GOAL Post 2019-1
Legislative Update from Olympia
11 January 2019
RALLY IN OLY FRIDAY 18 JANUARY
LEGISLATURE CONVENES MONDAY, 14 JANUARY (105 DAY SESSION)
DEMOCRATS IN COMPLETE CONTROL
NEW GUN BILLS PRE-FILED
NEXT WEEK’S HEARING SCHEDULE
LEGISLATOR CONTACT INFORMATION
HOW TO TESTIFY AT A PUBLIC HEARING
PUBLIC HEARING VERSUS EXECUTIVE SESSION
(This will be a long GOAL Post as I have to describe the environment and the processes involved for new readers. Future issues will be shorter. Also keep in mind that GOAL Post focuses on gun law only, we do not cover hunting issues. The Hunters Heritage Council does that well. I normally post GP on Friday evenings to summarize that week’s activities and provide a forecast for the next. I’ll be on the road for the next two weeks, so some issues might be late – or early.)
First business first: a gun rights rally will be held on the Capitol Campus next Friday, January 18th,. The rally will be held on the north steps of the Legislative Building and will begin at 9 a.m., ending at 12 noon. The rally is sponsored by the Gun Rights Coalition. (Yes, it’s a Friday, and unlike the people bussed in to attend many liberal rallies, gunnies have to work. Are your gun rights worth a day off?) After the formal presentation, attendees are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the campus layout (the Capitol, or “legislative” building where floor sessions are conducted, as well as the John L. O’Brien House Office Building, the John A. Cherberg Senate Office Building, and the Irv Newhouse Senate Office Building. This is a great opportunity to locate your two representatives’ and one senator’s office and introduce yourself to their legislative aides. Hopefully over the coming session they’ll become familiar with your name and maybe even your face!
The legislature convenes on Monday, January 14th, for its “long” (105 day) session. This is the start of the 66th biennium, which will run through next year (2020). The primary focus of the long session is supposed to be preparation and passage of a two-year budget, but worry not – they’ll find plenty of time for gun control. If their work is not completed, they can be called back by the governor for any number of 30-day special sessions, as happened two years ago with THREE back-to-back special sessions.
I’m not going to point fingers, as it’s not clear who to point fingers at: overly enthusiastic liberal voters or discouraged conservatives. Either way, the Democrats now have solid control of BOTH the Senate and the House. We still have a few friendly Democrats in the Senate and the House, but not enough to overcome the liberal majority.
The new Senate has 28 Democrats, 21 Republicans. The House will have 57 Democrats to 41 Republicans. This means not only will every committee chair be Democrat (the committee chair controls which bills will receive a hearing), but most committees will have a two-seat Democrat majority.
In the first session of the biennium, all new bills must be filed. You may see familiar subjects brought back, but the bill numbers will be new. Bills stay alive for the entire two-year biennium.
Text of newly filed bills can be found at https://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/ Also on the bill information page are links to “New Introductions” (daily), and at the bottom, “Bills by topic” and “Bill Tracking.”
Pre-filing of bills for the new legislature begins in December, and there are already a handful of gun-related bills in the hopper.
A complete list of bills under consideration is included below in the “BILL STATUS” section. It also contains the bill’s prime sponsor, the current status of the bill (committee location) and the GOAL position on the bill. Committee abbreviations are provided at the bottom of that section. As this is written there are currently 12 gun bills available for consideration/action.
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 Civil Rights & Judiciary or House Public Safety (most will go to CR&J). 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 2018 session in the next issue of GOAL Post.
At this time, public hearings are scheduled for HB 1010 (disposal of forfeited firearm) on Tuesday, January 15th, at 10 a.m. in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee, and for SBs 5072 (extreme risk protection orders, under 18) and 5027 (extreme risk protection orders, under 18) on Thursday, 17 January at 10 a.m. in the Senate Law & Justice Committee.
The following links can be used to contact legislators. Lists won’t be updated until new members are sworn in Monday):
Legislative e-mail addresses are available at http://app.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/Default.aspx
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
Public hearings are committee meetings open to the public, where the public is allowed to testify on bills, to give their views on the bill. But all votes on bills taken by a committee are conducted in what are called “executive sessions.” They are typically part of a public session, with a few minutes set aside to vote on bills previously heard by the committee. Public testimony is just that, open to the public for comment. On the other hand, no public input is allowed during executive session. You are welcome to sit there, and to count votes, but silence from the public is the rule. Just FYI for those of you who have not attended legislative public meetings before.
And you won’t find the House Judiciary Committee listed any more. It’s now the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee.
Legislative committee schedule are posted on the legislative web site on Wednesday evenings. It is not on the schedule yet, but I have been informed that the Senate Law & Justice Committee will conduct a public hearing on Monday, 15 January (Martin Luther King Day), at 1000, in Senate Hearing Room 4 (John A Cherberg Building). Bills reportedly under consideration include SBs 5992 (“trigger devices”) and 6049 (“high capacity magazine’ ban). A strong turnout is helpful. As is carpooling, given parking limitations on the Capitol Campus. (Who knows how many busloads of people will show up from Seattle supporting the gun control bills on this holiday?)
The Senate Committee Services office has done us the favor of compiling a 26 page summary of Washington state firearms laws and other data surrounding firearms… with – at first glance – a typical Olympia slant on it. The “study” us available at http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/LAW/Documents/Washington%20Firearms%20Laws.pdf
BILL STATUS/GOAL POSITION:
HB 1010 Disposition of forfeited firearms by WSP
Senn (D-41) H.CR&J OPPOSE
HB 1022 Prohibiting handgun sale data base
Walsh (R-19) H.CR&J SUPPORT
HB 1024 Prohibiting gun owner data base
Walsh (R-19) H.CR&J SUPPORT
HB 1068 High capacity magazine ban
Valdez (D-46) H.CR&J OPPOSE
HB 1038 Authorizing armed school personnel
Walsh (R-19) UnAsg SUPPORT
HB 1073 Undetectable and/or untraceable firearms
Valdez (D-46) H.CR&J OPPOSE
SB 5016 Authorizing armed animal control officers
Van De Wege UnAsg SUPPORT
SB 5027 Extreme risk protection orders, under age 18
Frockt (D-46) S.L&J OPPOSE
SB 5050 Sentence enhancement for body armor use in a crime
O’Ban (R-28) S.L&J NEUTRAL
SB 5061 Undetectable and untraceable firearms
Dhingra (D-45) S.L&J OPPOSE
SB 5062 High capacity magazine ban
Kuderer D-48) S.L&J OPPOSE
SB 5072 Extreme risk protection orders
O’Ban (R-28) S.L&J NEUTRAL
HB = House bill, SB = Senate bill. L&J = Law & Justice , CR&J = Civil Rights and Judiciary, PubSaf = Public Safety, HC = Health Care, H. K-12 = House Early education, Aprop = Appropriations, Fin = Finance, W&M = Ways & Means “S” before a bill number indicates Substitute (amended).
15 Jan House Civil Rights and Jud Committee, John L. O’Brien Building
10:00 HB 1010
17 Jan Senate Law & Justice Committee, John A. Cherberg Bldg
10:00 SBs 5027 and 5072
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 24/7 , to any citizen.
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Upcoming WAC gun show(s):
Puyallup (Pavilion) 23-24 February
Puyallup 30-31 March
“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 2019 Gun Owners Action League of WA