Legislation watch

My Legislators' Key Votes

How my representative and senator voted on important or interesting measures
My ZIP Code     My Street Name  such as "Broadway"

Sen. David Frockt (Seattle), District 46. (360) 786-7690. david.frockt@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle), District 46. (360) 786-7886. gerry.pollet@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle), District 46. (360) 786 - 7818 . javier.valdez@leg.wa.gov

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Senate Bill 6168: Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations. Passed the Senate on Final Passage on March 12, 2020 by a vote of 28-21. on March 12, 2020
This is the final version of the supplemental spending plan for the 2019-21 biennium, as worked out by a conference committee of lead budget writers from both chambers. As passed, this budget would spend less than the original House- and Senate proposals, but still adds about $1 billion to the 2019-21 budget, bringing spending from the state’s General Fund to a record $53.5 billion for the two-year budget cycle. Significantly, this budget leaves over $900 million in projected revenue increases unspent, compared to the just over $10 million ending balances left by the original proposals. It also now includes $175 million from reserve accounts for state and local responses to the coronavirus outbreak, which has escalated in the state since the latest state economic forecast was issued in February. That forecast projected $1.5 billion in additional, unexpected revenues for the current budget cycle, and earlier versions of the bill passed by House and Senate majority Democrats would have spent all of it. Republicans said they were glad to see that Democrats cut back on at least some spending in the final proposal, but that they were still concerned that spending has not been pulled back far enough. Both the House and the Senate adopted the final agreement on the budget by partisan-line votes. All Republicans voted against it, and Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Mason County) voted with Republicans in the Senate.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6168: Senate Bill 6168: Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations. Passed the House on Final Passage on March 12, 2020 by a vote of 56-41, one member excused. on March 12, 2020
This is the House Roll Call on final passage of SB 6168, the state supplemtnal budget as referenced above for the Senate vote. The bill is on its way to the Governor for his consideration.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 2965: Concerning the state's response to the novel coronavirus. Passed the House on Final Passage on March 12, 2020 by a vote of 96-0, two members excused. on March 12, 2020
Both the House and the Senate last week unanimously passed HB 2965, to provide money from the state’s Disaster Response Account to be distributed to state agencies, local governments and federally recognized tribes for response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The House version originally allocated $50 million, the Senate increased that to $100 million, but then boosted it to $175. The amendment was accepted by the House, and the bill again passed unanimously on Final Passage.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 2965: Concerning the state's response to the novel coronavirus. Passed the Senate on March 12, 2020 by a vote of 48–0, one member excused. on March 12, 2020
This is the Senate roll call. The bill was delivered to the Governor.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 5323: Reducing pollution from plastic bags by establishing minimum state standards for the use of bags at retail establishments. Passed the House on March 7, 2020 by a vote of 67-29, two members excused. on March 7, 2020
The bill would prohibit single-use plastic bags like those handed out by grocery stores and impose an 8-cent fee per paper bag. Thicker plastic bags designed for re-use would be exempt, but would also be subject to an 8-cent fee. The bag fee will increase to 12 cents in 2026. The new statewide fee would replace existing fees in jurisdictions such as Seattle, where retailers must charge a 5-cent fee per paper bag.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 5323: Reducing pollution from plastic bags by establishing minimum state standards for the use of bags at retail establishments. Passed the Senate on Final Passage on March 9, 2020 by a vote of 33-15, one member excused. on March 9, 2020
This is the Senate roll call on final passage. The bill was delivered to the Governor on March 12, 2020.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6690: Concerning aerospace business and occupation taxes and world trade organization compliance. Passed the House on March 11, 2020 by a vote of 73-24, one member excused. on March 11, 2020
This bill would repeal a tax break for Boeing and hundreds of state aerospace businesses that was passed in 2003 and extended in 2013. The Boeing Company recently asked state lawmakers to roll back a preferential business-and-occupation tax rate that the World Trade Organization targeted as an illegal trade subsidy, but wanted the tax break to be restored once the trade dispute was resolved. World Trade Organization tariff sanctions could affect all of the state’s international trade activities. As passed by the House, the bill would restore only a portion of the tax break if the company meets certain conditions, such as proving that a portion of its workforce, three-tenths of 1%, are apprentices. This would be part of a work-force development effort, rather than an outright commitment to keep workers in the state, which would violate WTO rules on subsidies.To keep the lower tax rate, the percentage of apprentices at Boeing and the rest of the state’s aerospace industry must be 1.5% by April 1, 2026, or within five years after the lower tax rate is reinstated.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6690: Concerning aerospace business and occupation taxes and world trade organization compliance. Passed the Senate on Final Passage on March 12, 2020 by a vote of 45-4. on March 12, 2020
