The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Brandon Cline
Managing Editor 

Pre-filed bills hint at what issues Legislature may tackle in 2020

 

Last updated 12/19/2019 at 11:55am



The upcoming regular session for the Washington Legislature doesn’t begin until Jan. 13, but that doesn’t mean work hasn’t already begun for state legislators.

Many legislators are already in Olympia getting ready for next year’s session. Part of the preparation for the upcoming session includes the pre-filing of bills that may be considered during the upcoming 60-day session.

The 2020 session will be the first session since 1998 where Frank Chopp (D-Seattle) has not held the Speaker’s gavel in the House, after he resigned the Speakership (but not his seat) in May of this year. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) will be formally voted as the House’s next Speaker at the beginning of the session, and will be the state’s first female Speaker.

As a refresher, the Washington State House has a Democratic majority of 57-41, and the Washington State Senate has an effective 28-21 Democratic majority (Sen. Tim Sheldon is a Democrat, but caucuses with Republicans). All 98 House seats will be up for election in 2020, while 25 of the 49 Senate seats will be up for election.

Included below are some of the pre-filed bills that legislators may consider, hold hearings on, vote on and ultimately pass next year:

-House Bill 2186, sponsored by Rep. Christine Kilduff (D-University Place) and six other Reps. (all Democrats): Seeks to prevent vehicles from driving or being moved on public highways, “unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping.”

-House Bill 2190, sponsored by Rep. Jeremie Dufault (R-Selah) and 22 other Reps. (21 Republicans and one Democrat): Seeks to increase legislative transparency “by requiring a minimum amount of notice before holding a public hearing on a new bill or voting on a proposed substitute, striking amendment, or conference committee 17 report.” Would also end the practice of introducing or amending bills that contain only titles or intent statements.

-House Bill 2233, sponsored by Rep. Luanne Van Werven (R-Lynden): Seeks to expand the College in the High School program to ninth grade students.

-House Bill 2239, sponsored by Rep. Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen) and two other Reps. (both Republicans): Would disallow an employer from searching the privately owned vehicles of employees located on the employer’s parking lots or garages. Employers would be forbidden from requiring, as a condition of employment, “that an employee or prospective employee waive the protections of this subsection.” The bill would also prescribe civil penalties to employers in violation of the RCW.

-Senate Bill 6073, sponsored by Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond) and 18 other Sens. (17 Democrats and one Republican): Would require school districts, beginning in the 2021-22 school year, to make menstrual hygiene products available at no cost “in all gender-neutral bathrooms and bathrooms designated for female students located in public schools that serve students in any of grades six through twelve.” The menstrual hygiene products would be for student use only and must include sanitary napkins, tampons or similar items.

-Senate Bill 6076 & House Bill 2241, sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue), Rep. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds) and five other legislators (all Democrats) and at the request of Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson: Would clarify in detail what an “assault weapon” is; would prohibit the manufacturing, possession, distribution, importation, transfer, sale or purchase of any assault weapon or large capacity magazine in the state after, unless one of the 14 listed requirements are met (would not affect individuals who already legally own an assault weapon prior to Jan. 1, 2021); prescribes a penalty of a class C felony for violators.

-Senate Bill 6077 & House Bill 2240, sponsored by Sen. Kuderer, Rep. Javier Valdez and 20 other legislators (all Democrats) and at the request of Gov. Inslee and Attorney General Ferguson: Would clarify what a “large capacity magazine” is; would prohibit the manufacturing, possession, distribution, importation, transfer, sale or purchase of any large capacity magazine, unless one of the 14 listed requirements are met (would not affect individuals who already legally own a large capacity magazine prior to Jan. 1, 2021); explains what an individual must do to continue to possess a large capacity magazine; prescribes a penalty of a gross misdemeanor for violators.

 

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