How our lawmakers voted

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

After cancellation of hearings due to extreme weather and road conditions earlier in the week, state lawmakers returned to a full schedule of committee hearings as well as floor votes by the full House and Senate.

They passed nearly two dozen bills, most by near-unanimous votes. Bills passed by split votes include an anti-fracking measure passed by the Senate on Feb. 13 and elimination of the death penalty passed by the Senate on Feb. 15.

WashingtonVotes is a project of the Washington Policy Center. See www.WashingtonVotes.org.

Senate Bill 5339, Eliminating the death penalty and instead requiring life imprisonment without possibility of release or parole for aggravated first degree murder

Passed the Senate on Feb. 15 by a vote of 28-19 (two members excused)

This bill provides that the death penalty would be eliminated, and all statutory procedures for imposing and carrying out a sentence of death would be repealed. It would impose a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of release or parole on a person convicted of aggravated first degree murder. The bill is now headed to the House for further consideration.

Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim) No

Senate Bill 5145, Concerning the use of hydraulic fracturing in the exploration for and production of oil and natural gas

Passed the Senate on Feb.13 by a vote of 29-18 (two members excused)

This bill would prohibit the use of hydraulic fracturing, a process that injects water into the ground under pressure to explore for oil and natural gas, commonly known as “fracking.” The proposed ban is meaningless since there is currently no oil and gas exploration in Washington state; still, Senate Republicans noted that fracking is effective and safe, and could be an energy-producing option in Eastern Washington areas. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, and Natural Resources.

Sen. Van De Wege Yes

House Bill 1175, Concerning authorization of health care decisions by an individual or designated person

Passed the House on Feb. 14 by a vote of 71-25 (two members excused)

This bill would expand the list of individuals who can give informed consent for treatment to include an unrelated adult who has exhibited care and concern for the patient; is familiar with the wishes and values of the patient; and is reasonably available to make health care decisions. The bill also includes procedural safeguards such as a requirement for a non-relative to sign a declaration that there is a connection to the person. The bill is headed for the Senate for further consideration.

Rep. Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles) Yes

Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Port Townsend) Yes

House Bill 1066, Requiring debt collection complaints to be filed prior to service of summons and complaint

Passed the House on Feb. 14 by a vote of 59-37 (two members excused)

This bill would prohibit a collection agency from serving a debtor with a summons and complaint unless the summons and complaint have been filed with a Washington Superior Court and bear the case number assigned by the court. The bill is now headed to the Senate for further consideration.

Rep. Chapman Yes

Rep. Tharinger Yes

More in Opinion

Guest opinion: Gov. Inslee flexes political muscle in drive for clean air legislation

In 2015, after another session without procuring a key weapon in his… Continue reading

How our lawmakers voted

After a key deadline on March 13, the last day to pass… Continue reading

Think About It: Land use is the people’s work

We learned during the government shutdown that 40 percent of Americans have… Continue reading

Guest opinion: Resetting state view on helping those with substance abuse

In opioid epidemic, a lawmaker wants recovery to be on the same pedestal as treatment and prevention

How our lawmakers voted

State lawmakers were busy last week acting on bills before the whole… Continue reading

Daylight saving all the time proposed for Washington state

Residents could have the option to vote on permanent daylight saving time

From the Back Nine: The Case of the Missing Shovels

It started last year during the only snow that amounted to much.… Continue reading

How our lawmakers voted

As this year’s scheduled 105-day legislative session nears the halfway point, state… Continue reading

Letters to the editor — March 6, 2019

Kilmer shows his colors With reference to “Power circuits interrupt us” (commentary… Continue reading

Water Matters: Circles, cycles, but no conclusions

In the past few months I’ve realized that my fixation on cycles… Continue reading

Aging Successfully: Brain exercises (one of the best)

Brain plasticity, also called neuroplasticity, is the term used to describe the… Continue reading

Guest opinion: Dems may seek more revenue (taxes) for wish list

Democratic legislative leaders are gearing up for one of the most challenging… Continue reading