This is the Senate Roll Call on final passage. The bill is on its way to the Governor for his consideration.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6168: Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations. Passed by the House on February 28, 2020 by a vote of 55-39, four members excused. on February 28, 2020
This is the version of the supplemental state spending plan for the 2019-21 biennium passed by the House last Friday. Like the Senate version, it would add more than a billion dollars to the already record high $52.5 billion two-year operating budget approved last year. It also relies on higher than expected tax collections projected by state economic forecasters last month, and would not impose major tax increases beyond the new taxes on businesses lawmakers already imposed earlier this year. The bill was sent back to the Senate this week for approval of House amendments. The Senate refused to agree to various changes made by the House, and lead budget writers from both chambers will now work out the differences behind closed doors before submitting the final plan for a vote before the session adjourns next Thursday.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 5395: Concerning comprehensive sexual health education. Passed the House on March 4, 2020 by a vote of 56-40, two member excused. on March 5, 2020
This is a controversial measure requiring public schools to teach expanded sexual health education to students in grades K-12, beginning with grades 6-12 in the 2021-22 school year and all grades the following year. The bill passed on a 56-40 party-line vote, with all Democrats voting for- and all Republicans voting against it. The vote followed nearly six hours of debate in a late-night session during which Republicans proposed a series of amendments that, among other issues of concern, would have allowed teachers to opt out of teaching the curriculum; required written parental permission for children K-4; included teaching abstinence; and provided for greater parental involvement in curriculum development. Proponents said the bill is not trying to replace family values, but is intended to teach facts and provide children with the tools to protect themselves. Opponents said the curriculum is too explicit, pointing out that the state’s cable TVW service put up a “Mature Subject Matter, Viewer Discretion Advised” warning prior to broadcasting the debate. The Senate approved the bill earlier this session, but it was changed by adoption of a House Education Committee amendment prior to passage of the bill by the full House that changed the phase-in of the new requirement and more closely defined comprehensive sex health education. The measure must now go back to the Senate for approval of the changes, before it can be sent to the Governor for his signature.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 1551: Modernizing the control of certain communicable diseases. Passed the Senate on March 3, 2020 by a vote of 26-23. on March 3, 2020
This bill would repeal statutes related to counseling for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing and requirements that agencies establish rules requiring acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) training for certain professions and employees. It would also lower penalties by changing the designation of crimes related to the intentional transmission of HIV and would allow minors 14 years or older to be treated for HIV without a parent’s or guardian’s consent. Amendments proposed by Republicans to make intentional transmission of HIV a felony rather than a misdemeanor were voted down and the bill passed along mostly partisan lines, with all Republicans and three Democrats voting against it. Proponents of the bill said that people are now living long, healthy lives with HIV, and that current laws relating HIV and AIDS control are obsolete and need changing. Opponents expressed concerns about lowering penalties in cases where people who transmit HIV by misrepresenting their HIV status. In those extreme cases where someone knows the dangers of transmitting HIV and intends to transmit HIV, there should be a higher penalty than a gross misdemeanor, they said. The bill is now headed to the Governor for his signature.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 2311: Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science. Passed the Senate on March 5, 2020 by a 28-21 vote. on March 5, 2020
This is a bill requested by Governor Inslee that would, among other provisions, require state agencies to set a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. Current law sets greenhouse gas emission limits for state agencies by 2050 at 57.5 percent below 2005 levels, or 70 percent below emissions expected for that year. Greenhouse gas emissions from state agencies represent about one percent of total carbon emissions statewide. ?Supporters of the bill said that the state greenhouse gas emission limits established in 2008 have never been updated and that, according to the latest research, quicker and deeper emission cuts are critical. Opponents said that the 95 percent emission reduction goals proposed by the bill are unrealistic and much more stringent than the regulatory limits in surrounding states. This, they said, would place Washington businesses at a “monumental competitive disadvantage.” The bill passed the House last month and is now on its way to the Governor, who is expected to sign it.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 2638: Authorizing sports wagering subject to the terms of tribal-state gaming compacts. Passed the Senate on March 5, 2020 by a vote of 34-15. on March 5, 2020
