GOAL Post 2017-1
Legislative Update from Olympia – 6 January 2017
PALACE INTRIGUE IN OLYMPIA
LEGISLATURE CONVENES MONDAY, 9 JANUARY
SPLIT CONTROL CONTINUES
PRE-FILED FIREARMS BILLS
LEGISLATOR DIRECT CONTACT INFORMATION
HOW TO TESTIFY AT A PUBLIC HEARING
Senator Pam Roach (R), who has represented the 31st District for more than 20 years, was elected to the Pierce County Council in November.She cannot hold two elected positions so she must resign from the Senate, halfway through her current term.Typically, up to three replacements are nominated by the Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) of the district, then one is appointed by the county council.
Because the 31^st District is split between King and Pierce Counties, BOTH county councils get to choose.The PCO’s made three nominations”, #1 recently re-elected Representative Phil Fortunato (R), #2 David Patrick and #3 Cheryl Marshall.Both Patrick and Marshall reportedly support Fortunato. The Pierce County Council is ready to move, but the King County Council has refused to act.Why?Because the state Senate is now split 24-24, and any tie vote would go to newly-elected Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib (D).
The Democrats did this once before for a House appointment in 2014, and withheld approval for 60 days. As with the temper tantrum Hillary supporters have been throwing since election day, if Republicans had done this, they’d be condemned far and wide.But this is business-as-usual for the D side.More as the legislature convenes next week.
The 65th Washington state legislature convenes Monday, January 9th for its long (105 day) session.The principal focus of the long legislative session is supposed to be the biennial budget, but rest assured several other topics, including firearms, will receive attention.
Control of the legislature remains split, with Democrats in charge of the House (50 Democrats to 48 Republicans), and Republicans continuing the Majority Coalition in the Senate, with 25 Majority Coalition members (24 Republicans and one Democrat) versus 24 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 65th Legislature, with new bill numbers.Most of the bills covered in GOAL Post impact either RCW 9.41 (state firearms code) or RCW 9a.16 (use of force). At this point, three gun related bills have been pre-filed:HB 1000, by Rep. Doglio (D-22) amending use of force, HB 1015 by Rep. Shea (R-4) opening areas to licensed concealed carry, and SB 5000, by Sen. McCoy (D-38) also addressing the use of force.Bills have not yet been assigned to a policy committee.The Attorney General’s new proposed “assault weapon” ban has not been filed at this time.
The Legislature has not yet published new telephone and office directories because legislators are not sworn in until Monday, 9 January.The following links can be used at that time to identify direct contact information:
Legislative e-mail addresses will be available at
The link contains a quick tutorial on providing testimony at public hearings on bills under consideration.I would urge you to read it and consider visiting Olympia to let YOUR voice be heard.http://leg.wa.gov/legislature/Pages/Testify.aspx
HB 1000 Use of deadly forceDoglio (D-22)Pre-file
HB 1015 Limiting restrictions on concealed carryShea (R-4)Pre-file
SB 5000 Use of deadly forceMcCoy (D-38)Pre-fi;le
GOAL POSITION ON BILLS
HB 1000 UNDER REVIEW
HB 1015 SUPPORT
SB 5000 UNDER REVIEW
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!!!
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 07-08 January
Monroe 21-22 January
“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 2017 Gun Owners Action League of WA