Good morning. Today is Tuesday, day 23 of a 105-day session.
Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Vashon Island, and Rep. Timm Ormsby, D-Spokane, introduced Senate Bill 5604 and House Bill 1735, which would set up a stormwater pollution account funded by a fee on pesticides, petroleum products and other substances that lead to toxic runoff. Money from the account would go to cleanup efforts by local governments, the state Transportation Department and nonprofit groups.
Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Renton, introduced Senate Bill 5598. The bill is a companion to a bill by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, a Seattle Democrat, that would allow marijuana products to be sold in state liquor stores.
Rep. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, introduced House Bill 1751, which would require publishers of commercial telephone directories to provide recipients of the directory with the opportunity to opt out of getting it.
Rep. Jim McCune, R-Graham, introduced House Bill 1769, which would make English the official language of the state. Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington, introduced similar legislation, Senate Joint Resolution 8207, a few weeks ago.
Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, introduced Senate Bill 5576, co-sponsored by Sen. Joseph Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, which would allow the University of Washington and Washington State University to use money they take in from building fees and rent to be used for university building projects. As the law now stands, money from fees and rent goes into bonds or the state treasury and is then allocated to the universities for specific purposes.
Sen. Dan Swecker, R-Rochester, introduced Senate Bill 5561 which would designate Tenino sandstone as Washington’s state rock, and Rep. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, introduced House Bill 1715, which would make coffee the official state beverage.
A welfare advocacy group is visiting Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office to protest five-year limits for grants under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program. The group, called Power, said that 5,000 families and 13,000 children will lose benefits starting today.
The House Transportation Committee will hold public hearings on three bills that would restrict where cities can put traffic cameras. House bills 1098 and 1099 would require that voters approve any local ordinance allowing automatic traffic cameras, and House Bill 1279 would require local governments to prepare reports and publish information on locations where traffic cameras are proposed or installed.
The Senate Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5136, under which the state could partner with an existing online university called the Western Governors University to set up the Western Governors University-Washington, though the university would not get any state money. The new partnership would be recognized as a state institution and would be overseen by the Higher Education Coordinating Board.
The House Education Committee will hold hearings on several bills about assessments in schools, including House Bill 1463, which would repeal the requirement that went into effect in 2008 that 10th grade students pass reading, writing and math tests in order to graduate from high school.
The House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee will hold a hearing and is scheduled to vote on House Bill 1333, which would prohibit motorcycle profiling. Under the bill, it would be illegal for law enforcement officers to pull someone over just for riding a motorcycle or wearing motorcycle gear. A companion bill is also scheduled for a hearing in the Senate.
The House Technology, Energy and Communications Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill 1140, which would authorize towns to fund and provide Internet service if it is unavailable from private companies. The committee is also scheduled to vote on a bill, House Bill 1003, that would establish minimum energy efficiency requirements for televisions and DVD players, among other electronics.
The House Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will hold a hearing on House Bill 1511, which would limit some of the benefits and pay that ferry workers could negotiate. A similar bill, Senate Bill 5405, is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee.
The Labor and Workforce Development Committee is also scheduled to vote on House Bill 1444, which would allow the surviving spouse of a law enforcement officer or a firefighter who dies from a workplace injury to keep getting insurance benefits even if he or she remarries.
The Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5140, which would make it easier to deport alien offenders serving sentences in Washington.
The House Environment Committee will hold a hearing on a House Bill 1294, which would expand the Washington Conservation Corps. In the Senate, a companion bill has already been passed out of committee.