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Keep up with the hundreds of bills Gov. Inslee has signed

May 15, 2021, 7:56 AM
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Gov. Inslee signs a bill. (From the Office of the Governor)
(From the Office of the Governor)

In the past week, Gov. Inslee signed 113 bills into state law. Some of those were partially vetoed, but only 11.

The types of legislation recently adopted runs a wide range, from noxious weeds and fertilizer fees to juvenile rehabilitation and improving involuntary commitment laws.

While 113 sounds like a lot, it’s not even half. He’s signed 310 bills into law since Feb. 8. Get the full list here. And he’s not done. His office says he’ll be at the Seattle Aquarium on Monday to sign SB 5022, later the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center to sign SB 5141, with a final stop at the Shoreline Community College to sign three more bills (HB 1050, HB 1091 and SB 5126). That whirlwind tour is to drive attention to a climate change legislative package.

Before Inslee signs a bill, it must first get signatures from both the House speaker and the Senate president. The whole process can take several days after a bill’s passage in the Legislature, which wrapped its latest session on Sunday, April 27. According to Washington State Wire, the Legislature passed 335 bills this session — 158 in the Senate and 177 in the House. Of those, most were Democratic bills (77% Senate, 81% House).

Notably, Gov. Inslee issued a veto that came as a surprise to many in the green energy community this week, striking down a measure that would have set a goal to end the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2030.

SHB 1287 establishes publicly available mapping telling drivers where they can access charging and refueling stations for electric vehicles, and mandates electric charging capabilities in all new residential buildings by July 2024.

The governor’s veto applies solely to the section regarding the end of sales for new gas-powered cars by the end of decade, with the rest of the bill passing as is. Read more.

Inslee officially made Juneteenth a legal state holiday by signing HB 1016.

June 19 will now be a paid holiday for state employees, but Democratic Rep. Melanie Morgan, who is also a member of the Black Caucus, says it’s about much more than that.

“This is commemorating the end of chattel slavery,” she said.

SB 5193, signed on Thursday, puts into place a series of reforms intended to give the state Employment Security Department the resources and powers it needs when unemployment levels rise quickly, as happened in March 2020.

“Senate Bill 5193 increases the number of certified trained people who can process unemployment claims if the state experiences another unexpected claim surge like it did during the pandemic,” Gov. Inslee explained. Read more.

Open carry of firearms and other weapons is banned at protests and on most of the state Capitol campus and legislative buildings under a bill Inslee signed on Wednesday.

SB 5035 makes it illegal to carry guns and weapons such as knives, brass knuckles, and bats, among others, within 250 feet of a permitted protest anywhere in the state, while also blocking them on much of the state Capitol grounds. Read more.

Agricultural workers in Washington state would become eligible for overtime pay under a bill signed by the governor on Tuesday.

SB 5172 creates a phased-in path toward full overtime pay for agricultural workers by 2024. For 2022, they ensure overtime pay for any time worked over 55 hours a week; 48 hours a week in 2023; and 40 hours a week by 2024.

As for the fertilizer fee, basically the person who distributes bulk fertilizer has to pay for a license. That license went up from $25 per year to $50 for each location that distributes the fertilizer. That change takes effect June 1. And if you’re still curious about the noxious weeds, it mostly concerns the operations of the state and county weed boards. Read more here.

KIRO Radio’s Nicole Jennings and Hanna Scott, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Keep up with the hundreds of bills Gov. Inslee has signed