By Taylor McAvoy

By Taylor McAvoy

As the legislative session ends, a look forward to November

What did they do, and what matters to you?

Voters will get a chance to really shake up membership in the state Legislature this fall, if they are so inclined.

Possibilities for change abound with all 98 seats in the House and 25 seats in the Senate up for election.

Soon, we in the class of pundits will prognosticate on forces and factors that may influence the electorate and determine the outcome of contests.

One will be lawmakers’ decision to remove themselves from the duties of the state Public Records Act in favor of a separate and less rigorous disclosure protocol of their own design. Already, editorial board of the Everett Herald has said that if the governor vetoes the bill, any lawmaker voting to override it will be disqualified from getting the paper’s endorsement.

This isn’t the only issue consuming the attention of lawmakers and the public, and won’t be the only one on voters’ minds.

Below are a few other things lawmakers have done or may do before the session ends March 8. I could use some help figuring out if any of these could be a deal-breaker for a voter.

Tell me, would any of these matters incite you to vote incumbents out of office or to keep them in?

Bump stock ban: It will soon be illegal to make, sell, own or possess a bump-fire stock, a plastic attachment that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire like fully automatic models. Under a bill sent to Gov. Jay Inslee, the manufacture and sale of the devices is prohibited starting July 1. A year later, bump stocks will be considered contraband and in most instances subject to seizure by authorities.

Abortion mandate: This legislation would require health plans that cover maternity care or services to also cover the voluntary termination of pregnancy. And those plans must cover contraceptives. It’s been atop the agenda of the governor and Democrats in both chambers and is awaiting a vote in the House.

Same-day registration: You will soon be able to walk into a county auditor’s office on the day of an election, register as a voter then cast a ballot. This change will start with the November 2019 election under a bill heading to the governor’s desk.

Car tab relief: Lawmakers promised to ease the pain of soaring costs of car tabs in the Sound Transit taxing district. It hasn’t happened yet. The House and Senate each have an approach and are working to bridge the gap and keep their promise.

Eliminate the death penalty: This is close to happening but hasn’t yet. A bill to get rid of capital punishment passed the Senate. It is now in the House where its fate is unclear, as there are members who think voters should be given a chance to weigh in.

Buying military-style rifles: This is a work in progress. There is a new bill to require a person be at least 21 to buy a semiautomatic rifle and that a full state background check be done on those seeking to buy one of those rifles. Many Democrats would like to use their majorities in each chamber to get this through before time runs out.

Property taxes: In 2017, lawmakers increased the statewide property tax rate. In February, property owners got their bills and were shocked to see how much they owed. Members of both parties are devising a way to provide temporary relief this year or next. Meanwhile, this fall will be the first time lawmakers will be on the ballot since the increase took effect.

This is a short list. If your vote is going to be tied to something different, let me know.

It’ll help in developing accurate forecasts for the coming electoral season.

This column first appeared in the Everett Herald. Jerry Cornfield can be reached at 360-352-8623 or jcornfield@heraldnet.com. His Twitter handle is @dospueblos.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

t
17-year-old found shooting Orbeez gel balls at Federal Way students

Federal Way Police are unaware of any connection between several cases involving the toy guns.

t
Renton community safety forum targets crime stats, domestic violence

Renton Police chief says when he first started it was rare to have a firearm incident on the street

Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times / Pool
Jeffrey Nelson at his trial May 16.
Jurors continue to hear testimony in murder case against Auburn officer

Jeffrey Nelson is the first officer in Washington to face a murder charge following the passage of I-940.

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Maple Valley day care employee charged with sex offenses

Federal Way man was employed at Discovery Playtown

t
Man killed by sheriff’s deputies in Auburn identified

Multiple shots fired during May 24 eviction

Chris Reykdal
State superintendent of schools says student privacy won’t diminish

Chris Reykdal: Federal protections for privacy remain despite state’s new parental bill of rights

State Capitol in Olympia. FILE PHOTO
Hundreds of new laws will take effect in state June 6

Legislature approved changes in police pursuits, parental rights, firearms and other laws

A Sound Transit fare ambassador checks with a light rail rider. COURTESY PHOTO, Sound Transit
Fare inspections at Sound Transit Link stations begin June 3

Passengers will need proof of payment within fare paid zones at boarding areas

Jeffrey Nelson at his trial May 16, 2024. (Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times / Pool)
Murder trial begins for Auburn Police officer Jeffrey Nelson

First officer in Washington to face a murder charge following the passage of Initiative 940.

Men serving halal food on Eid Mubarak 2024. Photo By Joshua Solorzano/Federal Way Mirror
Washington state passes Halal Food Consumer Protection Act

Federal Way Muslim activist details how this bill came about and why it is important