Published January 25, 2013
Under the Dome: Today is Friday, Jan. 25, the 12th day of the 105-day legislative session
Today is Thursday, Jan. 25, the 12th day of the 105-day legislative session. "What I'm hearing from the business community is, they're excited that bills that have never been heard in Olympia are actually at least getting a hearing." —Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, leader of a mainly Republican coalition that is pushing for changes to the state workers’ compensation system. TODAY A few hundred dentists are expected to gather on the Tivoli Fountain South Lawn between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. as part of “Dental Action Day.” Meanwhile, another group will petition legislators during the “Washington Coalition of Crime Victim Advocates Capitol Day,” which will take place at the General Administration Building auditorium between 8 a.m. and noon. Another coalition will lobby against human trafficking during “Washington Anti-Trafficking Engagement Day,” set to take place in the Columbia Room of the Legislative Building from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. A proposal to repeal the state’s family and medical leave insurance law will receive a hearing at 8 a.m. before the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee. The committee will hear testimony on Senate Bill 5159 in Hearing Room 2 of the John A. Cherberg Building. Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, is proposing an amendment to the state constitution that would allow teachers and school police officers to search a student on school grounds as long as there is “reasonable suspicion” the student is breaking school rules. School officials already have this privilege, but campus police officers do not. Senate Joint Resolution 8203 will receive a hearing at 8 a.m. today before the Senate Law & Justice Committee in Hearing Room 1 of the John A. Cherberg Building. Another proposed law would allow local agencies to limit the amount of time they spend responding to public records requests “in order to prevent excessive interference with other essential functions.” House Bill 1128 will receive a hearing before the House Local Government Committee at 1:30 p.m. in Hearing Room D of the John L. O’Brien Building. A session discussing the training programs for long-term care workers will take place in the House Health Care & Wellness Committee today at 1:30 p.m. in Hearing Room B of the John L. O’Brien Building. BILL INTRODUCTIONS Senate Bill 5291 would require mail-in ballots to be received by the county auditor’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day if they are to be counted. Ballots from military voters or those who are out-of-state or overseas would still be accepted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. The proposal, introduced by Republican Sen. Pam Roach of Auburn, will go before the Senate Committee on Governmental Operations Jan. 29. Senate Bill 5304 would let cities and towns erect digital billboards along state highways as long as the billboard content is static and not flashing or moving. The bill would require that the state Department of Transportation develop “standards for the allowable brightness, size, and change of copy” on such billboards by the end of 2013. The measure, sponsored by Republican Sen. Curtis King of Yakima, would also require that such digital billboards be available to display regional emergency information and missing person alerts as needed. A proposal in the House would make community service a requirement for high school students to graduate. House Bill 1412 is sponsored by Rep. Steve Bergquist, a Democrat from Renton.