Legislative Roundup

Capitol Building in Olympia
The Legislature is beginning week 8 in Olympia. Learn more about the activity that may affect you.

Capitol in OlympiaThe Legislature is beginning week 8 in Olympia, which means bill cut-off for House of Origin has come and gone, and through that process the WSBA-backed bills have survived and appear to be heading toward success. Here’s an update:

SB 5343 — The rights of higher education students involved in military service. This bill was voted off the Senate floor (48-0) and has moved to the House.

SB 5344 — Revising state statutes concerning trusts. This bill was voted off the Senate floor (47-2) and has moved to the House.

HB 1148 — Addressing dissenters’ rights under the Washington business corporation act. This bill passed the House floor (97-0) and now moves to the Senate.

Throughout the session, the BOG Legislative Committee (Committee) meets each week to discuss other bills that have surfaced.  The Committee, which is authorized to take positions on behalf of the entire Board, reviews various bills and sometimes takes positions of support or opposition on bills that impact the practice of law or the administration of justice (meet the requirements of GR 12). Below is a summary of additional bill-related actions taken by the Committee:

SB 5845 – Concerning attorney compensation from clients with little or no ability to pay. This bill is deemed dead for this session. However, the Committee voted to oppose the bill if it begins to move forward at any time in the future. Please see a previous post for more details.

HB 1511/SB 5364 — Concerning court reporters, communication access, real-time translation, and real-time captioning services. WSBA was asked by the Washington Court Reporters Association to support this bill.  After much discussion, the Committee voted unanimously to support these bills.

HB 1542/SB 5398 — A Board for Judicial Administration request proposal related to the provision of and reimbursement for certain court interpreter services. The Committee voted unanimously to support these bills.

HB 1961 — Extending the expiration date for judicial stabilization trust account surcharges. This bill was introduced at the request of the Board for Judicial Administration. It extends previously established court user filing fees from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2015.  The Committee voted to support HB 1961.

HB 1116 — Adopting the Uniform Collaborative Law Act.  This bill passed the House 97-0, and is now on its way to the Senate for consideration.  The Committee did not take a position on the substance of the bill but opposed several provisions on separation of powers grounds, arguing that those provisions more appropriately belong in court rule.

The Committee is watching several other bills of interest. In addition to the Committee’s work, our Sections have collectively volunteered thousands of hours in their review of legislation, and provided input on and/or take positions on legislation that meets GR 12As with every legislative session, much changes from day to day. Look for additional updates as new developments arise. If you should have questions on any of these bills or have questions or concerns, please contact Kathryn Leathers, WSBA’s Legislative Liaison, kathrynl@wsba.org.