Today’s action in legislative committees includes:
- House Environment hears SB 5769, which would require the TransAlta power plant in Centralia to stop burning coal. The bill is the result of an agreement Gov. Chris Gregoire reached with the plant that would phase out coal use entirely by Dec. 31, 2025.
- The committee is also scheduled to vote on SB 5168, which would reduce the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor in Washington to 364 instead of 365 days. The purpose of doing so, lawmakers have said, is to prevent legal immigrants who are convicted of a misdemeanor from being deported under federal law because they received a year-long sentence.
- House Public Safety hears SB 5545, which would allow police to record a conversation with the consent of just one person involved if they believe it relates to the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor.
- Senate Higher Ed will hear HB 1586, which would allow the University of Washington and Washington State University to offer doctoral degree programs at branch campuses and SB 5868, which would raise tuition for students who already have 125 percent of the credits they need to get a bachelor’s degree, with some exceptions.
- Senate Judiciary hears HB 1805, which would increase the penalties for making an unlicensed small loan to a person in Washington through the Internet or some other source. The idea is an alternative to another proposal in the Legislature that would remove the limit on the number of small loans a person can take out in a year, a move some lawmakers say is necessary to prevent flight to unregulated Internet loan companies.
- Senate Judiciary hears HB 1339, which would raise the penalties for people who hurt or kill a pedestrian or bicyclist while driving negligently.