This bill would authorize sports betting at casinos operated by federally recognized Indian tribes on their lands. “Sports betting” is defined as the business of accepting wagers on sporting or athletic events including professional sports, collegiate sports, Olympics and international competitions, and electronic sports games. Owners of non-tribal casinos would be barred from participating, and all revenues from sports betting activities would go exclusively to the Indian tribes conducting them. The bill passed the House last month with an emergency clause that would make it effective immediately and prevent any effort to submit it to a referendum vote by the people. Senate amendments to remove the emergency clause and to extend sports betting to non-tribal businesses were voted down and the bill passed with a bi-partisan vote after a lengthy, late-night debate. Gambling legislation requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass. The Senate did adopt various non-substantive changes to the bill, and it must now go back to the House for final approval before it is sent to the Governor for his signature.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6288: Creating the Washington office of firearm violence prevention. Passed the House on March 5, 2020 by a vote of 53-44, one member excused. on March 5, 2020
This bill would create an Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention within the state Department of Commerce and authorize the new office to contract for and fund a variety of programs, including a statewide helpline and referral service for gun violence victims and their professional services providers, and for a best practices guide for therapy to gun violence victims. Proponents of the bill said that gun violence is a public health crisis, but there is currently no direct budget allocation to fund gun violence prevention. This bill would fund such programs, they said. Opponents argued that there is no real accountability in the bill, providing for open-ended programs that will likely be funded by raising taxes and fees on law-abiding gun owners. The bill passed the Senate last month, but the House adopted various changed to the bill, and it must now go back to the Senate for final approval before it is sent to the Governor for his signature.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 2567: Concerning open courts. (Banning civil arrests in and around court houses.) Passed the Senate on March 4, 2020 by a vote of 28-20, one member excused. on March 4, 2020
This bill would essentially prohibit arrests by immigration enforcement authorities, which are defined as “civil” or warrantless arrests, inside or near state court facilities. It would also prohibit judges, court staff, court security personnel, and prosecutor's office staff from inquiring into or collecting immigration or citizenship status information. Proponents said the bill is necessary to protect the rights and dignity of Washington residents. They said that plainclothes immigration enforcement agents are making civil arrests in and around courthouse grounds, creating an environment of fear and deterring people from coming to court. Opponents said that the bill would constrain judicial officers, personnel staff, and operations. They also pointed out that the bill’s definition of and ban on civil arrest in the one-mile range surrounding a courthouse may prevent a simple traffic stop. The bill passed the House last month and is now headed to the Governor for his signature.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6313: Increasing opportunities for young voters. Passed the House on March 5, 2020 by a vote of 56-41, one member excused. on March 5, 2020
As passed by the House, this bill would permit 17-year olds who will be 18-years old at the next general election to vote in primary elections. It would require the Department of Licensing to allow 16- and 17-year olds to sign up to register to vote by an automated process when receiving or renewing an enhanced driver's license or identicard. Also under the bill, Student Engagement Hubs must be established on college campuses, and resources must be made available for high school civics courses. Proponents argued that 17-year olds deserve a voice in primary elections, because they will be eligible to vote in the general election. Opponents countered that the winners in many races are actually determined in the primary election, given the political make-up in areas around the state. They also pointed to the constitutional requirement that voters must be at least 18-years old to be recognized as electors. The bill passed the Senate last month, but the version passed by the House must now go back to the Senate for final approval before it is sent to the Governor for his signature.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6168: Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations. Passed the Senate on February 27, 2020 by a vote of 33-16. on February 27, 2020
