Slew of state laws take effect

Washington Dream Act among nearly 200

By Lauren Dake, Columbian Political Writer

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Starting today, teenagers without a doctor’s note are banned from using tanning beds and the Ostrea lurida is the state’s official oyster species.

Those are two of the nearly 200 laws passed during the 2014 Washington legislative session that take effect today.

One of the more noteworthy measures, coined the Washington Dream Act, will allow young people who were brought to live in the state illegally to qualify for financial aid. The students must have lived in the state for at least three years and have a high school diploma or the equivalent.

“The Dream Act was our top priority and we were very pleased to see it on the governor’s desk this session,” Andy McVicar, spokesman for the House Democrats, wrote in an email.

Another new law, which takes effect today, gives judges the ability to revoke a person’s right to carry firearms if they have a restraining or protective order against them and are deemed to be a credible threat.

“Frankly, I’m a strong supporter of gun rights, I just thought it was a good idea to remove firearm rights from known dangerous people,” said Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, who was the chief sponsor of the measure.

In an attempt to crack down on stolen liquor ending up in the hands of underage drinkers, a measure that kicks in today states that any retailer experiencing an “unacceptable rate of spirits theft” could see their license yanked by the state’s Liquor Control Board. An unacceptable rate is defined as two or more incidents of theft in a six-month period.

Other laws slated to take effect include: making it easier for veterans to receive in-state college tuition, allowing consumers to fill their growlers full of wine while at tasting rooms, and creating a veteran-owned business registry with the aim of lending more support to those businesses.

The 2014 legislative session, which lasted from January to March, was noted more for the bills that didn’t pass than legislation that made it to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk.

Some of the more headline-generating measures that failed to gain support include a teacher-evaluation provision that would have included state test scores as part of a teacher’s evaluation. The measure’s demise resulted in Washington becoming the first state to lose its No Child Left Behind waiver and about $40 million.

A bill pushed by state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, that would place more regulations on the state’s medical marijuana system also failed.

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