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.
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.
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.
This bill provides that forfeited firearms in the possession of the Washington State Patrol (WSP) which are not retained for agency use may be auctioned or traded to licensed dealers or destroyed. It would require that within six months after the effective date of the act, the WSP must develop and put in place policies addressing criteria for determining when firearms should be destroyed.
Proponents said that the bill would bring equality to the different law enforcement agencies in
Washington. The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is currently the only agency that may not destroy forfeited firearms. The WSP should not be an arms dealer or be in the chain of possession of a weapon that later gets used in a crime, they said.
Opponent of the measure said that he number of firearms sold or traded by agencies that are used in subsequent crimes is very small, and the money that can be made selling forfeited firearms can be used to help domestic violence victims, or people who are in marginalized communities or need protection from hate crimes.
The bill has not yet been referred to the Senate.
This bill would establish the Washington State Office of Equity (Equity Office) within the Governor’s Office to promote access to equitable opportunities and resources that reduce disparities and improve outcomes statewide across state government. Its primary duty would be to develop policies and provide technical assistance and training for agencies on maintaining a diverse, inclusive, and culturally sensitive workforce.
The bill was sent to the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations and Elections Committee for further consideration.
This bill would ban stores from giving single-use plastic carryout bags to their customers. The ban includes paper and recycled plastic bags unless they meet stringent recycled content requirements. Under the bill, retailers would also be required to collect an 8-cent per bag tax for each recycled content large paper or plastic carryout bag provided. These provisions would supersede local bag ordinances, except for ordinances establishing a 10-cent per bag charge in effect as of January 1, 2019.
The bill was sent to the House Environment and Energy Committee for further consideration.
SB 5323 passed the Senate by a 31-14 vote (4 members excused) last March, but did not advance in the House before the session ended. Majority Democrats brought the bill back up for a vote with less than 24 hours notice and no opportunity for additional public input. Re-passage of SB 5323 by the Senate is the furthest that statewide bag-ban proposals have advanced in the legislative process, since the idea of regulating and taxing shopping bags were first proposed in 2013.
This bill would impose California’s automobile emission rules on vehicle owners in Washington. Under the bill, car makers would be assigned credits based on the kind of fuel efficient cars they bring into the state. Those credits would then be used to set quotas for how many zero-emission vehicles manufacturers must ship into the state and for dealers to offer for sale, regardless of whether consumers want them or not. The stated goal of the bill is to have about 2.5 percent of all cars brought into Washington be the equivalent of zero-emission vehicles.
The bill was sent the House Environment and Energy Committee for further consideration.
SB 5811 passed the Senate by a 26-22 vote (one member excused) last March but did not advance in the House before the session ended. No opportunities for additional public input were provided ahead of this week’s vote.
This bill would establish a grant program intended to help agriculture reduce its carbon output. Subject to funding, the Washington State Department of Agriculture would be required to develop a sustainable farms and fields grant program that would allow more producers to enroll in conservation programs, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use, and to help reduce the overall carbon footprint of the state. Sustainable farms and fields grants could be applied towards down payments on equipment or other types of loans; blended use of fossil-fuel based pesticides and fertilizers and non-fossil-fuel based pesticides and fertilizers; or
costs associated with installation of carbon farming practices or agroforestry practices.
The bill was sent to the House Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Committee for further consideration.
SB 5947 also passed the Senate by a vote of 32-15 (two members excused) last year but did not advance further before the session ended. Again, no opportunities for additional public input was
provided ahead of this week’s vote.
This memorial would request that British Columbia work with the city of Seattle and the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission to prevent logging and mining in the Upper Skagit watershed, in order to ensure the area's environmental and recreational resources are permanently protected.
Proponents of the measure say it is important to let the British Columbia government know that Washington state is concerned about logging and mining operations in the Upper Skagit watershed. They say that proposed mining activities in this area pose a significant risk to the health of fish and wildlife species, and that waste from mining activities can be toxic to juvenile salmon. The Skagit river provides important habitat for the various species of salmon, including chinook, steelhead, and bull trout.
The memorial was sent to the House Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Committee for further consideration.
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