No right turns on red gets a look, a bid to expand sports betting arrives

It’s a new week. Here’s what’s happening on Day 22 of the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

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2023 Washington Legislature, Day 22 of 105

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: | @dospueblos

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OLYMPIA, Jan. 30, 2023 — Welcome to a new week.

Traffic safety is on the minds of lawmakers in both parties and Gov. Jay Inslee. They want to reduce the number of people killed on the streets and highways. There were 745 traffic-related deaths last year, the highest since 1990, state figures show.

Bipartisan ideas are getting pushed to change drivers’ behavior before they get in their car and when they are at the wheel.

This afternoon, the Senate Transportation Committee takes up Senate Bill 5002 to lower the legal limit for driving drunk. I’ve talked about that one before.

On Tuesday, at 4 p.m. this committee will consider legislation banning right turns on red lights within 1,000 feet of schools, child care centers, parks, playgrounds, libraries, transit centers, hospitals, senior centers and any facilities deemed by a city to have “high levels of pedestrian traffic.”

Also on the Senate panel’s agenda Tuesday is a bill to improve driving of those 70 and older with a “knowledge and skills refresher course” and bolster skills of drivers between 18 and 25 by ensuring they receive instruction in a classroom and on the road with an instructor.

Meanwhile, at 4 p.m. Thursday, the House Transportation Committee will hold a work session on traffic safety and a hearing on the no right turn-on-red proposal.

“We’ve got a crisis we can’t ignore,” said Sen. Marko Liias, D-Everett, the committee chair, at a press conference last week attended by legislators from both parties and the governor.

What are the odds

Maverick Gaming, a national gaming and entertainment company headquartered in Kirkland, is renewing its pursuit of a law to allow sports betting in its card rooms in Snohomish County and around the state.

The company says bills introduced in each chamber last week would mirror the 2020 law enabling federally-recognized tribes to offer sports betting on their properties.

Only existing licensed card rooms and race tracks would be eligible for a sports betting license. Each location must have its own license which would cost $100,000, under the proposed legislation.

You may recall Maverick Gaming is also waging this fight through the legal system. It filed a federal lawsuit a year ago, alleging state officials provided tribal casinos an unlawful monopoly on sports betting. The suit seeks to invalidate gaming compact amendments enabling the Stillaguamish, Tulalip, Sauk-Suiattle and other Washington tribes to offer sports betting. The case is pending in U.S. District Court.

Moving along

Democrats voted bills to ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and require a person obtain a permit to buy a firearm out of a House committee on Friday. Days earlier, Democrats on a Senate panel advanced legislation to create a path for individuals to sue gun makers and retailers. These pieces of the majority party’s gun violence reduction efforts have garnered no GOP support thus far.

Legislation adding free breakfast and lunch to the state’s program of basic education is up for a vote at 1:30 p.m. today in the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. The House Education Committee could vote on its companion bill Thursday morning. There’s no fiscal note online yet. This will not be cheap.

Final takeoff

Now, for aviation and history buffs, the last Boeing 747 to roll off the Everett assembly line is set for delivery Tuesday. The Boeing Co. plans a grand celebration at 1 p.m. It will be streamed live here.

Production began in 1967 and the first 747-100 completed is initial test flight in 1969. More than 100 customers have purchased 1,574 aircraft, logging more than 118 million flight hours and nearly 23 million flight cycles, according to the company.

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