Local

How lawmakers voted in Olympia

With twenty days left to go in the regular session of the 2016 Legislature, 485 bills have survived the Feb. 17 cutoff deadline for passing bills in their house of origin. Measures that failed to make the cutoff, while not technically dead, in all likelihood will not receive further consideration this year. Initiatives, budget bills, and bills necessary to implement the budget are exempt from cutoff deadlines. Following are this week’s picks for WashingtonVotes.org’s roll call report on legislation of interest.

Senate Bill 6195: Creating a task force on basic education funding issues. Passed the Senate on Feb. 16, 2016 by a vote of 26-23.

As amended, the bill is identical to HB 2366, approved by the House in January. It would require the task force to collect data on teacher compensation from local school districts, and would direct the Legislature to take legislative action by the end of the 2017 session to eliminate the reliance on local school levies referred to by the state supreme court in its "McLeary" decision.

40th Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island: Yes

42nd Sen. Doug Ericksen, F-Ferndale: No

Senate Bill 6195: Creating a task force on basic education funding issues. Passed the House on Feb. 18, 2016 by a vote of 66-31, one member excused.

This bill is identical to HB 2366, which passed the House on Jan. 25 by a vote of 64-34. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for signature.

40th Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes: Yes

40th Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon: Yes

42nd Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden: No

42nd Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden: No

Senate Bill 6396: Changing rule making to require review by the attorney general before adoption and providing for yearly expiration of rules, unless approved by the legislature. Passed the Senate on Feb. 17, 2016 by a vote of 26-23.

This bill would bring review and accountability to agency rulemaking by requiring the state Attorney General to confirm that new agency rules or changes to existing rules are legal and constitutional before they are enforced on the public. In addition, the Legislature would have to approve a new rule or rule change within a year of its adoption, or the rule would expire.

40th Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island: No

42nd Sen. Doug Ericksen, F-Ferndale: Yes

Senate Bill 5915: Requiring dynamic fiscal impact statements. Passed the Senate on Feb. 17, 2016 by a vote of 49-0.

The Senate also passed this measure unanimously during the 2015 legislative session, but it failed to gain traction in the House. The bill would provide for dynamic fiscal impact statements on proposed legislation. Under the bill, any member of the fiscal committees of the Legislature could ask the Office of Financial Management (OFM) to prepare a statement that estimates the net fiscal effect of a bill, including changes that may have an effect on the state economy as a whole. The requirement would only apply to bills with an annual cost of more than $10 million.

40th Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island: Yes

42nd Sen. Doug Ericksen, F-Ferndale: Yes

House Bill 2682: Providing automatic voter registration at qualified voter registration agencies. Passed the House on Feb. 15, 2016 by a vote of 55-42, one seat vacant.

Under this bill, state residents who are not on registered voter lists would be automatically enrolled if they apply, or have already applied for an enhanced or commercial driver’s licenses, which require citizenship verification. Recipients of social services that require citizenship verification or get health insurance through the state’s health exchange would also be automatically registered. Applicants would be allowed to opt out of automatic voter registration.

40th Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes: Yes

40th Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon: Yes

42nd Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden: No

42nd Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden: No

Senate Bill 6455: Reducing the state’s teacher shortage by increasing career opportunities in education. Passed the Senate on Feb. 17, 2016 by a vote of 45-4.

This bill would allow recently retired teachers to serve as teachers or substitutes without reducing their earned pension benefits. It also allows certain experienced out-of-state teachers to automatically obtain professional certification in Washington, and creates a recruitment campaign for out-of-state teachers and prospective new teachers in Washington.

40th Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island: Yes

42nd Sen. Doug Ericksen, F-Ferndale: Yes

House Bill 2573: Concerning the shortage of public school teachers and substitute teachers. Passed the House on Feb. 17, 2016 by a vote of 92-6.

This bill would require the development and implementation of a comprehensive, statewide effort to increase the number of qualified individuals who apply for teaching positions in Washington, including recruiting activities and creating statewide recruitment and hiring services. It also provides that certain retired teachers may work as mentors or advisers to student teachers for up to 630 hours per year without a suspension of their pension benefits.

40th Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes: Yes

40th Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon: Yes

42nd Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden: Yes

42nd Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden: Yes

WashingtonVotes.org is a project of the Washington Policy Center.

  Comments