This is the Senate version of the supplemental state spending plan for the 2019-21 fiscal period that ends June 30, 2021. It would add some $1.1 billion to the already record high two-year operating budget approved last year, bringing it to about $56 billion. As passed by the Senate, this spending plan relies on the higher than expected tax collections projected by state economic forecasters a week ago. Senate Democrats said the plan the would not impose major tax increases, beyond the new taxes on business owners lawmakers already imposed earlier this year. They said their plan would increase spending with “important and valuable investments focused on areas that need to be addressed right now.” Among the areas for large increases in spending are programs to fight homelessness and secure affordable housing, improve the environment and boost spending on mental health care, they said. ?Republicans, however, argued that the plan risks budget cuts or tax increases when the next economic downturn strikes, and that it fails to provide any tax relief or long-term investments. Among the three-dozen amendments proposed during consideration of the bill on the floor were Republican proposals to use any new boost in tax collections between now and the next revenue forecast to lower property taxes next year. Republicans also proposed to use the sales tax collected on vehicle sales for transportation projects, which are facing a deficit if Initiative 976 is upheld. These and other amendments were voted down, and the bill passed on a mostly partisan 36-13 vote. Five Republicans joined Democrats in voting for it, Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Mason County), who often votes with Republicans, cast the only Democratic vote against it. The bill is now headed for the House, which will consider its own version, HB 2325, later today or early next week.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 2311: Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science. Passed the House on February 16, 2020 by a vote of 55-41 (two members excused). on February 16, 2020
This bill would, among other provisions, require state agencies to set a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. Current law sets greenhouse gas emission limits for state agencies by 2050 at 57.5 percent below 2005 levels, or 70 percent below emissions expected for that year. Greenhouse gas emissions from state agencies represent about one percent of total carbon emissions statewide. Supporters of the bill said that the state greenhouse gas emission limits established in 2008 have never been updated and that, according to the latest research, quicker and deeper emission cuts are critical. Opponents said that the 95 percent emission reduction goals proposed by the bill are unrealistic and much more stringent than the regulatory limits in surrounding states. This, they said, would place Washington businesses at a “monumental competitive disadvantage.” The bill is currently before the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee for further consideration.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6113: Creating a central insulin purchasing program. Passed the Senate on February 18, 2020 by a vote of 28-20 (one member excused). on February 18, 2020
Current law provides that state-purchased health care programs must purchase prescription drugs through the Northwest Prescription Drug Consortium established by the state Health Care Authority. Under this bill, a work group would be established to design a purchasing strategy that would allow the state to act as the single purchaser of insulin. The work group must submit a detailed plan to the Legislature by December 1, 2020. The consortium would then be authorized to implement the plan without further legislative direction. Proponents said this bill is part of a national effort to reduce drug prices by leveraging the buying power of all insulin purchases in the state. Opponents expressed concerns about implementing a state single-purchaser plan, and pointed to other legislative efforts to lower the total cost of insulin for patients. For example, HB 2662, to cap the out-of pocket cost of insulin for patients at $100 for a 30-day supply, passed the House on February 19th by a 97-1 vote. SB 6113 is now before the House Health and Wellness Committee for further consideration. HB 2662 is before the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 1694: Allowing tenants to pay certain sums in installments. Passed the House on February 17, 2020 by a vote of 54-44. on February 17, 2020
This bill would restrict landlord-tenant arrangements by requiring landlords to allow tenants to pay customary first- and last-month rental deposits and other fees in installments. Proponents of the bill said that the amounts required of tenants for up-front deposits and fees can be prohibitive, contributing to the state’s affordable housing crisis. Opponents said that while tenants should be assisted, putting the burden on landlords is not the way. When landlords have tried installment plans, they said, it has not worked, because tenants were unable to continue to pay the installments. The bill is now before the Senate Financial Institutions, Economic Development and Trade Committee for further consideration.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6288: Creating the Washington office of firearm violence prevention. Passed the Senate on February 18, 2020 by a vote of 25-23 (one member excused). on February 18, 2020
This bill would create an Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention within the state Department of Commerce. The bill would authorize the new office to contract for and fund a variety of programs, including a statewide helpline and referral service for gun violence victims and their professional services providers, and for a best practices guide for therapy to gun violence victims. Proponents of the bill said that gun violence is a public health crisis, but there is currently no direct budget allocation to fund gun violence prevention. This bill would fund such programs, they said. Opponents argued that there is no real accountability in the bill, providing for open-ended programs that will likely be funded by raising taxes and fees on law-abiding gun owners. The bill was sent to the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee for further consideration.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 1590: Allowing the local sales and use tax for affordable housing to be imposed by a councilmanic authority. Passed the House on February 19, 2020 by a vote of 52-46. on February 19, 2020
