By Cindy Alia
Even though a "short" or 60 day session has begun on January 8, to end on March 8, the bills are pouring in like there is no end in sight! Bills unworthy of special attention last session are attempting to be included in this session, as we run a bicameral or 2-year legislative cycle. All bills introduced last year technically are viable this year. Unfortunately many new bills were also introduced this year to bring the total of introduced bills to date for the two sessions to 3,053as of this writing. Gratefully, all bills will be "dead" or not acted on next session, and to be in play would need to be reintroduced to go through the entire legislative process. This seems to me to be a great recipe for disfunction!
All this to say keeping track of bills can be a challenge, but the best way to meet that challenge is to spend a good amount of time reading bills and deciding which are the most important to either support or reject. We do all we possibly can to inform our members about bills and rate them on a scale of negative 10 to positive 10 depending on how we believe they will impact life, liberty, and property rights. You can keep informed by visiting our bill rating page, and by subscribing for email updates!
Today's list of bills of importance follows:
1045 Creating the evergreen basic income pilot program. It goes without saying this will be very costly, and most likely ineffective as there are zero incentives to improve circumstances for those receiving this income. This could be called the redistribution of poverty bill.
1872 Establishing accountability requirements for homeless housing grant programs. Every grant program that takes an excessive amount of tax dollars and fees to solve a problem, had better solve the problem or get out of the way! 1872 establishes much needed accountability by requiring grantees and subgrantees that receive funding through any of the homeless housing and assistance grant programs administered by the department under this chapter to submit annual plans to the department specifying their goals and targets. The state auditor shall conduct an annual performance audit of all homeless housing and assistance grant programs, and requiring an auditable paper trail on expenditures by grantees. There are more details, if you read the bill you will find this is an excellent and necessary bill!
2000 Renewing Washington's international leadership. This is a bill that we would be better off repealing rather than amending. It may have had a different intent originally, but lets face it, times have changed.
Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights opposes HB 2000. We believe this bill is inappropriate for the state, and the establishment of the committee referred to in the bill should be allowed to expire.
CAPR is opposed to the passage of this bill, it appears to undermine two central goals of the state constitution, that of citizen representation, and that of the independent and sovereign status of the state. It is conceivable the bill if passed, would undermine inter-state commerce and possibly place the state of Washington and its citizens at an economic and policy disadvantage if treaties, agreements, or other instruments are entered into through this committee of limited representation. The bill should be rejected, and a recognition that public policy, including but not limited to economic development, trade and industry, and tourism and sports, as well as education, culture, science, and resilience are issues to be decided by the citizens of Washington through their representation by elected representatives and senators willing to respect and become or remain cogent of constitutional protections provided by the state constitution, and no other government or international organization.
A legislative international trade account created in the custody of the state treasurer and receiving only monies from gifts, grants, and endowments provided by private, nonpublic gifts, grants, and endowments should not have been established and should be repealed as this exerts undue influence or the potential of such influence on state policy and is beyond the reach of most of Washington's citizens in terms of matching or competing influence. Such influence is inappropriate and should not be established legislatively because it interferes with the best interests of citizens of this state.
2114 Improving housing stability for tenants subject to the residential landlord-tenant act ... Also expensive and likely to actually reduce available housing units. This is how it will do so:
- 5% rent control in any 12-month period after the first 12 months.
- Ban on offering a discount for fixed term leases vs. month to month.
- Mandatory damages of three months rent and attorney fees/costs and defense to eviction
- Does not apply to the first ten years of a new property.
- No mechanism to increase by more than 5% in the event of factors outside housing providers’ control - unconstitutional under current SCOTUS case law
- Tenant can end lease at any time with 20 days written notice if rent increase is over 3%
5892 Concerning diseased elk. CAPR supports this bill with a + 10 rating! If you have never seen an elk afflicted with this disease commonly referred to a elk hoof rot disease, you would understand the suffering caused by this highly transmissable disease which causes hoof distortion and rot to the point an animal is no longer able to walk or get to feed. These elk suffer immeasurably and this bill would allow for a humane approach and alternative to a long and miserable death. This disease is soil borne and so easily spread among herds. It also may afflict other hoofed animals making lands traversed by diseased elk a risk for all animals, wild and domestic. To ignore this disease any longer is beyond cruel, and erracication is the right thing to do.
Confusingly, the next bill on this list is 5982 Updating the definition of "vaccine" in RCW 70.290.010 to include all federal food and drug administration-approved immunizations recommended by the centers for disease control and prevention. In typical fashion for government speak, don't like reality? Just redefine it! We have a definintion of vaccine existing in law, but this bill nullifies our state authority by relinquishing our definition for that of the federal government agency the FDA. What WHO says goes. We rate this bill negative 10 for reasons obvious, our state health department is meant to protect the people of this state, and that should be defined by the people of this state.
8207 Amending the Constitution to allow a majority of voters voting to authorize school district bonds. CAPR rates this bill as negative 10. This is another deep dive into your pocket book to pay for the lack of restraint by many school districts who find they must comply with much that is beyond the statutory basic education we are all tied to.
In general, CAPR is opposed to amendment to the constitution as it is almost always sought for the convenience of the sponsor to establish and make permanent some ideal not shared by all citizens. Yes, a vote is needed, but the premise of the constitution is undermined through that convenience.
It is astounding the proponents and sponsors of the bill feel the need to severely increase taxation on our properties for schools at a time when student enrollment has declined by an alarming up to 30%. Surely costs for public schools should decline at a similar rate, not increase at a remarkable rate that is currently not allowed in law.
Is this perceived need related to policy that goes beyond the constitutionally required basic education? Certainly the public has spoken if they have determined paying for public schools and yet not availing themselves to the services provided is what is most important to their families while seeking alternative methods of education for their families.
This bill, 8207, should be rejected.
There is much much more to know and of course just a hint of what bills are being introduced among the 3053 we have been subjected to thus far. Keep up by checking the committee schedules on the legislative website, where you can also comment in different ways or just sign in pro or con on a bill. and by keeping in touch with CAPR!
We will keep in the battle for good or bad legislation, we depend on you doing so as well! Thank you CAPR members for your dedicated involvement!!!