Good morning. Today is Tuesday, day 37 of a 105-day session.
Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, introduced House Bill 1948, which would require that any state, regional or national emissions cap-and-trade system get state legislative approval before it could be enacted and would require a report on any such program that would take into consideration its economic effects. In 2009, the Legislature considered, but did not pass, a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington.
Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, introduced House Bill 1957, which would allocate $2 million to the Commerce Department over two years to set up housing and services for homeless people who have been costing the state money through emergency room visits, use of detoxification facilities and being put in jail.
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Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-San Juan Islands, introduced Senate Bill 5802, which would allow counties to reduce the amount they contribute toward the salaries of prosecuting attorneys. Under current law, counties must contribute at least as much as they did in 2008.
Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, introduced Senate Bill 5794, which would reduce the tax domestic breweries that produce less than 2 million barrels of beer per year have to pay in the state.
Legislative committees will try to pass as many bills as they can this week as they approach their first cutoff deadline. Feb. 21 is the last day for House committees to vote on policy bills from the House and for Senate Committees to vote on Senate policy bills.
The House Environment Committee will hear House Bill 1825, which would require the TransAlta power plant to phase out coal as an energy source by 2015. Environmental groups and representatives from TransAlta have scheduled rallies at the capitol in response to the proposal.
The House Education Appropriations and Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill 1849, an education-restructuring bill that would be an alternative to the Education Department idea proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Haigh, D-Shelton, would set up the Washington State Education Council, headed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The House Government Appropriations and Oversight Committee is scheduled to hear several bills, including Substitute House Bill 1200, which would set up a state meat inspection program, Sustitute House Bill 1294, which would expand the Washington Conservation Corps and House Bill 1333, which would prohibit motorcycle profiling.
The House Capital Budget Committee will hear House Bill 1915, a bill requested by the State Treasurer that would set up an “infrastructure bank” that could loan money to local governments for infrastructure projects.
The Senate Committee on Government Operations, Tribal Relations and Elections is scheduled to vote on Senate Bill 5021, which would tighten campaign finance disclosure requirements. The measure would respond to some financing practices political consulting firm Moxie Media used in the 38th district’s primary elections.
The committee could also vote on Senate Bill 5297, which would raise the filing fee for initiatives and referenda and require paid signature gatherers to register with the Secretary of State.
At another meeting at 6 p.m., the committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5557, which would set up a state agency called the Office of Civil Rights at the request of the governor.
The House Business and Financial Services Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing and a vote on House Bill 1805, which would increase the penalties for making unlicensed payday loans in the state.
The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill 1735, which would create a fund to clean up stormwater pollution by imposing a 1 percent fee on petroleum products.
The House Transportation Committee is scheduled to vote on Substitute House Bill 1017, which would require a 12-hour impound on a vehicle belonging to a person who is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5649, which would limit the length of time and the conditions under which pet owners could tether their dogs outside.
Rep. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington, announced Monday that he will hold a telephone town hall on Feb. 22. Constituents can participate by dialing 1-877-229-8493 and, when prompted, entering the numbers 17556. Once on the line, callers will be able to ask a question by pressing *3 on their telephone keypads.