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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The dust has settled on another milestone in a group of legislative deadlines that keep the process on track. With some exceptions, Wednesday, March 8 (aka house of origin cutoff) was the last day for bills to pass out of the chamber in which they originated, or they're considered “dead” for the session.
What are the exceptions? The majority party has broad discretion when it comes to bringing back bills from the “dead.” Here's how they do it:
- Bills considered necessary to implement the budget (NTIB) are never completely dead. They are exempt from normal cutoff rules. Whether a bill is NTIB is entirely the call of the majority party, specifically the Speaker.
- The ghosts of “bills past” can also eerily appear as line items in one of the state's three main spending plans, the operating, transportation, and capital budgets.
- Want to learn more? Click here to watch a short video on the legislative process.
Current status of House bills: Out of the 1138 bills introduced in the House, 331 have now been sent to the Senate for further consideration.
- For a list of good and bad bills and their current status, click this link.
What now? The process begins in earnest again. Post-cutoff committee hearings have now begun on the bills sent over from the Senate. The next deadline, another policy cutoff, is scheduled for the end of this month, Wednesday, March 29.
Your gun rights
Two gun bills requested by the current governor and state attorney general passed the House prior to the recent deadline. Each measure has now been sent to the Senate for further consideration. That means there's still time to stop these bad bills from passing. Information on how to help do that is listed in this update.
- Read my assessment, published in early February, on the gun bills introduced this session.
House Bills 1143 and 1240 make the same mistake that other similar bills do. These proposals assume restricting the choices of law-abiding citizens will somehow affect the behavior of psychopaths, criminals, and people bent on making mayhem. They won't.
HB 1240, the so-called “assault weapons” ban, is clearly unconstitutional. It impairs all Washingtonians' right to defend themselves, their families, their neighbors, and the state.
What the bill does: The measure seeks to ban “assault weapons,” defined in the bill as a type of semi-automatic rifle, including certain criteria like being shorter than 30 inches in length and the ability to accept a detachable magazine. The measure also bans several other types of firearms, including pistols, shotguns, and many other guns that are utilized for self-defense and hunting.
Watch my evaluation of HB 1240 and its passage in the video below:
HB 1143 impairs your right to buy, sell, or keep arms. The measure imposes various training and testing requirements on law-abiding gun owners and retailers before they can exercise their constitutional rights.
Watch my House floor speech in opposition to HB 1143 below:
Want to make your voice heard on these bills?
- Get notifications on House Bill 1143.
- Get notifications on House Bill 1240.
- Contact the Senate Law and Justice Committee members with your opposition.
- After the bills are scheduled for a hearing, register to testify or note your position for the legislative record.
In the news:
- State Rep. Jim Walsh criticizes firearm regulation bill after House passage (The Chronicle)
- Rep. Jim Walsh speaks against constitutionally dubious 'assault weapons' ban bill during floor debate
- Assault rifles to be banned immediately if bill passed through the House becomes law (Big Country News)
- KVI's Ari Hoffman talks to Rep. Jim Walsh about gun bills (KVI Radio)
- WA House votes to ban assault weapons (The Seattle Times)
- Washington House OKs bill requiring 10-day wait for guns (Fox13 Seattle)
- Critics warn of firearms database if Washington House bill becomes law (The Dispatch)
- Rep. Jim Walsh issues statement on passage of so-called 'assault weapon' ban
- Rep. Jim Walsh issues statement on passage of bill restricting constitutionally protected gun rights
Contact me if you have questions about these bills or other public policies being debated and decided in Olympia. I welcome your thoughts.
It's an honor to serve you.
428 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
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