Upcoming Conference | 2019 Re-Wire Policy Conference, Dec 10, 2019 Register

AG Ferguson’s 2019 legislative agenda

Last week, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a line-up of 11 agency request bills that constitute his 2019 legislative agenda. The bills cover everything from data breaches to the death penalty.

“My office is proposing legislation to improve the lives of people across the state,” Ferguson said in a press release. “I look forward to partnering with a bipartisan group of legislators to make a difference for Washingtonians.”

According to the announcement, six of the bills are repeats from years past. Seven of the requested bills have been prefiled, at this point. Brittany Gregory, Deputy Legislative Director at the Office of the Attorney General, said the four requested bills that have not yet been filed “still might be.”

The seven that have been prefiled look to:

  • Raise the legal age for buying tobacco and vapor products to 21 (prefiled legislation: SB 5057/HB 1074).

  • Ban the sale and possession of high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, with some exceptions (prefiled legislation: SB 5062/HB 1068).

  • Restrict the possession and sale of guns that can’t be detected by common screening methods like metal detectors and x-ray machines at airports, as well as guns that can’t be traced by a serial number (prefiled legislation: SB 5061/HB 1073).

  • Enable the state to penalize employers if they don’t pay their workers the “prevailing wage” (meaning: “hourly wage, usual benefits, and overtime paid” in the largest city in the county “to the majority of workers … in the same trade or occupation”), even if the employer returns stolen wages before the state can take action (prefiled legislation: SB 5035/HB 1072).
  • Close what Ferguson calls a “legal loophole” for debt collectors. Currently, the announcement says, a collection agency can file documents in a way that sometimes results in debtors paying court judgments for cases they didn’t know existed (prefiled legislation: SB 5034/HB 1066).

  • Reduce the time frame during which organizations are required to tell customers about a data breach and expand the types of information that require notification after a breach (prefiled legislation: SB 5064/HB 1071).
  • Establish a one-year “cooling off” period before some state employees can take jobs as paid lobbyists (prefiled legislation: SB 5033/HB 1067).

And the four that have not yet been prefiled are aimed at:

  • Allowing people to consolidate traffic fines across jurisdictions into one payment plan. The Attorney General’s brief lists Sen. Salomon and Rep. Goodman as prime sponsors.
  • Repealing the death penalty. The Attorney General’s brief lists Sen. Carlyle and Rep. Orwall as prime sponsors.
  • Banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the state. The Attorney General’s brief lists prime sponsors as Sen. Kuderer and Rep. Peterson.
  • Creating an annual day of remembrance for Fred Korematsu and Gordon Hirabayashi, who “stood up to the United States government in court over the internment of Japanese Americans.” The Attorney General’s brief lists Sen. Hasegawa and Rep. Santos as prime sponsors.