2012 Regular Legislative Session Day 17

Wednesday morning in Olympia … wind and rain. Ok, it’s probably better to described the weather as a monsoon. Ugh! The first meeting of the morning is the State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee and the first bill is HB 2340, which would clarify restrictions on the use of the public records act for commercial or profit-making purposes. This is actually a fairly large issue. Ever wonder why you still get solicitation phone calls after signing up on the do not call list? This is bill tries to address the issue; unfortunately, this is an enforcement issue not an issue that should be addressed through a new law. Seven more bills to go and then we’ll move into an Executive Session to pass bills out of Committee.

One of the bills on the list for Executive Session is HB 2233, which deals with retrocession of civil and criminal jurisdiction to Indian Tribes and Indian Country. As many of you know, I served on the Joint Executive-Legislative Workgroup on Tribal Retrocession last summer and I remain deeply concerned with the ramification of granting retrocession to Indian Tribes. Among those concerns is who has liability post-retrocession, given Indian Tribes have sovereign immunity. We will be introducing several amendments to address our concerns, but doubt the Democrat Majority will accept any of our common sense proposals.

We’re scheduled to be on the House Floor today at 10:00 AM, but I don’t know whether we’ll actually be voting on legislation. I do know we’ll be getting briefed in Caucus on a couple of education issues that should be very interesting to the citizens of Washington. Later today I have a Labor and Workforce Development Committee meeting. Among the bills on the agenda … HB 2041, by Rep. Fitzgibbon, making the state civil service law and the state collective bargaining law applicable to legislative employees. In other words, UNIONIZING legislative employees. Please feel free to contact Rep. Fitzgibbon and let him know how you feel about his bill.

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