Adding more costly bureaucracy to the environmental permitting process. House Bill 1434 would increase environmental permitting costs to businesses by adding another layer of community input to the process, all in the name of “environmental justice,” increasing costs and legal exposure for employers in Washington state. Public Hearing in House Environment Committee.
Single-payer, government-run health care. House Bill 1085 would establish a single-payer, government-run health care system to provide health care coverage to all Washington residents. Would be funded by taxes on employers and premiums paid by individuals. Public Hearing in Health Care and Wellness Committee.
Requiring use of resident workers on public works. House Bill 1026 would require that at least 75 percent of labor hours on public works contracts, including publicly subsidized works, be performed by Washington residents. Our state supreme court has already ruled this unconstitutional under the privileges and immunity clause and therefore would only create new litigation over an old issue. Public Hearing in House Labor & Workforce Development Committee.
Extending temporary surcharges and creating a fuel tax to fund education. House Bill 1122 extends the temporary surcharges on the state’s beer tax and service business and occupation tax and creates a new tax on the distribution of gasoline and diesel fuel. Both the surcharges and fuel tax would be deposited into the Education Legacy Trust Account to fund education and pupil transportation. Did not receive a hearing in House Finance Committee.
Raising the maximum rate on the emergency medical services levy. House Bill 1136 increases the maximum emergency medical services levy rate a taxing district could impose from 50 cents to 75 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. Public Hearing in House Finance Committee.
Repealing a tax exemption and creating a new tax to support in-home care services. House Bill 1273 repeals the nonresident sales tax exemption and extends sales tax to debt collection services with the intention of directing these receipts from the general fund to the Medicaid home care program. The bill also requires decisions on the hours of in-home care to be based solely on medical need. Did not receive a public hearing in House Finance Committee.
Raising the estate tax. House Bill 1494 increases estate tax rates to provide additional funding for higher education. Did not receive a public hearing in House Finance Committee.
Imposing a state income tax. House Bill 1545 imposes a 2 percent tax on adjusted gross income above one million dollars on residents or qualifying nonresidents deriving income from sources within the state to support education, specifically classroom size reduction. Did not receive a public hearing in House Finance Committee.
Extending the application of prevailing wage requirements. House Bill 1025 would dramatically increase the use of prevailing wage in our state. This would be a huge cost increase to businesses and taxpayers in an already difficult economic time. Passed House Labor & Workforce Development Committee; in House Finance Committee.
Taxing employers to implement and expand paid family and medical leave benefits. House Bill 1457 would significantly expand the family leave insurance program and would create a new tax on employers and employees to pay for it. Passed House Labor & Workforce Development Committee; in House Finance Committee.
Allowing certain residents to avoid tolls on I-90. House Bill 1945 directs the WA State Department of Transportation to explore options to mitigate the effect of tolling I-90 on affected residents (i.e. Mercer Island). Those options must include allowing residents to use a section of the bridge without paying a toll or assessing the toll only when the resident crosses the entire potion of the bridge. Public Hearing in the House Transportation Committee.
Establishing continuing education requirements for engineers. House Bill 1231 would require certain professional engineers to complete at least 15 hours of continuing professional development per year. This puts an unnecessary burden and expense on workers in this tough economic time. Especially since there have been no relation to disasters and a lack of education. Passed Business & Financial Services Committee; In House Rules Committee.
