As with every legislative session, there are some interesting developments and tactics that occur during the week leading up to House of Origin cut-off for policy bills, which is today. This year was no different.
A bill introduced on Thursday, Feb. 21, caught the attention of many attorneys and created quite a buzz in Olympia. Senate Bill 5845, submitted by some members of the Senate Health Committee called for requiring, among other things, all Washington attorneys and law firms to charge indigent clients a discounted fee based on a sliding scale. The intent section of the bill explains that the purpose of the bill is to “correct the disparate fee structure between professionals in the legal and medical professions.”
The sponsors aren’t lawyer-haters — among the sponsors is a lawyer, the mother of a lawyer, and the wife of a lawyer. It’s a message of some sort, and, while we’re not quite sure what that message is, we’ll follow up with the sponsors to get a translation and solve the mystery.
Rest assured, it’s lights out for SB 5845… at least for this year!
Update: The Board of Governors Legislative Committee, acknowledging that SB 5845 is technically dead this session, voted Tuesday, Feb. 26 to take a position of opposition on the bill if it should move forward at any time.