2017 Legislative Session Update – Day 36

Today is day 36 of the 2017 legislative session. Nearly 2,000 bills and resolutions have been introduced. Legislators are busy this week holding public hearings on bills to meet two upcoming deadlines on February 17 and February 24 for bills to be approved by policy and fiscal committees.

Legislation

CAPAA is tracking the following proposed legislation that may be of interest to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. To participate in the legislative process, visit our website or call 1-800-562-6000 to leave a message for your elected officials. For more information, visit www.leg.wa.gov.

Civil Rights & Justice

  • Compliance with the federal REAL ID act (HB 1041 Clibborn / SB 5008 King): Requires the department of licensing to mark standard issue driver’s licenses and identicards as non-compliant with the REAL ID Act, beginning July 1, 2018. Non-compliant cards may not be accepted by a federal agency for accessing federal facilities or, beginning January 22, 2018, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.
  • Legal financial obligations (HB 1093 Appleton): Provides that if a court determines an offender is homeless or is a person who is mentally ill, the offender’s failure to pay legal financial obligations such as victim restitution or crime victims’ compensation fees is not willful noncompliance with the conditions of his or her sentence and does not subject the offender to penalties.
  • Repealing Initiative 200 (HB 1158 Santos): Restoring the fair treatment of underserved groups in public employment, education, and contracting.
  • Issuance of nondomiciled commercial drivers’ licenses (SHB 1273 Ryu): Authorizes the Department of Licensing (DOL) to issue a nondomiciled Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) to an individual domiciled in a foreign country if that person provides valid documentary evidence that he or she is authorized to stay or work in the United States and meets certain specified federal requirements.
  • Providing a referral resource for those seeking information and assistance for immigration and citizenship related matters (HB 2029 Ortiz-Self / SB 5801 Saldaña): Directs the Human Rights Commission to establish a toll-free telephone hotline and web site with the capacity to refer callers and users to sources of information and assistance for immigration and citizenship related matters.
  • Providing prepaid postage for primary and general election ballots (SB 5019 Hasegawa): Requires that counties include prepaid postage on return envelopes for primary and general elections, with costs to be reimbursed by the state.
  • Washington Voting Rights Act (SB 5067 Miloscia, SB 5068 Miloscia, SB 5267 Hunt, HB 1800 Gregerson): Creates a state voting rights act to protect the equal opportunity for minority groups to participate in local elections.
  • Enacting the Washington Fair Chance Act (SSB 5312 Baumgartner): Prohibits certain employers from making inquiries related to criminal records until after initially determining the applicant is qualified for the position. Several exemptions apply such as hiring for a position with unsupervised access to a minor or a vulnerable adult or person.
  • Use of deadly force in community policing
    • HB 1769 Goodman: Supporting law enforcement’s efforts to implement the recommendations of the joint legislative task force on the use of deadly force in community policing.
    • SB 5073 Frockt: Concerning recommendations from the joint legislative task force on the use of deadly force in community policing.
    • SB 5429 Pearson: Reducing the number of violent interactions between law enforcement officers and members of the public.

Economic Development

  • Concerning the excise taxation of martial arts (HB 1032 Ryu / SB 5220 Warnick): Removes yoga, chi gong, and martial arts activities not held at an athletic or fitness facility from the definition of a retail sale, thereby removing them from the sales tax base.
  • Small works bonding requirements (SB 5734 Chase): Makes state government contracting provisions comply with federal law as it relates to small works bonding requirements.

Education

  • Concerning paraeducators (SHB 1115 Berquist / SB 5070 Rivers): Adopts statewide minimum employee standards for paraeducators.
  • Requiring development of a model ethnic studies curriculum (HB 1294 Ortiz-Self): Establish an ethnic studies advisory committee to advise, assist, and make recommendations regarding the development of the model ethnic studies curriculum for use in grades seven through twelve.
  • Dual language in early learning and K-12 education (HB 1445 Ortiz-Self / SB 5529 Rolfes): Directs the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to facilitate dual language learning cohorts for school districts and state-tribal compact schools establishing or expanding dual language programs, including technical assistance and support to grant recipients.
  • Improving language access for public school students and families (HB 1451 Orwall): Requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to improve language access for public school students and families with limited English proficiency by developing a state language access plan and other strategies.
  • Facilitating on-time grade level progression and graduation for certain students (HB 1444 Caldier): Requires school districts to help facilitate on-time grade level progression and graduation for homeless children, at-risk youth, and children in need of services who meet certain criteria.
  • Concerning suspension and expulsion of K-2 school students (SB 5155 Billig): Prohibits a school district from suspending or expelling a student who is enrolled in grades kindergarten through two, except when the suspension is based on possession of a firearm on school premises or transportation.

Health & Human Services

  • Concerning health care for Pacific Islanders residing in Washington under a compact of free association (HB 1291 Santos / SB 5683 Saldaña): Increases access to health care services for the citizens of the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia residing in this state by providing premium and cost-sharing assistance for health coverage purchased through the state health benefit exchange.
  • A study of environmental impacts in areas impacted by airport operations (HB 1171 Orwall / SB 5225 Keiser): Directs the Department of Commerce to contract with the University of Washington School of Public Health in completing a study of ultrafine particulate matter, aluminum, barium, radioactive thorium, cadmium, chromium, and ethylene dibromide air pollution associated with airport traffic at the state’s busiest airport.
  • Implementing a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention and behavioral health in higher education (HB 1379 Orwall): Creates a grant program to fund post secondary institutions’ behavioral health and suicide prevention efforts.
  • Public notices in a language other than English (HB 1540 Santos / SB 5046 Hasegawa): State agencies that are required to provide public notices about health and safety must translate the notices if at least 5 percent of the jurisdiction speak that foreign language and are limited English proficient.