The House kicks off the 2023 Legislative Session with opening ceremonies, including swearing in of representatives and election of the Speaker of the House, Speaker Pro Tempore, and Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore.
In the afternoon, the Community Safety, Justice & Reentry Committee will hold a public hearing on HB 1059, offered by Rep. Amy Walen to better protect minors from sexual exploitation, and HB 1028, sponsored by Rep. Tina Orwall to require law enforcement agencies to conduct an investigation of a reported sexual assault within 90 days when testing of a sexual assault kit results in a hit in the CODIS.
Also in the afternoon, the Environment & Energy Committee will hear testimony on Rep. Sharlett Mena’s legislation to restrict the sale of cosmetic products using certain chemicals (HB 1047).
Governor Inslee will give the State of the State in the morning. In the afternoon, the Consumer Protection & Business Committee has a public hearing scheduled for HB 1051, prime sponsored by Rep. Mari Leavitt, known as The Robocall Scam Protection Act. If passed, it would mean solicitors calling those on the Do Not Call registry would be breaking state law and the improved law would authorize the attorney general to prosecute spam robocallers.
At 1:30 pm, the State Government & Tribal Relations will hear testimony on Rep. Melanie Morgan’s bill to designate the Suciasaurus rex as the official state dinosaur (HB 1020)
Later in the day the Housing Committee has a public hearing scheduled for HB 1026, also from Rep. Walen, to end design review boards and instead implement administrative design review that is conducted by professional city staff, a significant improvement to the design review process. In the Environment & Energy Committee, lawmakers will listen to testimony on HB 1085, a bill from Rep. Mena to reduce small plastic container waste and encourage water bottle filling stations.
Wednesday morning, the Innovation, Community & Economic Development, & Veterans Committee will hear the Military Spouse Employment Act, offered by Rep. Leavitt to improve access to employment for spouses of military service members (HB 1009).
Later in the morning, Washington State Chief Justice González will deliver the State of the Judiciary.
In the afternoon, the Human Services, Youth, & Early Learning Committee will hear HB 1045, legislation offered by Rep. Liz Berry to create the Evergreen Basic Income pilot program to reduce poverty. If passed, Washington would be the first state in the nation to pilot a UBI program.
The Postsecondary Education & Workforce Committee will take public testimony on HB 1156, prime sponsored by Rep. Vandana Slatter, to expand eligibility to the Washington College Grant, the state’s free or reduced tuition program.
On Thursday morning, the Housing Committee will hear Rep. Strom Peterson’s HB 1124, which limits rent increases over a certain amount to protect tenants from excessive rents and fees.
In the afternoon, the Finance Committee will hold a work session on the recommendations made to the Legislature by the Tax Structure Work Group.
With the end of the week comes more committee hearings for public comment. The Postsecondary Education & Workforce Committee will hold a work session and public hearing on multistate compacts, including the Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Interstate Compact (HB 1001 from Rep. Leavitt), the Mental Health Counselor Compact (HB 1069 also from Rep. Leavitt), and the forthcoming Interstate Compact on Social Work Licensing (HB 1021 by Rep. My-Linh Thai).
The State Government & Tribal Relations Committee will hold a public hearing on HB 1048, offered by Rep. Mena, to enhance the Washington Voting Rights Act.