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Morning Update: Session Day 11

Post by Melissa Santos / The Olympian on Jan. 24, 2013 at 7:00 am with No Comments »
January 28, 2013 6:26 pm

What’s happening today at the Capitol:

A new proposal in the Senate would deal with the release of someone who has been deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial. Senate Bill 5221 would require that prosecutors be notified within 24 hours if someone who has been deemed criminally incompetent is to be released instead of being involuntarily committed. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle, will receive a hearing today at 10 a.m. before the Senate Human Services & Corrections Committee. 

House Bill 1114 also targets the release of violent offenders who are deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial, but who are not subject to being involuntarily committed. The bill, introduced by Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, would require violent felons to be evaluated at Western or another state hospital, rather than at community treatment facilities or jails. A hearing on the bill will take place at 1:30 p.m. before the House Judiciary Committee.

Additionally, two proposals dealing with the Discover Pass, the $35 permit that provides year-long access to state parks, will have hearings today at 1:30 p.m. before the Senate Natural Resources & Parks Committee.

Senate Bill 5084 would make the cost of a Discover Pass $5 for any person who has been provided with a lifetime veterans disability pass for state parks. The other bill, Senate Bill 5097. would allow married couples to receive a free Discover Pass if collectively they have performed 24 hours of volunteer service on agency-sanctioned projects. Existing law says individuals must complete 24 volunteer hours to receive a free pass.

Later, the state Department of Transportation will present an update on its tolling program during the Senate Transportation Committee meeting today at 3:30 p.m.

Elsewhere on the Capitol campus, members of the Washington State PTA will rally at the Legislative Building rotunda at noon today to urge legislators to improve funding for basic education. The PTA coalition will also meet with legislators throughout the day as part of Washington State PTA Focus Day.

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