New bill addresses power of WA attorney general

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- A group of Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that would prohibit the attorney general from unilaterally taking legal action against the wishes of the governor or other agency heads.

Attorney General Rob McKenna angered state Democrats in by signing onto a multistate challenge to the national health care reform law.

Under a bill introduced Monday in the Washington state Senate, the attorney general would be required to seek consultation on matters not already covered by state statutes that grant the office authority to act on behalf of the state, such as consumer protection or fraud.

The measure is sponsored by Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle. Fellow Democratic Sens. Karen Keiser of Kent, Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle and Karen Fraser of Olympia have also signed on to the bill.