WSBA in Olympia: A Look at the 2020 Washington Legislative Session

Aerial view of Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia

The 2020 legislative session began Jan. 13 and is scheduled to adjourn March 13 to close out the 60-day “short” session,” during which the Legislature will amend the 2019-21 operating, capital, and transportation budgets set during last year’s biennial “long” session.

As with most sessions, WSBA is supporting legislative proposals that originated through WSBA Sections and were later approved by the Board of Governors. For 2020, the WSBA Office of Legislative Affairs will focus its legislative strategy in three areas:

  • SB 6037: A legislative proposal from the Corporate Act Revision Committee within the WSBA Business Law Section to modernize the Business Corporations Act. If passed, this amendment would, among other things, require that the boards of directors of public companies be comprised of at least 25 percent self-identified women.
  • Bar-Mission-Aligned Legislation: Proposals that seek to create and promote access to justice for all Washington residents; enhance statewide civics education; provide funding for the state’s court system; and provide funding for civil legal aid services through general-fund state dollars.
  • Legislation Affecting Legal Professionals: Proposals that would increase existing court user fees; alter court rules and/or the structure of the state’s judiciary branch; and other items of significance to the practice of law and administration of justice.

The bar is also monitoring non-WSBA request bills that are relevant to WSBA Sections, including:

  • SB 6028: Adopting the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and aligning statutory provisions relating to signatures, declarations, and documents;
  • HB 2200: Creating the position of military spouse liaison;
  • SB 6044: Concerning responsibilities of the three branches of government for administrative rules and procedure to “help restore accountability to the policy-making process in Washington.”

Last year’s WSBA request bill, SB 5003, which originated from the Business Law Section’s Corporate Act Revision Committee, unanimously passed in both houses and was signed into law in April 2019. (Learn more about how that bill originated and how WSBA section committees can affect legislation.)

We will provide regular updates throughout the session on NWSidebar and other WSBA communication channels. If you have comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.