GOAL Post 2015-1
- “RALLY FOR YOUR RIGHTS” IN OLY
- LEGISLATURE CONVENES MONDAY, 12 JANUARY
- SPLIT CONTROL CONTINUES
- LEGISLATIVE TUTORIAL
- LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR
- PRE-FILED FIREARMS BILLS
- LEGISLATOR DIRECT CONTACT INFORMATION
Control of the legislature remains split, with Democrats in charge of the House (51 Democrats to 47 Republicans), and Republicans continuing the Majority Coalition in the Senate, with 26 Majority Coalition members (25 Republicans and one Democrat) versus 23 Democrats. We can also count on a handful of pro-gun House Democrats siding with gun owners on legislation of interest.
For those new to legislative affairs, here’s how the process works: When a bill is filed in the House or Senate (or both, simultaneously, called “companion bills”) it is assigned to a policy committee. Most gun-related bills go to the Senate Law & Justice Committee in the Senate. In the House it’s a little more complicated, as it may be sent to House Judiciary or House Public Safety (most will go to Judiciary). Public hearings may be held, after which the bill may (or may not) be voted out of committee. If the bill has a fiscal impact (usually an expenditure of more than $50,000), it must then go to Senate Ways & Means or one of a couple of House fiscal committees. The bill then goes to the Senate or House Rules Committee, where it must be voted on to pass out to the floor for a full vote.
After a bill passes the Senate or House, it then goes over to the opposite chamber (House or Senate), where the whole process starts over again. If the bill passes the second chamber in the same form it passed the first, it goes to the governor for signature (or veto or partial veto). If changes are made in the second chamber, it goes back to the first for concurrence. It may also go to a conference committee from both chambers to resolve differences. The final version must pass both chambers.
The bill then goes to the Governor, who may sign it into law, veto (kill) the bill, or sign a partial veto (killing just selected section(s) of the bill). The governor may also allow a bill to become law without his signature. Most signed bills take effect on 1 July, although bills with an “emergency clause” (considered immediately necessary for public safety) take effect upon signature by the governor.
One of the first items of business in each session is the adoption of the session calendar, identifying dates by which bills must clear various hurdles. A bill that fails to clear the policy committee or chamber floor by the designated date is generally considered dead for the year, although they may be “resurrected” by parliamentary procedure. I’ll post the cut-off dates for the 2015 session in the next issue of GOAL Post.
Bills from the last session are dead. New bills must be filed for consideration by the 64th Legislature, with new bill numbers. At this time no firearm-related bills have been pre-filed.
The Legislature has not yet published new telephone and office directories because legislators are not sworn in until Monday, 12 January. The following links can be used at that time to identify direct contact information:
Legislative e-mail addresses will be available at http://app.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/Default.aspx
Your elected legislators and their contact information is available by inserting your residence zip code at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx
BILL STATUS: No firearm-related bills have been filed at this time.
GOAL POSITION ON BILLS: No bills filed at this time
HEARINGS SCHEDULED: None scheduled
LEGISLATIVE HOT LINE: You may reach your Representatives and Senator by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Toll free!!! The hearing impaired may obtain TDD access at 1-800-635-9993. Also toll free!!!
1-800-562-6000 TDD 1-800-635-9993
OTHER DATA: Copies of pending legislation (bills), legislative schedules and other information are available on the legislature’s web site at “www.leg.wa.gov“. Bills are available in Acrobat (.pdf) format. You may download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe’s web site (http://www.adobe.com). You may also obtain hard copy bills, initiatives, etc, in the mail from the Legislative Bill Room FREE OF CHARGE by calling 1-360-786-7573. Copies of bills may also be ordered toll free by calling the Legislative Hotline at (800) 562-6000. You may also hear floor and committee hearing action live at http://www.tvw.org/ (you need “RealAudio” to do this, available free at the TVW web site).
By reading the House and Senate “bill reports” (hbr, sbr) for each bill, you can see how individual committee members voted. By reading the “roll call” for each bill, you can see how the entire House or Senate voted on any bill. The beauty of the web site is that ALL this information is available, on line, to any citizen.
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Upcoming WAC gun show(s):
Puyallup: 17-18 January
Monroe: 14-15 February
“The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”
Article 1, Section 24
Constitution of the State of Washington
Copyright 2015 Gun Owners Action League of WA