This bill would authorize county or city legislative authorities to impose the local sales and use tax for housing and related services and eliminates the requirement that the imposition of the tax be subject to the approval of a majority of county or city voters at a general or special election. Proponents of the bill said that there is currently a housing and homelessness crisis, and local council members need as many tools as possible to deal with the crisis. Opponents said that if the state wants to provide funding for affordable housing, a tax should be imposed statewide rather than requiring a councilmanic vote. This type of tax would lead to inequitable access to affordable housing, because certain counties would be able to generate much more revenue than others, they said. The bill was sent to the Senate Local Government Committee of further consideration.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6212: Concerning the authority of counties, cities, and towns to exceed statutory property tax limitations (to fund affordable housing programs). Passed the Senate on February 19, 2020 by a vote of 35-13 (one member excused). on February 19, 2020
This bill would expand the use of the affordable housing property tax levy to include affordable homeownership, owner-occupied home repair, and foreclosure prevention programs for low-income households with income at or below 80 percent of median income. Proponents of the bill said that local governments need more tools to help low-income families in their community, and the changes in the bill would allow for assistance with home repair and foreclosure prevention. There was no opposing testimony on the proposed bill in committee hearings. The bill is now before the House Finance Committee for further consideration.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 2567: Concerning open courts. (Banning civil arrests in and around court houses). Passed the House on February 17, 2020 by a vote of 55-43. on February 17, 2020
This bill would essentially prohibit arrests by immigration enforcement authorities, which are defined as “civil” or warrantless arrests, inside or near state court facilities. It would also prohibit judges, court staff, court security personnel, and prosecutor's office staff from inquiring into or collecting immigration or citizenship status information. Proponents said the bill is necessary to protect the rights and dignity of Washington residents. They said that plainclothes immigration enforcement agents are making civil arrests in and around courthouse grounds, creating an environment of fear and deterring people from coming to court. Opponents said that the bill would constrain judicial officers, personnel staff, and operations. They also pointed out that the bill’s definition of and ban on civil arrest in the one-mile range surrounding a courthouse may prevent a simple traffic stop. The bill was sent to the Senate Law and Justice Committee for further consideration
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 2638: Authorizing sports wagering subject to the terms of tribal-state gaming compacts. Passed the House on February 13, 2020 by a vote of 83-14 (one member excused.) on February 13, 2020
This bill would authorize sports betting at casinos operated by federally recognized Indian tribes on their lands. “Sports betting” is defined as the business of accepting wagers on sporting or athletic events including professional sports, collegiate sports, Olympic and international competitions, and electronic sports games. A last-minute amendment added an emergency clause to the bill, meaning it would take effect immediately and block a statewide referendum vote on the measure. Opponents argued that expansion of gambling does not warrant an emergency clause, and that the clause would likely be challenged in court. The bill is headed to the Senate for further consideration.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6313: Increasing opportunities for young voters. Passed the Senate on February 13, 2020 by a vote of 28-19 (two member excused.) on February 13, 2020
This bill would allow persons to vote in a primary election if they are 17 years old, but will be 18 by the general election. It would also require the Department of Licensing to provide an automated process for 16 and 17 year olds to sign up to register to vote. Public universities, including branch campuses, would also be required to open student engagement hubs to provide ballots, if requested by student governments. Proponents said student engagement hubs will remove barriers students face around transportation, moving frequently, and a lack of culture around voting. This will increase participation and create a voting culture, making more consistent voters, they said. They also argued that 17-year olds deserve a voice in primary elections, because they will be eligible to vote in the general election. Opponents countered that the winners in many races are actually determined in the primary election, given the political make-up in areas around the state. They pointed to the constitutional requirement that voters must be at least 18-years old to be recognized as electors. The bill is headed to the House for further consideration.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6455: Requiring restaurants to offer default beverages for children's meals. Passed the Senate on February 13, 2020 by a vote of 25-22 (two members excused.) on February 13, 2020
