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home : opinion : opinion February 5, 2016

2/19/2014 10:44:00 PM
How did my state lawmakers vote in Olympia?

House Bill 2148, Concerning health plan coverage for a voluntary termination of pregnancy. Passed the House on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 by a vote of 55-44.
The bill would require that a health plan issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2015 that provides coverage for maternity care must also provide substantially equivalent coverage for elective abortions. However, no individual health care provider, religiously sponsored health carrier, or health care facility may be required by law or contract to provide for abortion services if they object to so doing for reason of conscience or religion. The bill also provides that no individual or organization may be required to purchase abortion coverage if they object to doing so for reason of conscience or religion. The bill was passed to the Senate Health Care Committee.
12 Rep. Cary Condotta (East Wenatchee) (R) N
12 Rep. Brad Hawkins, (Wenatchee) (R) N
Senate Joint Resolution 8213, SJR 8213. Amending the Constitution to require a two-thirds majority vote of the legislature to raise taxes. Failed in the Senate on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, with 25 yes and 21 no votes. 33 yes votes are required for passage.
Senate Joint Resolution 8213 proposed to amend the state constitution to require a two-thirds majority vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate to raise taxes. "Raising taxes" means any action or combination of actions by the Legislature that increases state tax revenue deposited in any fund, budget, or account, regardless of whether the revenues are deposited into the general fund. Voters in Washington have enacted or affirmed the two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases five times during the past 20 years, including Initiative 1185 in 2012. The State Supreme Court last year overturned the requirement, but the justices were clear that they were not ruling on the wisdom of the policy itself. Instead they said that ultimately the people should decide. The constitutional amendment proposed by SJR 8213 would have accomplished this.
12 Sen. Linda Evans Parlette (Wenatchee) (R)Y
House Bill 2105, Promoting transparency in government by requiring public governing bodies to post agendas online 24 hours ahead of meetings. Passed the House on February 12, 2014 by a vote of 85-13.
This bill would add a new section to the Open Public Meetings Act to require public agencies with governing bodies to post meeting agendas at least 24 hours ahead of each regular meeting. An agency would not be required to post an agenda online if the agency does not have a website, or if it employs fewer than 10 full-time equivalent employees. A governing body is defined as the multi-member board, commission, committee, council, or other policy or rule-making body of a public agency or any committee thereof that is acting on behalf of the public agency.
12 Rep. Cary Condotta (East Wenatchee) (R) N
12 Rep. Brad Hawkins, (Wenatchee) (R) Y
House Bill 2121, Training public officials and employees regarding public records, records management, and open public meetings. Passed the House on February 12, 2014 by a vote of 64-34.
The bill is cited as the Open Government Training Act and would require members of a governing body of a public agency to undergo training on the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act and the Public Records Act. Training on the preservation and destruction of public records would also be required of each elected state and local official and each records retention officer. The various trainings must be completed within 90 days of taking office or assuming duties, and subsequent training must be completed at intervals of no more than every four years.
12 Rep. Cary Condotta (East Wenatchee) (R) N
12 Rep. Brad Hawkins, (Wenatchee) (R) Y
House Bill 2332, Increasing damages for wage violations. Passed the House on February 11, 2014 by a vote of 53-45.
The bill would make a change to the laws that apply if an employee brings a civil suit for violation of wage payment standards. It would raise the damages from double to triple the amount of unpaid wages. The bill would also remove the provision under current law that bars an employee from obtaining higher damages, if the employee knowingly submitted to the wage violation.
12 Rep. Cary Condotta (East Wenatchee) (R) N
12 Rep. Brad Hawkins, (Wenatchee) (R) N
House Bill 2333, Creating the employee anti-retaliation act. Passed the House on February 13, 2014 by a vote of 53-45.
This bill would establish retaliation provisions in the state Minimum Wage Act, the Industrial Welfare Act, the Wage Payment Act, prevailing wage, wage deduction and other provisions. It would prohibit employers from taking adverse actions against an employee who demands a lawful claim under these laws, testifies in a proceeding, sought information or provided information to others about their rights under these laws, filed a complaint or brought suit. "Adverse action" means discharging, threatening, failing to rehire after a seasonal interruption of work, engaging in unfair immigration-related practices, filing a false report with a government agency, changing an employee's status to a nonemployee or otherwise discriminating against an employee.
12 Rep. Cary Condotta (East Wenatchee) (R) N
12 Rep. Brad Hawkins, (Wenatchee) (R) N
House Bill 2473, Requiring employers to provide leaves of absence for legislative service. Passed the House on February 12, 2014 by a vote of 73-25.
The bill would require public and private employers to grant temporary leaves of absence without loss of job status or seniority to employees serving in the state Legislature during regular and special sessions. The employer would also be prohibited from discharging, or threatening to discharge an employee for taking such a leave of absence. It would also authorize a private right of action to receive an award for damages, reinstatement, and attorneys' fees and costs.
12 Rep. Cary Condotta (East Wenatchee) (R) N
12 Rep. Brad Hawkins, (Wenatchee) (R) Y
Senate Bill 5048, Concerning the posting of notices against trespassing. Passed the Senate on February 10, 2014 by a vote of 31-17.
This bill is of interest to rural communities, because of the ongoing theft of various materials, cattle, and crops from private lands. Trespassers tear down signs warning against trespass, and when confronted, claim they did not see the signs. This bill would help this situation by defining "posting in a conspicuous manner" in the context of criminal trespass statutes, to include posting signs or the placement of fluorescent orange paint marks on trees or posts on the property. Orange paint would not be as easily removed as signs. The bill was amended in committee to limit the use of orange paint marks as notice against trespass to certain agricultural and forest lands.
12 Sen. Linda Evans Parlette (Wenatchee) (R) Y

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