Today is Thursday, Feb. 7, the 25th day of the 105-day legislative session.
A cemetery bill in the Legislature has cleared a key hurdle after being voted out of the House Local Government Committee. House Bill 1207, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Haigh, D-Shelton, would allow voters to create special-purpose cemetery districts by a simple majority, the same bar required of port, water and hospital districts. Haigh has said she introduced the bill partly to help Shelton Memorial Park, which has been struggling financially.
TODAY IN THE LEGISLATURE
The Senate Government Operations Committee will hold a public hearing for three bills proposing amendments to the state constitution to require a two-thirds majority vote of the Legislature to raise taxes. The committee will also hear Senate Bill 5169, sponsored by Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, which would implement recommendations of the state’s advisory committee on open records. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the John A. Cherberg Building Hearing Room 2.
ELSEWHERE ON CAMPUS
The Northwest Credit Union Association is sponsoring today’s Financial Reality Fair in the General Administration Auditorium. High school students will participate in exercises aimed at teaching them to budget within their means. The group will also hold a Legislative Grassroots Lobby Day at the Capitol from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Hundreds of long-term health care workers from SEIU 775NW will gather for their Lobby Day from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Workers will be urging lawmakers to fully implement a Medicaid expansion and to fund their contract.
The United Ways of Washington will host its Lobby Day from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. The group will meet in the Columbia Room of the Legislative Building. Its 2013 legislative agenda includes early childhood education and services, and child care affordability.
Senate Bill 5620, sponsored by Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, is aimed at addressing school safety concerns. The proposal would require schools to have four lockdown drills a year. Currently schools are required to have only one.
Senate Bill 5625, sponsored by Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, would require background checks for all firearm purchases. Currently, background checks are required only if the firearm is purchased from a licensed dealer.
House Bill 1729, sponsored by Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, would prohibit any “criminal street gang associate or member” from possessing firearms by making such possession a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.