Good morning. Today is Friday, the 40th day of the 105-day session.
With the cutoff for committees to vote on bills looming, Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, is holding out hope for the great blue heron. Thursday he introduced Senate Bill 5820, a companion to a House bill by Rep. Ross Hunter, another Medina Democrat, to replace the goldfinch as the state bird.
Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, introduced Senate Bill 5828, which would change the rules on what it takes to qualify as a Washington resident at a state university to prevent undocumented immigrants from qualifying for in-state tuition rates and state-sponsored financial aid.
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles introduced Senate Bill 5826, which would set up rules that landlords who use tenant-screening services have to follow and regulate the kinds of information that the screening reports can include. It would limit the amount that a landlord can charge a prospective tenant for a screening to $10.
The conference committee that reconciled the Senate and House versions of the state’s supplemental budget met Thursday to sign their report, clearing the way for a likely vote today.
The agreement would cut $242 million from the state budget that ends in June and tighten eligibility requirements for some state programs, including Children’s Health and Basic Health.
The Senate Committee on Environment, Water and Energy will hear Senate Bill 5779, which would prohibit food-service businesses from using plastic foam containers.
The Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5679, another in a series of bills that would give some tuition-setting authority to four-year state colleges, depending on state funding.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear Senate Joint Memorial 8007, a request to Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that would explicitly say corporations should not be legally defined as people, a definition that played a role in the Citizens United Supreme Court decision to overturn some federal campaign-finance rules.
BILLS PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE
The Senate Committee on Government Operations, Tribal Relations and Elections passed Senate Bill 5297 in a 4-3, party-line vote. The bill would increase the filing fee for initiatives and referenda and would require paid signature gatherers to register with the Secretary of State’s Office.
In party-line votes, the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee passed House Bill 1383, which would require regulation of tanning salons, and House Bill 1246, which would ban some kinds of flavored tobacco.
The Senate Natural Resources and Marine Waters Committee passed Senate Bill 5622, a bill to set up fees for using parks and land owned by the Department of Natural Resources and the Fish and Wildlife Department.
In a 9-4 vote, the House Business and Financial Services Committee passed House Bill 1678, which would repeal the limit on the number of payday loans a person can take out in a year.