How our lawmakers voted — April 12, 2017

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2017 1:30am
  • Opinion

With about two weeks to go in this legislative session, lawmakers were busy considering bills sent to them by the opposite chamber ahead of the April 12 deadline for passing such measures.

Most are non-controversial, passing by unanimous or near-unanimous votes.

Here is a selection of bills that passed by sharply divided votes on subjects that range from car tab fees to ballot drop boxes and the humane treatment of dogs.

Senate Bill 5893, Concerning the administration of motor vehicle excise taxes by regional transit authorities

Passed the Senate on April 6 by a vote of 25-24

This bill would change the way regional transit authorities calculate the car tab increases approved by voters as part of Sound Transit’s $54 billion ST3 initiative. It would require Sound Transit officials to use Kelley Blue Book or National Automobile Dealers Association values, whichever is lower, to reflect the fair market value of vehicles for collecting car tab fees. The current formula, which uses drastically exaggerated vehicle values, has sparked widely reported public outrage over what amounts to a three-fold increase in current car tab fees.

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

Senate Bill 5256, Concerning sexual assault protection orders

Passed the House on April 6 by a vote of 75-22 (one member excused)

This bill provides that sexual assault protection orders may be permanent, rather than having a two-year maximum. It modifies the procedure for renewal of a sexual assault protection order to require renewal unless the respondent shows that he or she will not engage in or attempt contact with the petitioner after the order expires.

Rep. Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles) Yes

Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Sequim) Yes

Senate Bill 5382, Authorizing the issuance of identicards at a reduced cost to applicants who are under the age of 18 and without a permanent residence address

Passed the House on April 6 by a vote of 70-27 (one member excused)

An identicard is a Washington identification card (ID) issued by the Washington State Department of Licensing. The card is distinctively designed to avoid confusion with an official driver’s license and expires six years after it is issued.The fee is $54. Under this bill, people who are under the age of 18 and who do not have a primary residence address would be able to qualify to receive an identicard from the DOL at cost. The DOL would be required to determine what is or is not a permanent address by rule. The Senate passed the bill last month by a vote of 47-2.

Rep. Chapman Yes

Rep. Tharinger Yes

Senate Bill 5356, Concerning humane treatment of dogs

Passed the House on April 6 by a vote of 68-28 (two members excused)

This bill provides for new restrictions on tethering dogs under Washington State animal cruelty laws. Current law does not specify penalties or animal cruelty standards when a dog is tied to fixed structures, ropes, chains or trolley systems for extended periods of time without owner supervision. Under this bill, criminal liability principles for crimes related to animals would apply to inhumane tethering of dogs. It provides that an unsupervised dog must not be tethered for an amount of time that is reckless under the circumstances; any tethering restraint used must allow for safe and sanitary surroundings, adequate access to food and water, protection from excessive heat or cold, and shelter from the weather; and any tethered dog must have enough freedom of movement to comfortably sit, stand, lie down and not risk entanglement in the restraint. The Senate passed this bill unanimously in February.

Rep. Chapman Yes

Rep. Tharinger Yes

Senate Bill 5472, Requiring ballot drop boxes in all communities

Passed the House on April 5 by a vote of 52-45 (one member excused)

This bill provides that a county auditor must establish a minimum of one ballot drop box for each 15,000 registered voters in the county and in each city, town and census-designated place in the county that has a post office. Under current law, county auditors are permitted to provide election services at locations in addition to a required voting center, including additional ballot drop boxes. The services provided at the additional locations, and the days and hours the additional locations are open, are at the county auditor’s discretion. The bill passed in the Senate unanimously in February.

Rep. Chapman Yes

Rep. Tharinger Yes

House Bill 1100, Concerning concealed pistol license renewal notices

Passed the Senate on April 6 by a vote of 32-17

This bill would require the Department of Licensing to mail a concealed pistol license (CPL) renewal notification to the license holder approximately 90 days prior to the expiration of the license. Currently, a CPL is valid for five years and a CPL holder may renew the license by applying for renewal within 90 days before or after expiration of the license. License holders are not notified by the Department of Licensing or local authorities about an upcoming expiration. The House passed this bill in February by a unanimous vote.

Sen. Van De Wege Yes

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

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