Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Last Monday at 5 p.m. was the deadline for House bills to pass the House and Senate bills to pass the Senate. Bills that were not passed by their originating chamber by that deadline are considered “dead” for the year. Measures necessary to implement the budget are exempt from the cutoff.
A total of 351 bills passed out of the House before the deadline. Of those measures, 280 were sponsored by Democrats and 71 were Republican-sponsored bills.
The Senate sent 219 bills to the House. Of those Senate measures, 157 were sponsored by Democrats and 62 were Republican-sponsored bills.
Now our focus moves back to the House committees where we will be discussing, debating, amending and voting on Senate bills.
Below you'll find a list of good and bad legislation that either survived or didn't make the cutoff.
It is an honor to serve you.
Fortunately, we were able to pass some important measures to provide regulatory relief to small businesses and local governments, as well as several public safety proposals. Here's a sampling of that legislation:
- House Bill 1094 – Would allow counties with a population of 20,000 or fewer inhabitants at any time between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2013 (Columbia, Garfield and Pacific counties) to withdraw from voluntary planning under the Growth Management Act. Passed the House 68-29.
- House Bill 1150 – Would extend the time in which a small business may correct a violation without a penalty. Passed the House 96-0.
- House Bill 1334: Would allow civil judgments to be imposed against inmates who assault corrections officers. Passed the House 93-1.
- House Bill 1549: Would require at least 30 days' written notice be provided to public and private schools when a juvenile is released on parole, or other authorized release, is transferred to a community residential facility, where the juvenile has committed a violent offense, a sex offense, or the offense of stalking. Passed the House 96-0.
- House Bill 1657: Would remove the statute of limitations for prosecutions of first and second degree rape of a child. Passed the House 98-0.
Good bill sent to the House from the Senate:
- Senate Bill 5566 – Would provide reforms to the state's workers' compensation system, including incentives for early return to work for light duty or transitional work. Would also provide a voluntary settlement option. Passed the Senate 34-15.
Lots of job-creating bills died
With so many people unemployed and needing a job, my House Republican colleagues and I sponsored several bills to get Washington working again. Unfortunately, many of those bills died, including:
- House Bill 1388: Would have kept homes affordable by delaying expensive new state energy code requirements.
- House Bill 1592: Would have suspended Growth Management Act requirements in counties with significant and persistent unemployment. (We did gain a victory with similar legislation. See House Bill 1094 above.)
- House Bill 1961: Would have required permit decisions within 90 days.
- House Bill 1156: Would extend a freeze on state agency rulemaking until July 1, 2014.
Some “stinker” bills get through
There was some really bad legislation supported by the majority party that came before us on the House floor, and despite our best efforts to kill it, several “stinker” bills got through. These included:
- House Bill 1701: Would create a violation and penalty of as much as $5,000 if, on a single job site, work is performed together on the same task by more than two registered contractors. In addition, the general contractor would have the burden of proof to show that the independent contractors are not working together on the same task. This is a job-killer bill. Construction is one of the hardest-hit industries from the recession in our state. This will only add further burdens on an industry already suffering. Passed the House 54-43.
- House Bill 1997: Instead of retiring the hotel, restaurant and car rentals taxes when Safeco Field and Qwest Field are paid off as promised, this bill would extend the stadium taxes indefinitely to fund arts projects in King County and expansion of the state convention center in Seattle. A prime example of how there is no such thing as a “temporary tax.” Passed the House 55-42.
- House Bill 1832 – Would guarantee job security for service contractors in airports regardless of work performance. Passed the House 52-44.
For a full look at bills that survived or died, check out the “Dead and Alive List” here.
Spring and summer mean road construction!
A very large transportation construction season is rapidly approaching in Snohomish County. The Washington State Department of Transportation is adding capacity to help reduce delays, preserving roadways for the future, and reducing the risk of collisions on major corridors. If you live in or drive through Snohomish County, chances are good that you'll encounter one of the construction zones.
Click here to get more information about road construction projects in Snohomish County, including those shown on the map below.
For Skagit County, WSDOT has listed one immediate project:
March 18 – 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. – SR 20 Swinomish Slough Bridge inspection -Milepost 51: The right lane of westbound SR 20 over the Swinomish Slough will close for bridge inspection work.
Click here for more information on Skagit County projects.
In your service,