Good morning. Today is Tuesday, day 65 of a 105-day session.
The governor signed Senate Bill 5763 into law Monday. The measure removes a legal loophole that exempted residents of British Columbia and some other Canadian provinces from paying Washington sales tax.
The House Environment Committee is holding a hearing and a work session on Senate Bill 5769, which would require the TransAlta power plant in Centralia to stop burning coal. The bill is the result of a governor’s agreement with the plant that would phase out coal use entirely by Dec. 31, 2025.
The House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5545, which would allow police to record a conversation with the consent of just one person involved if they believe it relates to the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor.
The committee is also scheduled to vote on Senate Bill 5168, which would reduce the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor in Washington to 364 instead of 365 days. The purpose of doing so, lawmakers have said, is to prevent legal immigrants who are convicted of a misdemeanor from being deported under federal law because they received a yearlong sentence.
The Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee is scheduled to hear House Bill 1586, which would allow branch campuses of the University of Washington and Washington State University to offer doctoral degree programs, and Senate Bill 5868, which would raise tuition for students who have 125 percent of the credits they need to get a bachelor’s degree, with some exceptions.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear House Bill 1805, which would increase the penalties for making an unlicensed small loan to a person in Washington through the Internet or some other source.
The idea is an alternative to another proposal in the Legislature that would remove the limit on the number of small loans a person can take out in a year, a move some lawmakers say is necessary to prevent flight from payday loans to unregulated Internet loan companies.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is also scheduled to hear House Bill 1339, which would raise the penalties for people who hurt or kill a pedestrian or bicyclist while driving negligently.
Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, announced Monday that she will hold a telephone town hall meeting with residents of Washington’s 2nd Legislative District on March 22 beginning at 7:05 p.m. People can participate by calling 1-877-229-8493 and entering the code 15481.