Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are now in our second week of the 2016 legislative session. As I shared previously this is a “supplemental budget year” and is only scheduled for 60 days. In shorter sessions things move quickly. (Key dates coming up in the next few weeks are listed at the bottom of this newsletter).
As legislators, we are already hearing from many constituents on topics of importance statewide and back home, including education, environmental, law enforcement, and budget issues. Many constituents have also visited me here in Olympia, which is always appreciated. I always welcome your input on issues important to you. I will make sure to keep you updated on various issues as the session continues.
Update on local government fireworks bill
Following days of extreme heat and the devastating Sleepy Hollow Fire in Wenatchee last summer, local government officials found state law confusing regarding implementing fireworks ordinances and, as a result, did not fully understand how to take action at the local level. Current state law requires that if counties and cities adopt rules that are stricter than the minimum state standards, they cannot go into effect until at least one year after local adoption.
Rep. Mia Gregerson (D-SeaTac) and I have teamed up to introduce House Bill 2348 that would remove the one-year waiting period for local governments to adopt fireworks ordinances. On January 14th we both testified before the House Local Government committee on behalf of this proposal. I am pleased to share that the committee is developing an amendment that allows local governments to issue temporary restrictions on fireworks if there is an extreme fire hazard due to drought conditions. This amendment would represent a compromise, which is what we often try to achieve here in Olympia.
House Bill 2348 is an important step forward in advance of the next fire season. This bill has 40 bipartisan co-sponsors and is supported by several statewide associations and advocacy groups including the Association of Washington Cities, Washington State Association of Counties, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Office of the State Fire Marshall, Washington State Council of Firefighters, and Washington Fire Chiefs.
Click here for Link to TVW video coverage of testimony for House Bill 2348.
Click here for audio – Rep. Brad Hawkins fireworks bill up for discussion this week.
Click here to read Wenatchee World’s editorial.
Every Friday morning, my seatmates, Rep. Cary Condotta and Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, and I call into our local radio stations to talk about the latest events and discussions in Olympia. I encourage you to listen in!
If you have any questions or comments, please contact my office anytime at (360) 786-7832, toll-free at (800) 562-6000, or by email at email@example.com.
Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Olympia.
February 5, 2016 – Commonly called “committee cutoff.” This is the last day House bills can be heard and passed in a House or Senate committee, with the exception of budget-related bills.
February 9, 2016 – We call this the “fiscal committee cutoff.” This is the last day House bills that spend money, deal with taxes, or are budget related can pass a House or Senate committee.
February 17, 2016 – This is the last day a bill (except for budget-related bills as previously mentioned) can pass their house of origin. This often means long days and sometimes nights debating and passing House bills on the House floor, while senators do the same with Senate bills.
Upon passage, House bills advance to the Senate and Senate bills advance to the House. The same committee process occurs in the opposite chamber.
February 26, 2016 – Similar to the previous “committee cutoff,” only now the House is dealing with Senate bills and the Senate is dealing with House bills. These cutoff dates help keep the process moving along.
February 29, 2016 – This the last day for House bills that are budget related to pass the Senate and vice versa in the House.
March 4, 2016 – At this point, all House bills that are still “alive” must pass the Senate, and all Senate bills that are “alive” must pass the House. This can be an interesting day of discussion, debate, and compromise.
March 10, 2016 – This is the last day provided for the regular 60-day session.
State Representative Brad Hawkins
12th Legislative District
Web site: www.representativebradhawkins.com
122G Legislative Building – P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7832 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000