This bill would require restaurants offering a children's meal that includes a drink to offer water, milk, or a nondairy milk alternative as the default beverage. A children's meal is defined as a combination of food items and a beverage sold together at a single price, primarily intended for consumption by a child. The beverages listed on the menu or offered by employees must be one of the default beverages, but the restaurant may sell an alternative beverage if requested by the purchaser. Amendments to include chocolate milk and 100% juice, such as apple juice, in the list of default beverages were voted down. Proponents said there is a link between sugary beverages and numerous health problems. This policy is disease prevention and will reinforce health choices. Opponents argued that mandating choices is expensive and restaurants should be allowed to set their own menus. Parents do not need the government to help them parent, they said. The bill is headed to the House for further consideration.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 1551: Modernizing the control of certain communicable diseases. Passed the House on February 12, 2020 by a vote of 57-40 (one member excused.) on February 12, 2020
This bill would repeal statutes related to counseling for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing and requirements that agencies establish rules requiring acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) training for certain professions and employees. The bill would also allow a minor of 14 years of age or older to give consent to treatment to avoid HIV infection without a parent’s or guardian's consent. It also changes designation of crimes related to transmission of HIV and repeals prohibitions on an individual who has a sexually transmitted disease, other than HIV, from having sexual intercourse if the partner is unaware of the disease. Proponents of the bill said that people are now living long, healthy lives with HIV, and that current laws relating HIV and AIDS control are obsolete and need changing. Opponents expressed concerns about lowering penalties in cases where people who transmit HIV by misrepresenting their HIV status. In those extreme cases where someone knows the dangers of transmitting HIV and intends to transmit HIV, there should be a higher penalty than a gross misdemeanor, they said. The bill was sent to the Senate Health and Long-term Care Committee for further consideration.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 2602: Concerning hair discrimination. Passed the House on February 12, 2020 by a vote of 87-10 (one member excused.) on February 12, 2020
This bill would amend the Washington Law Against Discrimination so the term "race" includes traits historically associated with or perceived to be associated with race. Specifically, the bill would prohibit discrimination on the basis of hairstyle or texture, including hairstyles such as afros, braids, locks, and twists. Supporters of the bill pointed out that hair discrimination remains a source of racial injustice with serious emotional and economic consequences. Traditional African American styles have been described as unprofessional and unsanitary, they said, and this bill will help to correct these racial injustices by making hair discrimination illegal in Washington. A proposed amendment to allow employers to require “uniform, professional grooming standards” for all employees was voted down. The bill was sent to the Senate Law and Justice Committee for further consideration.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6492: Addressing workforce education investment funding through business and occupation tax reform. Passed the House on February 6, 2020 by a vote of 52-45 (one member excused.) on February 6, 2020
This bill would replace the Business and Occupation (B&O) tax surcharge to fund aid for college students that was enacted last year. Instead of surcharges, it proposes an increase in the general service business and occupation tax rate from 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent for businesses with gross annual income in excess of $1 million. It would also impose a separate 1.22 percent surcharge on large advanced computing businesses. The new tax would be collected starting in April of this year. Proponents of the bill said that last year’s enactment of B&O tax surcharges was intended to make a dramatic investment in higher education, but that the program is too complicated to administer and doesn’t generate enough money. This bill, they said, would provide critical funding for state financial aid programs, ensure educational opportunities for students across the state, and encourage expansion of high-demand programs. Opponents said the bill is not a practical model for most businesses and could increase healthcare costs, because independent health care practitioners are not exempt from the proposed increases. They also said that not all higher education institutions would receive benefits under this bill. The bill is now headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 5339: Reducing criminal justice expenses by eliminating the death penalty and instead requiring life imprisonment without possibility of release or parole. Passed the Senate on January 31, 2020 by a vote of 28-18 (three members excused.) on January 31, 2020
This bill would remove capital punishment as a sentencing option and instead mandate a life sentence without possibility of parole for the crime of aggravated murder. It is the third time in as many years that a measure to repeal the death penalty has passed the Senate. Each time, the bill has stalled in the House, but this year, the new Democratic Speaker, Rep. Laurie Jinkins, has said that she supports the measure. A moratorium imposed by Governor Inslee in 2014 has blocked imposition of the death sentence, and a 2018 state Supreme Court ruling stated that capital punishment, as applied under current Washington law, is unconstitutional. The court, however, also said that the legislature could pass a law to impose the death sentence in a way that meets constitutional requirements. Opponents of repealing the death sentence have argued that abolishing the death penalty denies victims and their families justice, and removes a tool that prosecutors and law enforcement need to gain information about other victims. Proponents say that it is time to abolish capital punishment in our state once and for all. The bill was sent to the House Public Safety Committee for further consideration.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 1521: Providing for accountability and transparency in government contracting. Passed the House on February 5, 2020 by a vote of 65-32 (one member excused.) on February 5, 2020
