Legislative Review – February 5, 2021
February 1-5 marks the fourth week since the legislative session started, and it featured a lot of committee hearings in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. On Monday, we covered the Senate Law and Justice Committee hearing on Senate Bill 5307–relating to pretrial release based on the Uniform Pretrial Release and Detention Act (UPRDA), as well as a hearing by the House State Government & Tribal Relations Committee concerning the replacement of the statue of Marcus Whitman in D.C. with a statue of Billy Frank Junior. We also covered a public hearing on Senate Bill 5374, which aims to incorporate the study of political systems and the negative effects of communism into K-12 schools’ curricula.
On Tuesday, February 2nd, we featured a floor debate in the House of Representatives regarding federal funding for COVID-19 relief. Following that, we shifted gears and covered two bills regarding the data collection of police use of force–Senate Bill 5261 and Senate Bill 5259, respectively. We also covered a public hearing by the House Finance Committee on imposing a wealth tax in Washington state.
On Wednesday, February 3, we started our coverage with the Senate Long Term Care Committee’s public hearing on Senate Bill 5377, aimed at making public option plan accessible to Washingtonians via the state’s Health Benefit Exchange. We also covered House Bill 1412, relating to legal financial obligations. Among those who testified in support of the bill was Democratic Representative Tara Simmons, an advocate for criminal justice reform who is also the first formerly-incarcerated person to be elected in the state legislature. We capped off that day’s coverage with a public hearing on Senate Bill 5107, concerning homeless shelters.
On Thursday, February 4, our coverage kicked-off with a highly contentious bill–Senate Bill 5212, which aims to open up sports betting to non-tribal casinos. Following that coverage was a public hearing by the Senate Law and Justice Committee on Senate Bill 5127, a bill that would expand the accessibility of courthouse facility dogs in areas outside the courts. We then moved on to a House committee hearing on House Bill 1348, concerning medical insurance availability for incarcerated individuals.
On Friday we recapped all the week’s top highlights for Legislative Week In Review, and covered a public hearing on House Bill 1395, relating to agricultural equity for farmers and ranchers. We wrapped up this week’s coverage with another public hearing–this time by the House Public Safety Committee on House Bill 1223, concerning custodial interrogations of juveniles and those involved in felony cases.
You can watch all of our daily and weekly highlights in the legislature on Legislative Review: https://www.tvw.org/shows/legislative-review/