Good morning at the end of the third week of legislative session. Next week is shaping up to be an interesting one, as lawmakers try to send a supplemental budget plan to Gov. Chris Gregoire and figure out how to reduce unemployment-insurance taxes ahead of a Feb. 8 deadline. Today is quieter:
- House Labor hears a bill to do something police groups couldn’t achieve last year: allow the surviving spouse of a law enforcement officer or firefighter to receive retirement benefits for life, even if the widowed spouse remarries. Two Tacoma Democrats, Rep. Steve Kirby and Sen. Steve Conway, have sponsored bills to make the change.
- House Public Safety this morning hears a bill the city of Federal Way requested over worries about an increase in thefts of gold from homes. Republican Rep. Katrina Asay‘s bill would put new regulations on pawn shops that deal in gold.
- Senate Environment hears a bill that would limit when and where people can use fertilizer that contains phosphorous. Phosphorous runoff into lakes and streams can cause algae blooms that damage water quality.
- House Business is scheduled to vote on a bill that would require that a process be developed for applying military training and experience toward becoming a licensed barber, engineer, land surveyor or security guard in the state. A companion bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate on Monday.
- Senate Judiciary hears a bill from Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, to increase penalties for animal cruelty.