This bill would narrow contracting-out requirements under statute to apply only to contracts for services that have been customarily and historically provided by classified employees on or after July 1, 2005. It also creates additional criteria, with exemptions, for contracting out, including a comprehensive impact assessment, maintenance of certain records, and additional terms in agreements to contract out. Proponents of the bill said it would require management to make more thoughtful decisions about when and what to contract out. Opponents argued that the problem that this bill is trying to fix would be solved by bringing contractors back to fix their work in cases where they did not meet the expectations of the contract. Current law already requires agencies to address management issues, they said. The bill was sent to the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations and Elections Committee of further consideration.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6492: Addressing workforce education investment funding through business and occupation tax reform. Passed the Senate on January 30, 2020 by a vote of 28-21. on January 30, 2020
This bill would replace the Business and Occupation (B&O) tax surcharge to fund aid for college students that was enacted last year. Instead of surcharges, it proposes an increase in the general service business and occupation tax rate from 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent for businesses with gross income in excess of $1 million. It would also impose a separate additional 1.22 percent surcharge on large advanced computing businesses. The effect of the bill would be to replace surcharges on about 80,000 businesses in the state with a larger tax increase on about 16,000 businesses. The new tax would be collected starting in April of this year. Proponents of the bill said that last year’s enactment of B&O tax surcharges was intended to make a dramatic investment in higher education, but that the program is too complicated to administer and doesn’t generate enough money. This bill, they said, would provide critical funding for state financial aid programs, ensure educational opportunities for students across the state, and encourage expansion of high demand programs. Opponents said the bill is not a practical model for most businesses and could increase healthcare costs, because independent health care practitioners are not exempt from the proposed increases. They also said that not all higher education institutions would receive benefits under this bill. The bill was sent to the House Finance Committee for further consideration.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 1110: Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. Passed the House on January 29, 2020 by a vote of 52-44 (two members excused.) on January 29, 2020
This bill would direct the state Department of Ecology to impose low-carbon fuel limits on gasoline and other transportation related fuels with a “clean fuels” program. Under the bill, carbon emissions of transportation fuels would have to be reduced to 10 percent below 2017 levels by 2028 and 20 percent below 2017 levels by 2035. The mandatory program would begin Jan. 1, 2021. Proponents said low-carbon fuels benefit air quality by reducing particulate matter emissions, preventing unnecessary deaths and protecting the vulnerable.Clean fuel standards provide incentive for electric vehicle infrastructure that is otherwise expensive and difficult to build out, they said. Opponents argued that the bill would harm Washington residents by raising gas prices, which are already among the highest in the nation, and raising other costs, including food prices, while not really helping the environment. The bill which also passed last year n the House but did not move in the Senate, was sent to the Senate Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 6037: Concerning business corporations. (Requiring gender-diverse boards of directors.) Passed the Senate on January 24, 2020 by a vote of 32-14 (three members excused.) on January 24, 2020
This bill would require that public companies in Washington state must have gender-diverse boards of directors by January 1, 2022. The requirement would be met if individuals who self-identify as women comprise at least twenty-five percent of the directors. If a public company does not meet the requirement it would have to prepare a discussion and analysis of its plans to attain gender diversity and deliver that information to its shareholders. The bill would also makes other changes to align the Washington Business Corporations Act with the American Bar Association's 2016 Model Corporation Act. Proponents during committee testimony argued that lack of diversity remains a problem and there are complex and consistent barriers for women to join corporate boards. They said this bill will encourage boards to look more broadly to fill board vacancies. Opponents did not testify. The bill was sent to the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee for further consideration.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 1793: Establishing additional uses for automated traffic safety cameras for traffic congestion reduction and increased safety. Passed the House on January 30, 2020 by a vote of 56-40 (two members excused.) on January 30, 2020
