How they voted in Olympia 4/14


Technology expenditures

Senate Bill 5891 will allow state agencies to make strategic investments in technology innovation by granting the Technology Services Board the authority to approve projects by the Department of Enterprise Services relating to the state data center without going through competitive contracting procedures. It also provides that competitive purchasing statutes do not apply to Information Technology (IT) purchases by state agencies if the purchase is $100,000 or less, the purchase is approved by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), and the agency director and OCIO prepare a public document providing a detailed justification. It passed the Senate on April 5 by a vote of 25-23.

Sen. Brian Hatfield, D- Raymond, voted against the bill. Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, voted for it.

Gender-neutral terms

Senate Bill 5077 amends existing statutes to make gender-specific terms gender-neutral. For example, references to ombudsman are changed to ombuds, chairman is changed to chair, fisherman is changed to fisher, freshman is changed to first-year student, and the phrases “he or she” or “his or her” are used. Since 1983 state law requires that all statutes must be written in gender-neutral terms unless a specification of gender is intended, and in 2007 the legislature directed the Code Reviser to develop and implement a plan to correct gender-specific references throughout Washington’s statutes. It passed the House on April 9 by a vote of 70-22. The bill has passed both houses and is on its way to the Governor.

Reps. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, Dean Takko, D-Longview, Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, and Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, all voted for the bill.

Asbestos labeling

Senate Bill 5458 requires that, effective January 1, 2014, the manufacture, wholesale, and distribution of asbestos–containing building material, including stock on hand, must be labeled. The new state labeling requirement mandates label placement in a prominent location adjacent to the product name or description on the exterior of the wrapping and packaging used for storage, shipment, and sale. A second label must also be placed on the outside of the building material itself, unless the building material is a liquid, a paste, sand, or gravel. The Department of Ecology and local air authorities are granted enforcement authority, and violators are subject to penalties of up to $10,000 per day per violation. It passed the House on April 9 by a vote of 65-28. The bill has passed both houses and is on its way to the Governor.

Blake, Takko, Tharinger and Van De Wege all voted for the bill.

Commuter airline fees

Senate Bill 5627 adds a separate schedule for commuter air carriers that are not considered airplane companies to the excise tax statutes, with payment amounts based on weight and ranging from $500 to $4,000 per year. Under existing law, the tax is a fixed charge that varies based on the type of aircraft. Annual charges range from $20 to $125. The tax is levied in lieu of the personal property tax. It passed the House on April 9 by a vote of 71-22. The bill has passed both houses and is on its way to the Governor.

Blake, Takko, Tharinger and Van De Wege all voted for the bill.

Outdoor advertising fees

Senate Bill 5761 requires the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to establish and charge an annual fee for type 4 and 5 signs not to exceed $150. WSDOT must establish exemptions from payment of the annual fee for signs that do not generate rental income. Type 4 signs are signs located within 12 air miles of the advertised activity. Type 5 signs display a message of specific interest to the traveling public, such as food and lodging or vehicle services. The bill also increases the size of the required weatherproof label containing the sign’s identification number from 16 to 28 square inches. It passed the House on April 9 by a vote of 57-36. The bill has passed both houses and is on its way to the Governor.

Blake, Takko, Tharinger and Van De Wege all voted for the bill.

SOURCE: WashingtonVotes.org