Creating a new tax on oil and gas severance. House Bill 1856 imposes a 12 percent excise tax on the severance of oil and gas within the state. Revenues received by the tax would be deposited into the Park Land Revolving Fund, the Sustainable Energy Trust Program, and a new local government account. Passed House Finance Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Concerning juvenile firearms and weapons crimes. House Bill 1096 increases the penalties for juveniles found to be in Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and restricts existing disposition alternatives for juvenile firearm offenses, which were all good elements of the underlying bill. However, the proposed substitute also creates a disposition alternative specific to firearm offenders, which provides additional opportunities for juveniles who commit violent offenses to avoid confinement. Passed House Judiciary Committee; passed House Appropriations Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Broadening background checks for firearm purchases. House Bill 1588 requires a background check on the sale of a firearm when both the seller and purchaser are not licensed as dealers and the purchaser doesn’t have a valid Washington concealed pistol license and requires the background check to be conducted by a dealer or a local law enforcement. Passed House Judiciary Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Extending apprenticeship utilization requirements. House Bill 1023 would require that at least 15 percent of labor hours on subsidized public works contracts estimated to cost $5 million or more be performed by apprentices. This would reduce competition and would therefore make the cost of the public works go up. These mandates restrict contractors’ abilities to manage their workforces and deliver quality projects. Passed House Labor & Workforce Development Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Mandating minimum standards for sick and safe leave from employment. House Bill 1313 would mandate that employers provide sick and safe leave to their employees. This is a statewide expansion of what was done in the City of Seattle. It would place a huge financial burden on businesses which would therefore need to reduce the overall benefits of employees or to make job cuts. Passed House Labor & Workforce Development Committee; passed House Appropriations Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Criminalizing businesses who hire independent contractors. House Bill 1440 would create a new test to determine whether an individual is an independent contractor. This new definition would cause a reduction in employment and cause some businesses to die. Passed House Labor & Workforce Development Committee; passed House Finance Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Reclassifying drayage truck operators at certain ports. House Bill 1719 would make drayage truck operators employees of the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma. The majority of companies that employee these drivers would go out of business. Ports can’t afford to do this now going from 200 employees to 9,000. This would impact retailers in a way that would cause them to use different ports and would increase trucking costs by 70%. Passed House Labor & Workforce Development Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Incarcerated juveniles. House Bill 1338 weakens what was a good underlying bill to comply with the Miller v. Alabama decision, which eliminates mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders. The original bill prohibited any offender who had been convicted for any offense committed subsequent to his or her eighteenth birthday from petitioning the court for release, while the substitute allows an offender to seek early release as long as he or she has not been convicted of a felony in the five years prior to filing the petition or has committed a major violation in the 12 months prior. Passed House Public Safety Committee; passed House General Government Appropriations Subcommittee; in House Rules Committee.
Adding health to the state’s transportation policy goals. House Bill 1233 would add “health” to the state’s transportation system policy goals, which currently include economic vitality, preservation, safety, mobility, environment, and stewardship. Passed House Transportation Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Requiring certain costs to be passed on to contractors outside the state. House Bill 1288 would require the state to assign inspector travel costs to the project contractor on the Columbia River Crossing project if the steel is fabricated more than 300 miles outside of Olympia. Passed House Transportation Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Making the SR 167 HOT lanes permanent. House Bill 1745 would move the SR 167 HOT lanes out of pilot status to permanent status and authorize the HOT lanes to extend into Pierce County. Passed House Transportation Committee; in House Rules Committee.
Litigate minority districts. House Bill 1413 creates the ability for lawyers to demand schools, fire districts, public utility districts, and other government subdivisions to use scarce dollars to redraw boundary lines and have new elections whenever minority candidates fail to be elected in districts with large populations of minorities. Passed House Committee on Government Operations & Elections; passed the House 53-44; hearing held in Senate Governmental Operations Committee.
Mandating health insurance coverage for abortions. House Bill 1044 would require private health insurance plans that provide coverage for maternity services to provide coverage for abortions. Passed House Health Care & Wellness Committee; Passed House 53-43; public hearing held in Senate Health Care Committee.
Requiring reporting of construction service payments. House Bill 1473 would require contractors to report to the Department of Labor and Industries when they pay a construction service provider $600 or more a year for construction services. It also penalizes them if they failed to report or submitted a report that was incomplete. Passed House Labor & Workforce Development Committee; passed the House 51-47; public hearing held in Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.
Expanding penalties for employers under WISHA. House Bill 1891 would increase civil and criminal penalties for violations under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA). This would increase the penalties from a gross misdemeanor to a Class C felony and changes the burden of proof in a criminal proceeding. Under this bill, if an employer failed to post a flyer they would be fined $12,000. Passed House Labor & Workforce Development Committee; passed House 65-32; public hearing held inSenate Commerce and Labor Committee.
Disclose business records to assessor. House Bill 1217 would authorize the assessor to demand 3-years of income and expense statements for commercial-property assessments. Passed House Committee on Local Government; passed by House Finance Committee; passed the House 53-43; public hearing held in Senate Governmental Operations Committee.
Lowering standards for teacher certification. House Bill 1178 authorizes the Professional Educator Standards Board to accept an alternative assessment in place of the basic skills test, resulting in the admission of some candidates who cannot pass the basic skills exam. Passed House Education Committee; passed the House 57-40; passed by Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee with amendments that made it better (was originally “bad”); eligible to be placed on second reading.
BAD BILLS THAT ARE ALIVE
Increasing transportation taxes. House Bill 1954 would increase transportation funding through the following tax and fee increases: (1) a gas tax increase of $0.10/gallon phased in over 3 years; (2) a weight fee increase of 15% for vehicles with a gross weight of 12,000 pounds or more; (3) a passenger weight fee increase ranging from $15 to $35, depending on weight; (4) a $5 fee increase for vehicle registration renewals not processed by a sub-agent; (5) a $12 fee increase for title transactions not processed by a sub-agent; and (6) redeployment of 2012 fee increases. In addition, the bill authorizes various local revenue options. Passed House Transportation Committee.