Good morning. Today is Wednesday, the 31st day of the 105-day session.
Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, introduced Senate Bill 5717, a companion to House Bill 1666, which would implement the recommendations of the Higher Education Funding Task Force at the request of the governor. Recommendations from the task force include giving universities some tuition-setting authority and creating a privately funded scholarship program in the state.
Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, introduced House Bill 1877, which would prohibit retail stores from giving out bags that are not made out of washable fabric, recycled paper or reusable, 2.25-millimeter-thick plastic.
Rep. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, introduced House Bill 1898, which would establish a public-funding program for state Supreme Court campaigns.
Rep. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, introduced House Bill 1888, which would require information about where state tax revenue comes from and what it is used for to be included in voter pamphlets.
Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, introduced House Bill 1887, which would approve a schedule of photo toll rates for state Route 520 and the Tacoma Narrows bridge. A companion bill, Senate Bill 5700, had a hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.
Rep. Eileen Cody, D-Seattle, introduced House Bill 1310, which would authorize the training, licensing and practice of dental therapists who could work in areas underserved by dentists. A dental therapist has less training than a dentist and could perform simpler dental procedures.
Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington, introduced Senate Bill 5716, another in a series of bills that would limit the use of traffic-safety cameras. Stevens’ bill would eliminate the installation of new cameras and require existing traffic cameras be removed.
Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, introduced House Bill 1892, which would authorize law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of a person they arrest or detain if the officers have a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally.
Klippert also introduced House Joint Resolution 4218, which would amend the constitution to limit the Legislature to a 90-day session in odd-numbered years. Currently, sessions last 105 days in odd-numbered years.
Several bills that have already passed the House were referred to committees in the Senate, including House Bill 1217, which would make it easier for towns to set 20 mph speed limits on non-arterial roads, and House Bill 1418, which would set up programs for counting military training toward licensing requirements in some professions.
Washington immigrants’ rights groups plan a rally at the Capitol opposing cuts to state services and bills that would require immigration-status checks before driver’s licenses are given out. Groups said they expected about 300 people to attend.
The House Higher Education Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill 1795, which would let higher-education institutions set their own tuition rates for four years, though a certain percentage of that money would have to go to middle-class scholarships. The committee also is scheduled to vote on House Bill 1586, which would allow branch campuses of the UW and WSU to offer doctoral degree programs.
The House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill 1732, which would tighten campaign-finance disclosure requirements, and could vote on House Bill 1326, which would authorize banks to have drawings and give out prizes to people who have savings accounts.
The committee also is scheduled to hear House Bill 1668, which would allow the secretary of state to increase initiative filing fees and require that paid signature gatherers register with the state.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5456, which would eliminate the death penalty. A similar bill introduced in 2009 and again in 2010 never made it out of committee.
The Senate Financial Institutions, Housing and Insurance Committee will hold hearings on two bills dealing with payday lenders. One, Senate Bill 5547, would remove the cap on the number of small loans a person can take out per year. The other, Senate Bill 5600, would impose tougher licensing rules on lenders.
The Senate Economic Development, Trade and Innovation Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Senate Bill 5637, which would set up an online system for matching students with employers looking for interns.