This bill would establish a pilot program through the end of 2021 to expand the use of automated traffic safety cameras in or near downtown areas of cities with populations greater than 500,000. Violations to be recorded by the cameras would include: Stopping when traffic is obstructed; stopping in intersections or crosswalks; stopping or traveling in a restricted lane; and stopping or parking at locations restricted for emergency response vehicle entry or exit. Proponents said this bill would help manage busy, congested streets. Opponents pointed out that another bill is moving through the Legislature right now that would allow cameras to be used for general law enforcement purposes, including traffic management. The bill, also passed last year, but did not advance in the Senate, has not been referred to the Senate as yet.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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House Bill 1847: Addressing aircraft noise abatement. Passed the House on January 30, 2020 by a vote of 58-37 (three members excused.) on January 30, 2020
This bill would expand the dimensions of noise impact areas for the purpose of abating aircraft noise in areas surrounding an airport. It would extend these areas to 10 miles (instead of 6 miles) beyond the paved north end and 13 miles (instead of 6 miles) beyond the paved south end of any runway. In committee testimony, proponents said that since air traffic has become concentrated in various zones around the country, the FAA will soon be expanding their own mitigation zones. This bill would ensure that the state does not have mitigation zones that are smaller than what the enhanced federal FAA zones will be. No opponents testified. The bill has not yet been sent to the Senate for further consideration.
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 5395: Concerning comprehensive sexual health education. Passed the Senate on January 22, 2020 by a vote of 28-21. on January 22, 2020
This bill would mandate comprehensive sex education in every public school and for every grade as an integral part of the curriculum. This requirement would be phased in beginning with students in grades six through twelve by September 1, 2020, and then for students in grades kindergarten through five by September 1, 2021. Under the bill, the curriculum must be evidence-informed, inclusive for all students regardless of their protected class status, skills-based, encourage healthy relationships based on mutual respect that are free from violence, coercion, and intimidation. It would teach children how to identify and respond to attitudes and behaviors contributing to sexual violence and would emphasize the importance of conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Current state law only requires schools to teach students about HIV and AIDS prevention, starting in fifth grade. The bill was sent to the House Education Committee for further consideration. The bill also passed the Senate last year, but did not advance in the House before the session ended.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 5165: Concerning discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status. Passed the Senate on January 17, 2020 by a vote of 26-20 (three members excused.) on January 17, 2020
This bill would prohibit discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status by employers, potential employers, labor organizations, or employment agencies unless a state or federal law, regulation, or government contract requires a distinction or differential treatment. It would also prohibit discrimination in real estate transactions and overcharging or impairing access to public accommodations based on citizenship or immigration status. The bill was sent to the House Civl Rights and Judiciary Committee for further consideration. The bill also passed the Senate last year, but did not advance in the House before the session ended.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Senate Bill 5740: Creating the secure choice retirement savings program. Passed the Senate on January 17, 2020 by a vote of 26-20, (three members excused.) on January 17, 2020
This bill would require employers to automatically enroll their employees into an individual retirement account under a new Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program created in the state Department of Commerce. Under the bill, an employer would be required to offer its employees an opportunity to contribute to an IRA established under the program. Employers would be required to provide their employees with information on the program, and deliver and facilitate information regarding the program, disclosures, and necessary forms. Proponents of the bill said it would provide a reasonable way to help employers assist their employees save for retirement. Some small companies cannot afford to administer a savings plan and are at a competitive disadvantage to larger employers who have the ability to offer retirement benefits, they said. Opponents said this proposal is a dramatic departure from the voluntary marketplace, and that of 40 states considering a mandatory enrollment program 35 rejected it. They also said that an automatic IRA enrollment plan would add more requirements of small businesses. The bill was sent to the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee for further consideration. The bill also passed the Senate last year, but did not advance in the House before the session ended.
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle) (D) 'Voted Yes'
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Contact my lawmakers
Sen. David Frockt (Seattle), District 46. (360) 786-7690. david.frockt@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Gerry Pollet (Seattle), District 46. (360) 786-7886. gerry.pollet@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Javier Valdez (Seattle), District 46. (360) 786 - 7818 . javier.valdez@leg.wa.gov



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