How local lawmakers voted in Legislature

State Senate

Senate Bill 6084, requiring maintenance of minimum essential health care coverage, passed the Senate on Feb. 7 by a vote of 25-3, one member excused. The federal Affordable Care Act imposes an individual mandate for health insurance coverage that is enforced by an income tax penalty on uncovered persons. Beginning in January 2019, the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was signed into law by President Donald Trump last December effectively eliminated the individual mandate by reducing all penalties for failing to maintain minimum essential health care coverage to zero. This bill would impose a state individual mandate for health insurance coverage by requiring that all residents of the state must ensure that they and any dependents are covered under minimum essential health care coverage for each month. Since Washington does not have a state income tax, the bill directs the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner to convene a task force to explore individual mandate enforcement mechanisms and report to the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2018.

Voting yes: Sen. Guy Palumbo, D-Maltby; Sen. Marko Liias D-Lynnwood; Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline; Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip; Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens

Voting no: Sen. Barbara Bailey R-Oak Harbor; Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley

Senate Bill 6037, concerning the uniform parentage act, passed the Senate on Feb. 7 by a vote of 27-21, one member excused. Washington’s Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) provides for how a legal parent child relationship may be established or challenged, and how a determination of parentage may be used by courts in other proceedings including child support. It also regulates surrogacy and provides that surrogacy parenting agreements may not include compensation. This bill would revise a number of provisions in the UPA, key among which are changes to surrogacy agreements. It would allow a surrogacy agreement to provide for payment of consideration and reasonable expenses and may include reimbursement for specific expenses if the agreement is terminated. A woman acting as a surrogate would have to be 21 years of age, have previously given birth to one child, and have independent legal representation throughout the surrogacy arrangement. Surrogacy agreements would have to include information disclosing how intended parents will cover expenses of the surrogate and child including health care provisions and must permit the surrogate to make all health and welfare decisions regarding the surrogate’s pregnancy. The right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy would not be diminished by this act.

Voting yes: Palumbo, Liias, Chase, McCoy, Hobbs

Voting no: Bailey, Wagoner

Senate Bill 5288, authorizing certain public transportation benefit areas to impose a sales and use tax increase approved by voters, passed the Senate on Feb. 7 by a vote of 34-14, one member excused. A Public Transportation Benefit Area (PTBA) is a special-purpose district authorized to provide public transportation service within all or a portion of a county or counties. The PTBA is the most common type of district providing public transportation service in the state, with 21 currently in existence. A PTBA may collect fares for service and, with approval of the majority of the voters within the area, impose a sales and use tax within the area. Currently all but one PTBA may impose a sales and use tax up to a 0.9 percent. One PTBA operating in Snohomish County meets the population threshold required to implement an additional 0.3 percent, for a total of 1.2 percent voter approved sales and use tax. The bill would revise the requirements to for allowing an additional 0.3 percent sales and use tax with voter approval. Currently, the PTBA operating in Thurston County would meet the new requirement of being a PTBA in a county with a population of more than 250,000, but less than 400,000, and also containing two or more cities with a population of over 40,000.

Voting yes: Palumbo, Bailey, Liias, Chase, McCoy, Hobbs

Voting no: Wagoner

Senate Bill 6086, protecting the state’s marine waters from the release of nonnative finfish from marine finfish aquaculture sites, passed the Senate on Feb. 8 by a vote of 35-12, two members excused. This bill would phase out Atlantic salmon net-pen farming by prohibiting the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) from entering into a new lease or other aquatic lands use authorization that involves marine finfish aquaculture of Atlantic salmon. Additionally, DNR would not be allowed to renew or extend an existing lease or use authorization that involves those same activities.

Voting yes: Palumbo, Bailey, Liias, Chase, McCoy, Hobbs

Voting no: Wagoner

State House

House Bill 1541, providing for prescription drug cost transparency, passed the House on Feb. by a vote of 50-48. This bill would require the Office of Financial Management to use a competitive procurement process to select a data organization to collect, verify, and summarize prescription drug pricing data provided by issuers and drug manufacturers. “Prescription drugs” include generic, brand name, and specialty drugs, as well as biological products. The data organization would have to provide an annual report that identifies overall spending on prescription drugs; identifies the 25 most frequently prescribed and costliest prescription drugs, and provides summary data that demonstrates the impact of prescription drug costs, as compared to other health care costs, on health insurance premiums.

Voting yes: Rep. Shelley Kloba, D-Bothell; Rep. Derek Stanford, D-Bothell; Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, D-Mukilteo; Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds; Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Lake Forest Park; Rep. Cindy Ryu, D-Shoreline; Rep. June Robinson, D-Everett; Rep. Mike Sells, Everett; Rep. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek

Voting no: Rep. Dave Hayes, R-Camano Island; Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton; Rep. Carolyn Eslick, R-Sultan; Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish; Rep. Mark Harmsworth, R-Mill Creek

House Bill 1298, prohibiting employers from asking about arrests or convictions before an applicant is determined otherwise qualified for a position, passed the House on Feb. 7 by a vote of 52-46. This bill would prohibit an employer from including any question on an application or inquiring into an applicant’s criminal background until after the employer initially determines that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. It would also prohibit advertising job openings in a way that excludes people with criminal records and any policy or practice that automatically or categorically excludes individuals with a criminal record from consideration Prohibited practices would also include rejecting an applicant for failure to disclose a criminal record prior to initially determining the applicant is otherwise qualified.

Voting yes: Kloba, Stanford, Ortiz-Self, Peterson, Kagi, Ryu, Robinson, Sells, Lovick

Voting no: Hayes, Smith, Eslick, Kristiansen, Harmsworth


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