“The power under the constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can and undoubtedly will, be recalled.”

~ George Washington (1787)

Friday, March 8, 2013

GOAL Post #8

GOAL Post, 2013-8

Legislative Update from Olympia, 8 March 2013


At 5 p.m. next Wednesday, all bills that have not passed out of their respective chamber (House bills out of the House, Senate bills out of the Senate) will die for the session. Not all bills get a vote. The clock typically runs out on several of them before they reach the chamber floor. Especially bills that are considered controversial, and that leadership doesn't feel they have sufficient votes to pass (50 "aye" votes in the House, 25 in the Senate) -- why waste the chamber's time when bills are stacked up?

SSB 5282 (Carrell (R-289)) passed the Senate today on a unanimous vote. SSB 5282 requires improved exchange of information between the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Washington State Patrol regarding individuals who lost their eligibility to possess a firearm due to some forms of commitment.

Of the other five firearm-related bills we're still tracking, there has been little visible activity. As they sit in their respective Rules Committee awaiting their turn for a vote, there is frequently back room action taking place. This is the time floor amendments are drafted, often to appease bill opponents and try to muster enough votes for the bill to pass. Recall Senator Feinstein's statement in a 60 Minutes interview back in 1994 on the Clinton "assault weapon" ban: "If I could have gotten the votes, I'd ban them all." So as the chamber deadline approaches, there's a lot of negotiating and arm-twisting going on in the back rooms.

Specifically with regard to SHB 1588, there have been at least two amended versions offered internally, the first in an attempt to appease gun owners, the second backing AWAY from that version when the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) objected. (A side note about WASPC: there are 39 county sheriffs who are members of WASPC, but many times that number of city police chiefs. The police chiefs, who are dependent on mayors and city councils for their jobs, usually drive WASPC's legislative agenda.)

The principal sticking point with 1588 is record retention -- gun registration. Another issue from our standpoint is the provision that would waive the collection of sales tax for private sales conducted via FFLs. That provision was put in a separate section of the bill, making it a prime target for veto by Governor Inslee. (Another side note: before he was Governor, Jay Inslee was a Congressman representing the 1st Congressional District in the north Seattle suburbs. Before he was the 1st District Congressman, he was Congressman in the 4th Congressional District, central Washington from the Canadian border to the Oregon border. In 1994, Jay Inslee cast a vote FOR the Clinton "assault weapon" ban -- by some reports the deciding vote. He was fired by his constituents in the 1994 elections. How do you think Governor Inlsee feels about gun owners?)

Following next Wednesday's chamber cut-off, the focus shift to the opposite chamber, when House bills go through the Senate and Senate bills through the House. It's Yogi Berra's deja vu all over again: policy committee hearings, fiscal committee action if the bill warrants it, then into Rules awaiting a chamber floor vote.

SJM (Senate Joint Memorial) 8006 passed the Senate today on a 40-8 vote. This is the watered down version of SB 5660 that died in committee two weeks ago, IOt recommends (vice mandates) adoption of the NRA's "Eddie Eagle" gun avoidance program for young children. Eddie Eagle has been presented to millions of children across the United States and is credited with saving several lives. Amazingly 8 Senators voted AGAINST this bill. A similarly-worded memorial was passed by the legislature UNANIMOUSLY fifteen years ago.


The following bills remain under consideration in the 2013 session

Bill # Subject Sponsor Status
SHB 1096 Juvi illegal firearm possession Hurst (D-31) H. Rules
SHB 1383 Stalking protection orders Goodman (D-45) H. Rules
SHB 1588 Background checks Pedersen (D-43) H. Rules
SHB 1612 Firearm offender registry Hope (R-44) H. Rules
SHB 1839 Background checks Goodman (D-45) H. Rules
SHB 1840 Firearms/restraining orders Goodman (D-45) H. Rules
SSB 5282 DSHS/WSP info exchange Carrell (R-28) Passed Senate
SSB 5452 Stalking protection orders Conway (D- S. Rules
SB 5831 Bans double tax on clay pigeons Rivers (R-18) S. Rules

Key to abbreviations: SB = Senate Bill, HB = House Bill, Jud = Judiciary, L&J = Law & Justice, HS&C = Human Services & Corrections, Trans = Transportation, Approp = Appropriations, Early Learn = Early Learning and K-12 Education, W&M = Ways & Means





LEGISLATIVE HOT LINE: You may reach your Representatives and Senator by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Toll free!!! The hearing impaired may obtain TDD access at 1-800-635-9993. Also toll free!!!

1-800-562-6000 TDD 1-800-635-9993

OTHER DATA: Copies of pending legislation (bills), legislative schedules and other information are available on the legislature's web site at "www.leg.wa.gov". Bills are available in Acrobat (.pdf) format. You may download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe's web site (http://www.adobe.com). You may also obtain hard copy bills, initiatives, etc, in the mail from the Legislative Bill Room FREE OF CHARGE by calling 1-360-786-7573. Copies of bills may also be ordered toll free by calling the Legislative Hotline at (800) 562-6000. You may also hear floor and committee hearing action live at http://www.tvw.org/ (you need "RealAudio" to do this, available free at the TVW web site).

By reading the House and Senate "bill reports" (hbr, sbr) for each bill, you can see how individual committee members voted. By reading the "roll call" for each bill, you can see how the entire House or Senate voted on any bill. The beauty of the web site is that ALL this information is available, on line, to any citizen.

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Upcoming WAC gun show(s):

Puyallup 23-24 March
Monroe 6-7 April

"The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men."

Article 1, Section 24

Constitution of the State of Washington

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