Good morning. Today is the 11th day of the 105-day session.
Sen. James Hargrove and Rep. Steve Kirby introduced bills in the House and Senate that would require local law enforcement to adopt a written policy and have training against profiling motorcycle riders. A similar bill was passed by the House in 2010 but never made it to a floor vote in the Senate.
Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen introduced a bill that would add a $100 annual registration fee for electric vehicles to make up for diminishing gas-tax revenue.
Sen. Janea Holmquist introduced a bill that would require the Department of Labor and Industries to release information in September about intended workers’ compensation changes that would go into effect in January to allow time for public input.
Rep. Christine Rolfes introduced a bill that would not require students to pass a science section of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning test on top of existing reading, writing and math sections until the graduating class of 2016. As it stands, state law would require the class of 2013 to pass the science WASL.
Rep. Kirk Pearson introduced a bill that would limit the interest that credit card companies can charge under RCW 19.52.020, which says interest cannot exceed 12 percent per year.
Members of the Washington Realtors group will meet with legislators at the Capitol to lobby for their priorities for the session, which include reducing taxes and fees associated with buying houses.
The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on eight bills, including House Bill 1017, which would require a 12-hour impound on vehicles belonging to people who are arrested for driving under the influence.
The House Community Development and Housing Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill 1165, which would create a small-business loan guarantee program of up to $100 million to provide access to capital for Washington businesses that can’t get funding from private lenders. It also would give businesses a tax credit for hiring new workers at certain pay and benefit levels and create a “taxpayer bill of rights” that would put the burden on the state to make it clear what businesses need to do to comply with tax law.
Sens. Mike Carrell and Joseph Zarelli will announce a package of legislation dealing with fraud and waste at state agencies as part of a Senate Republican response to the state budget shortfall.
The Senate Committee on Health and Long Term Care will hold a hearing on Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles’ bill to set up a regulatory system for growing and selling medical marijuana in the state. A companion bill by Rep. Jim Moeller has been referred to the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee.
Animal-rights advocates have filed a citizen initiative to require more room for egg-laying hens that many industry farms keep in cages.
The Humane Society and Farm Sanctuary are part of a coalition that formed to promote the proposal, which is intended to give the industry six years to comply by 2018. The coalition calls itself Washingtonians for Humane Farms.
Paul Shapiro, a spokesman for the Humane Society in Washington, D.C., said animal-rights advocates have tried in recent years to pass cage-free legislation but could not get around industry opposition. And talks with the industry did not lead to agreements, so they are filing an initiative.
Shapiro said the concept – giving farm animals room to turn around or spread wings in captivity – has passed by strong public votes in Florida, Arizona and California.