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Sunday, September 24, 2023
Sept. 24, 2023

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Clark County legislators see bills, resolutions pass

Here's breakdown of legislation from those representing 17th, 18th, 20th and 49th districts

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Before the Washington Legislature wrapped up on Sunday, lawmakers had waded through more than 2,100 bills, measures and resolutions during the 105-day session. Over 200 of those were introduced by Clark County’s legislative representatives.

Here’s a look at some of the bills from 17th, 18th, 20th and 49th district lawmakers that were passed during the session:

Freshman Rep. Kevin Waters, R-Stevenson, from the 17th District saw three of the four bills he introduced this year passed into law.

The first of Waters’ bills to pass was House Bill 1772, which prohibits the sale and manufacture of alcoholic products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill April 19.

On April 20, Inslee signed HB 1730 and HB 1731. The former allows youth aged 18 to 21 to work in “back of house” jobs in bars and taverns while the latter allows short-term rentals, like Airbnb or Vrbo, to serve wine to guests with a $75 permit. All three bills go into effect July 23, 90 days after the last day of the legislative session.

Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, also from the 17th District, introduced eight bills, a joint measure and a joint resolution this session. Two of Harris’ bills were passed.

HB 1073 expands the duties and licensing of medical assistants. The bill went into effect April 20.

HB 1112, which imposes criminal penalties for negligent driving convictions that involve the death of a vulnerable user victim, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2025.

The last of the 17th District’s three lawmakers is Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, who brought forward 24 bills and two resolutions this session.

Senate Bill 5396 requires health insurance plans to cover breast exams with no cost sharing. The bill goes into effect July 23.

Another health care-related bill from Wilson was Senate Bill 5497. The bill requires the state’s Health Care Authority to provide oversight for the state’s Medicaid program. It also goes into effect July 23.

Wilson also introduced Senate Resolution 8617 to raise awareness for “triple negative” breast cancer, a type that does not have any of the receptors commonly found in breast cancer. An estimated 15 percent to 20 percent of all diagnosed, invasive breast cancer cases in the U.S. are considered “triple negative.” The resolution was adopted March 1.

Freshman Rep. Stephanie McClintock, R-Vancouver, from the 18th District, introduced two bills and five resolutions.

McClintock’s only bill to pass was HB 1301, which creates professional license review and reporting requirements and goes into effect July 23.

McClintock successfully brought forward resolutions recognizing Battle Ground School Administrator of the Year Cindy Arnold, Prairie High School’s wrestling team, Battle Ground High School swimmer Hezekiah Hewes, and Sandra Bedrosian Sermone, founder of ADNP Kids Research Foundation.

Rep. Greg Cheney, R-Battle Ground, from the 18th District, had one of eight proposed bills pass.

HB 1797 allows appraisers to complete real property evaluations; the bill will go into effect after administrative rules are adopted.

Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, was the most prolific of the 18th District lawmakers with 12 bills, a joint measure and a resolution introduced. Three of Rivers’ bills were passed as was a resolution recognizing April as national Donate Life month.

Senate Bill 5069 addresses interstate cannabis agreements; the bill contains varying effective dates based on federal requirements.

SB 5163 removes sunset provisions on the Medicaid fraud false claims act and goes into effect April 14.

SB 5569 creates temporary exemptions from certificate of need requirements for kidney disease centers; it goes into effect July 23.

In the 20th District, Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia, had three of his nine bills introduced pass.

HB 1004 requires signs warning of the dangers of jumping from bridges; HB 1259 updates the Secretary of State’s executive team; and HB 1361 updates statutes relating to state employment. All three go into effect July 23.

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, from the 20th District, had just one of 15 bills introduced passed during the session as well as a joint measure.

HB 1491 prohibits employers from conducting an unjustified search of employees’ personal vehicles. The bill goes into effect July 23.

Orcutt’s joint measure designating a section of Interstate 5 as the Justin DeRosier Memorial Highway was unanimously passed by both the House and Senate. DeRosier was a Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputy killed in the line of duty in April 2019.

Minority leader Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, introduced 22 bills and two resolutions this session. Four of the bills were passed, as were both resolutions.

Senate Bill 5079 requires the Office of Financial Management to set the maximum annual increase for tuition fees for resident undergraduate students. It goes into effect July 23.

Senate Bill 5084, which creates a separate fund for self-insured pensions and assessments, goes into effect July 1, 2025.

Senate Bill 5381 allows legislators to send letters of recommendation or congratulations at any time. Currently, legislators are prohibited from sending such letters under the state’s ethics act. The bill goes into effect July 23.

The 49th District’s lawmakers were among the busiest this year. Majority floor leader Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver, introduced 14 bills and two resolutions. Two of the bills and one resolution were passed.

HB 1251, which requires water systems to notify customers of public health concerns, goes into effect July 23.

HB 1308 creates additional high school graduation pathway options and also goes into effect July 23.

Stonier’s resolution honoring former legislator Jim Moeller, who died March 8, was adopted March 31.

Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, introduced 14 bills, with four passed.

HB 1355 updates property tax exemptions for disabled vets and senior citizens and HB 1742 allows the state Department of Revenue to waive delinquency fees for business licenses and late penalties for businesses reporting unclaimed property. Both bills go into effect July 23.

HB 1764 creates a method for valuing asphalt and aggregate used in public road construction for the purposes of taxation. It goes into effect Aug. 1.

Sen. Annette Cleveland of the 49th District brought forward 18 bills and a resolution. Seven of Cleveland’s bills were passed, as was the resolution.

SB 5121 extends the expiration date of the joint select committee on health care oversight while SB 5122 extends the expiration date of the ambulance transport fund. Both go into effect July 23.

Among the more controversial of Cleveland’s bills was SB 5242, which prohibits health insurance plans from requiring cost sharing for abortions. The bill goes into effect July 23.

Other bills from Cleveland that were passed include SB 5338, which updates the state’s essential health benefits, SB 5454, which provides insurance coverage for posttraumatic stress disorders affecting registered nurses, and SB 5538, which allows retired nurses to work up to 1,040 hours per year and continue to receive pension benefits.

Cleveland’s resolution recognizing mental and behavioral health as genuine health concerns was adopted April 13.

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