Washington

Gun bills arrive and hospital staffing debate begins anew

2023 Washington Legislature, Day 8 of 105

Jerry Cornfield, Everett Herald Political Reporter: [email protected] | @dospueblos

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OLYMPIA, 01/16/2023 — Welcome to the second week. It gets a little bit more intense than the last one.

One reason is that guns are on the agenda on Tuesday in both a House of Representatives and a Senate committee.

The majority of Democrats this session are pushing to ban assault weapons, require a person to complete a safety training course and be licensed to purchase a firearm, let cities and counties enact their own gun laws, and create a way to Keep gun manufacturers and sellers liable if one of their products harms someone.

House Democrats shoulder the heavy burden while the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee deals with prohibition, licensing and local control matters. The Senate Legal and Judiciary Committee will consider the liability issue.

The interest is great, especially among the opponents. For example, this morning when I last checked the Assault Weapons Prohibition Act filing form, 21 out of 23 people who wanted to testify opposed it. A further 2,692 people had expressed their opinion, of whom 272 were in favour, two others and 2,418 against.

Both committees will meet on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

4 things to see

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Republican leaders in the House and Senate will hold the first of their weekly chat sessions with reporters. Then, at 1:30 p.m., their Democratic counterparts will hold the first of their weekly meetings.

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the debate on hospital staffing standards begins again with a hearing on Senate Bill 5236 in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee. A bill mandating the care-patient relationship and worker protections sparked a royal legislative battle between hospital managers and nurses in the last session. Ultimately, no new laws emerged.

Mid-rise housing will be in the spotlight with a hearing on House Bill 1110 at 4 p.m. Tuesday. “In order to provide opportunities for Washingtonians, it is necessary to lift bans on the development of modest housing in cities near employment offices, transit and convenience neighborhoods,” the bill’s intent reads. To that end, the bill mandates the construction of “two or more” units on lots earmarked for single-family homes.

Sutherland’s PG-Graded Afterword

One of former Rep. Robert Sutherland’s final legislative acts came on Jan. 4, when he agreed to pay $2,500 to settle an ethics complaint stemming from a March confrontation in which he berated a House security guard and hours later boasted at a political rally on the Capitol campus.

You can read the blow-by-blow in the condition and order. Be warned there are some F-bombs in there.

Sutherland, a Republican from Granite Falls, served two terms before losing re-election to Republican Sam Low of Lake Stevens in November. Although Sutherland didn’t get a single law signed, he garnered a lot of attention in his four years due to his knack for firing conservatives with his defense of gun rights, flouting COVID vaccine mandates and insisting that Joe Biden didn’t win the 2020 presidential election .

Sutherland, who makes no apologies for his audacity, has now eyed a run for Snohomish County’s chartered accountant.

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