Legislative Review – February 12, 2021
February 8-10 marks the fifth week since the legislative session started, and it featured a lot of committee hearings in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. On Monday, we brought you coverage of a public hearing on Senate Bill 5148 – concerning the harassment of election officials. We also featured Governor Jay Inslee signing the first bill of his third term as Governor, which was Senate Bill 5061, a bill relating to unemployment insurance and providing COVID-19 relief for businesses. We also covered a public hearing by the House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee concerning House Bill 1156–which aims to adopt a ranked choice voting (or RCV) system in local office elections.
On Tuesday, February 9th, we featured coverage of the House Public Safety Committee’s discussion of House Bill 1449–which aims to make coercive control a crime. Following that, we shifted gears and covered a public hearing on the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee’s discussion on Senate Bill 5432, relating to the creation of an Office of Cybersecurity (OCS) for the state. The bill was requested by Governor Jay Inslee, in response to data breaches– including one that targeted the State Auditor’s Office just last month. We also covered a public hearing by the Senate Human Services, Reentry and Rehabilitation Committee as they went over Senate Bill 5413–a bill relating to solitary confinement. Also later in the day on Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee held a vote on House Bill 1091, relating to the clean fuels program, which establishes a low-carbon fuel requirement in Washington State. The bill took a majority of 17 votes and has won approval from policy and fiscal committees in the House. The next stop is possible consideration on the House floor.
On Wednesday, February 10th, we started our coverage with the Senate Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs Committee’s discussion of Senate Bill 5065–relating to employment protections for railroad workers. The bill aims to prohibit railroad carriers from disciplining employees if they miss work because of personal or family illness or injury–as long as they have been with the company for three consecutive months and their absence doesn’t exceed twelve weeks. Later in the day, the House of Representatives convened for a floor session to discuss House Bill 1089– an act pertaining to compliance audits of peace officers and law enforcement agencies.
On Thursday, February 11th, our coverage kicked-off with a highly contentious bill–House Bill 1496–which imposes a Capital Gains Tax on about 2% of Washingtonians. It was heard by the House Finance Committee.
On Friday, February 12th, we recapped all the week’s top highlights for Legislative Week In Review. You can watch all of our daily and weekly highlights in the legislature on Legislative Review.