Special Session Ends

by Pat Thompson on April 6, 2016

          In yet another Special Session called on account of the House and Senate failing to reach a budget agreement in the Regular Session, a deal was finally reached on Tuesday, March 29th.
          Governor Inslee vetoed a record 27 Bills in an attempt to spur lawmakers into reaching an agreement. In the end, all 27 were passed once a final deal was reached.
PEBB Bill Passes and Signed Into Law
         A two year effort aimed at providing relief to small and rural local governments was successful and a Bill was signed into law by Governor Inslee. As reported earlier, this measure will allow jurisdictions to gain access to medical insurance through the State’s Public Employee Benefits Board. Currently, several smaller cities and counties have difficulty in finding affordable coverage through the private market.
Revenue Sharing and Public Records Reform Left Undone
            Bi-Partisan Bills to restore liquor revenue and an effort to reign in the cost of producing public records request failed to pass this session. Although progress was made, the gridlock that has encompassed the State Legislature prevented these common sense measures from becoming law. The State Auditor’s office is currently reviewing the cost impact on Public Records request and is scheduled to release its findings this fall.
            Members are encouraged to thank the following sponsors for their efforts:
SB 6475PEBB Coverage (Senators Dansel, King, Takko, and Frockt)
SB 6425 & HB 2438Liquor Revenue concerning gradually increasing the local government share of excess liquor revenues until the percentage-based method for distributions is restored. (Senators Hewitt, Fraser, Roach, Parlette, Mullet, Hobbs, Rivers, Takko, McCoy, Liias, Warnick, Ericksen, Rolfes, Darneille, Habib, Sheldon, Chase, Hasegawa, Conway. Representatives Nealey, Reykdal, Wylie, Vick, Orcutt, Seann, Wilcox, Kirby, Condotta, Hudgins, Stokesbary, Schmick, Tharinger, Rodne, Magendanz, Zeiger, Walsh, Muri, Rossetti, Springer, Sells, McBride, Kuderer, Bergquist, Hargrove, Goodman)
HB 2576Concerning public record act requests to local agencies. (Representatives McBride, Nealey, Ryu, Tarleton, Springer, S. Hunt, Johnson, Zeiger, Rossetti, Clibborn, Peterson, Haler, Hargrove, Jinkins, Gregerson, Senn, Hickel)