Urgent responses to the Blake decision emerge in Olympia

Here’s what’s happening on Day 73 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112

2021 Washington Legislature, Day 73 of 105

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: jcornfield@heraldnet.com | @dospueblos

Want this in your inbox Monday-Wednesday-Friday? Subscribe here.

OLYMPIA, March 24, 2021 — Happy Wednesday. It’s a new era in Washington. Insurance companies may not use your credit score to calculate the cost of insurance for your home or auto.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler made that happen Tuesday with an emergency order that will remain in effect until three years after the pandemic is declared over by the president or governor — which ever is later.

Kreidler’s action comes two weeks after legislation imposing such a ban died in the state Senate. Kreidler and Gov. Jay Inslee badly wanted that bill, arguing use of credit scores in rate-setting is discriminatory because it results in low-income people and people of color paying more for coverage.

Democratic Sen. Mark Mullet, who opposed the prohibition, refashioned the bill to bar use of credit scores to increase anyone’s rate. That version did not get a vote. He didn’t appreciate Kreidler’s move.

“The majority of people over the age of 50, of all races in all income brackets, would see their costs go up as a result of the insurance commissioner’s action,” he said in a statement. “This is not constructive, it is not fair, and it is not going to help those who need relief from high insurance rates.

Drug law fixes multiply

When the state Supreme Court tossed out the state’s felony drug possession law a month ago, Democratic leaders sounded resigned, and content, to wait until 2022 to respond to what is known as the Blake decision.

Not any more. Concerns about potential fallout — such as people getting out of jail, losing out on treatment or maybe being owed sizable refunds for fines they paid — are spurring cities, counties and law enforcement agencies to plead with lawmakers to act. They are, now.

House Republicans dropped five bills Tuesday, with Senate Republicans set to unveil their ideas Wednesday morning. Mullet and Sen. Steve Hobbs have a couple pieces of legislation in the mix. Another Democrat, Sen. Manka Dhingra, put forth a bill Tuesday which could be the vehicle for hearings with a multi-faceted approach.

“If there’s political will … we can make something happen between chambers,” Senate Minority Leader John Braun told reporters Tuesday. “We can get this done.”

House Speaker Laurie Jinkins shared similar sentiment late Tuesday. When asked if she felt actions are needed this session, she said, “I think so. I think we should really try.”

Crunch time

A comprehensive and controversial data privacy bill pushed by the Senate is up for a vote at 8 a.m. Thursday in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee. A big question is whether it will be amended in any significant way before the tally.

Senate Bill 5062 aims to strengthen consumer rights regarding control of personal information. Enforcement — a sticking point in previous sessions between the House and Senate — is still a flashpoint. That is not the only point of dispute. Eli Sanders drills deep on the debate in this story.

Budget line-up

Senate Democrats will roll out their proposed two-year operating and capital budgets at 1 p.m. Thursday. The Ways and Means Committee plans hearings on the capital budget at 4 p.m. Thursday and on the operating plan at 1 p.m. Friday.

House Democrats will release their spending blueprint at 3 p.m. Friday, with a hearing set for 9 a.m. Saturday in House Appropriations Committee.

When documents are released, you will be able to find them here.

To subscribe to the Cornfield Report, go to www.heraldnet.com/newsletters. | Previous Cornfield Reports here.

 

News clippings

Compiled by: House Democrats | House Republicans

 

On TV

Non-profit TVW covers state government in Olympia and selected events statewide. Programs are available for replay on the internet, and the channel is widely available on Washington cable systems.

TVW schedule | Current and recent video | Archives | Shows

 

Links

Contact your legislator | District lookup | Bill lookup

Legislature home | House | Senate

Caucuses: House Democrats | House Republicans | Senate Democrats | Senate Republicans

Office of the Governor

Laws and agency rules

Beat reporters: Jerry Cornfield (Herald) | Rachel La Corte (AP) | Joseph O’Sullivan (Times) | Jim Brunner (Times) | Austin Jenkins (NW News Network) | Melissa Santos (Crosscut) | Sara Gentzler (McClatchy) | Laurel Demkovich (Spokesman-Review) | Jim Camden (Spokesman-Review)

Talk to us

More in Local News

“We are still trying to figure out what to do with him,” said Everett Police Department property crimes Det. Adam Gage, who transports the statue back to a room using a rolling chair on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Everett, Washington.The Batman statue was recovered after it was stolen from an Everett comic book store last year.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Batman returns! Stolen Funko statue is in police custody

The supersized bobblehead was taken from Everett Comics in an October “smash-and-grab.”

Eric Adler, the mystery man who is on Twitter as @EdmondsScanner (E. Wong)
Revealed: The mystery man behind the @EdmondsScanner tweets

He’s a 50-year-old mail carrier who dusted off his English degree to curate 6,000 tales on Twitter.

As eligibility expands, 4,700 flock to local vaccine clinics

It might be difficult to secure a dose right away in Snohomish County, but keep trying, officials say.

Father who fled state with 3 sons arrested in New Mexico

Richard Burke reportedly didn’t trust masks or vaccines. He was charged with custodial interference.

Brian Baird, a former congressman who lives in Edmonds, hopes to create a National Museum and Center for Service in Washington, D.C. (contributed photo)
‘The time is right’ to honor helpers, says former congressman

Brian Baird, of Edmonds, is working to establish a National Museum and Center for Service in D.C.

Man identified in fatal Mill Creek crash

Ian Jensen, 32, died after a multi-vehicle accident Saturday on 35th Avenue SE.

Package funding U.S. 2 trestle, Monroe bypass on the move

A $17.8 billion plan dealing with highways, ferries and transit has cleared the state Senate transportation panel.

Explosion shatters Everett apartment complex windows

Police were called to the Monte Cristo apartment complex, 2929 Hoyt Ave., Tuesday night.

Firefighters work to put out a blaze at a house in the Meadowdale area of Edmonds early Saturday morning.  (South County Fire)
Man, woman seriously injured in Meadowdale house fire

They were taken to Harborview Medical Center. Three other adults and a dog escaped with no injuries.

Most Read