District 24 scorecard

By Paul Gottlieb

Special to Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIA — Among more than 1,600 bills state lawmakers filed this legislative session, 328 made it past Wednesday’s deadline, passing out of the House to the Senate, and the Senate to the House, for possible enactment.

Of the total submitted, 42 were sponsored by Reps. Steve Tharinger and Mike Chapman and Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, the 24th District’s Democratic lawmakers who represent Clallam and Jefferson counties and more than half of Grays Harbor County.

Proposals such as the extension of a hog-fuel tax exemption that would benefit McKinley Paper Co. in Port Angeles, Port Townsend Paper Corp. and other mills did not make the cutoff, but they will remain alive if considered necessary to implement the budget or if added to the capital budget as a proviso. All three 24th District lawmakers sponsored or cosponsored the legislation (HB 1018 and SB 5030).

Legislation likely to remain alive includes the provisions of HB 1720, a salmon recovery riparian (riverbank) protection-restoration grant bill sponsored by Chapman.

Tharinger, chair of the Capital Budget Committee, said this week the program will be included in the capital budget proposal. Efforts at passage are spearheaded by Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Council Chairman Ron Allen.

Friday was the 61st day of the 105-day 2023 legislative session, during which legislators will pass 2023-25 operating, capital and transportation budgets.

Legislation proposed by lawmakers is available at leg.wa.gov by going to “Bill Information” in the drop-down menu, clicking “Bill Status Report” on the page, and typing in the lawmakers’ last name in the search bar.

Look for specific bills by typing in area of interest or bill number.

Below are prime-sponsor proposals by Tharinger, who lives in Port Townsend, and Chapman and Van De Wege, both of Port Angeles, that made the Wednesday cut or had companion proposals in the House or Senate that survived the deadline.

Chapman, 17 bills proposed

• 2nd Substitute HB 1010: Grants state Department of Health authority to create regulations governing commercially harvested crab related to biotin contamination. Passes to Senate.

• HB 1419: County treasurer duties, authorizes treasurers to contract with the county or taxing district to cover warrants for which there are insufficient funds, to Rules, passes on to Senate.

• SHB 1138: Creates the Emergency Drought Response Account in the state treasury. Passes to Senate.

• SHB 1235: Modifies Department of Fish and Wildlife licenses, including by authorizing the sale of a multi-year combination license at a fee lower than the combined cost of the licenses. Passes to Senate.

Tharinger, seven bills proposed

• Substitute HB 1267: Extends the expiration date of the .09 percent county sales and use tax from 25 years after the tax was imposed to Dec. 31, 2054. The tax may be collected by a county for 25 years after the date that a tax is first imposed. Passes to Senate.

• HB 1709: Increases the cap on administrative costs used for the Affordable Housing Program, a consolidated entity formerly the Housing Assistance Program. Expands activities eligible for appropriations from capital bond proceeds, repeals two loan programs. Updates purpose to include preservation of affordable housing and meeting affordable housing needs of low-income households. Requires projects to remain affordable for at least 40 years. Companion bill Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5301 passes to Senate.

Van De Wege, 18 bills proposed

• SB 5253: Requires training and certification to apply fire-resistant materials, companion Senate Bill 1323 passes to House.

• SB 5283: Waives fundamental exams for out-of-state applicants for professional engineers and land surveyors if applicants meet certain requirements. Requested by the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. Passes to House.

• SB 5328: Makes certain telecommunications eligible for membership in the Public Safety Employees Retirement System, to Rules. Companion HB 1055 passes to Senate.

• SB 5693: Limits liability for salmon recovery projects performed by regional fisheries enhancement groups, eliminates liability for property damage from habitat projects under certain conditions. Companion HB 1775 passes to Senate.

• SB 5700: Requires the Health Care Authority to reimburse the state Department of Commerce for behavioral health advocacy services to individuals enrolled in a managed care organization. Passes to House.

• Substitute SB 5524: Industrial insurance/duties, creates duty of good faith and fair dealing for self-insured municipal employers and third-party administrators to workers in workers compensation system, requires investigations by Department of Labor and Industries and penalties for violations, to Rules. Companion HB 1521 passes to Senate.

• Substitute SB 5687: Wrestling grant program, creates a competitive grant program to fund intercollegiate wrestling programs at public two-and four-year colleges to be awarded by the Washington Student Achievement Council. Passes to Senate.


Legislative Reporter Paul Gottlieb, a former senior reporter at Peninsula Daily News, can be reached at cpaulgottlieb@gmail.com.

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