With the beginning of the pre-filing period on Monday, members of the House and Senate have already introduced over thirty bills. Here’s a quick look at some of the bills that caught our eye.
Senate Democrats offered a preview of their 2018 legislative agenda with the following priority bills:
• The DISCLOSE Act, a bill to improve transparency in elections by reforming the disclosure of secret money (SB 5991);
• A ban on bump stocks, the device used during the Las Vegas mass shooting in October (SB 5992);
• A bill preventing price gouging of prescription generic drugs (SB 5995);
• A bill encouraging the disclosure and discussion of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace (SB 5996);
• Breakfast After the Bell, a program aimed at reducing childhood hunger in our schools (SB 6003);
Topping the list for Senate Democrats is the Voting Rights Act, a bill sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, aimed at improving representation in local elections.
“These bills, although not a complete list of our agenda, are a good representation of the values of our state and our caucus,” Senate Majority Leader Sharon Nelson said. “Washingtonians want good government and a thriving economy, they want to reduce gun violence, end childhood hunger, create a safe workplace and address a number of other critical issues impacting their families every day.
“We have work to do, but we also have a tremendous opportunity to do the good work the people of our state sent us to Olympia to do.”
Pre-filed Senate Republican bills include Sen. Honeyford’s bill to ban the use of state bonds for employee salaries, Sen. Padden’s bill concerning dependent children or adult exposure to controlled substances, and Senator Hawkins bill to modify the timeline of legislative sessions.
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House Republican bills include Rep. Paul Grave’s Legislative Transparency Act and HB 2254 concerning crimes of harassment. Reps. MacEwen and Walsh have also filed legislation to ban Atlantic salmon farms in the state.
“It simply doesn’t make sense to continue allowing Atlantic salmon farms to operate in Washington state,” said MacEwen. “Escaped Atlantic salmon pose serious risks to native Pacific salmon with regard to competition for resources, and also threaten the survival of Pacific juveniles. It’s time we close these farms and put strong policies in place that enable our Pacific salmon populations to thrive.”
For House Democrats, Rep. Macri filed HB 2258 which would increase protections for health care provider and health care facility whistleblowers, and Rep. Goodman filed HB 2263, which would ensure government continuity during catastrophic incidents.
The pre-filing period will last until the beginning of session. A daily updated list of pre-filed bills can be found here.