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Olympia bills offer some hope for positive change

from Trent England
Freedom Foundation

Posted 2/8/213

Olympia, WA – Here are some good ideas that have passed an initial hurdle-making it out of committee-in your state legislature.

Keeping Laws and Legislators Accountable
Sen. Barbara Bailey and the Freedom Foundation have for years called for reining in the abusive use of the “emergency clause,” which prevents citizens from challenging legislation by referendum. Persistence paid off and last week, Sen. Bailey’s bill was finally passed in committee and is headed for the Senate floor.

Helping Young and Unskilled Workers
Washington has the highest minimum wage in the nation, making it harder for teenagers and other low-skilled workers to find jobs. Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry introduced SB 5275 to allow a “training wage” to create new opportunities for those workers. (Watch our Talk Back video about minimum wage.)

Cutting Overly-Expensive Programs
New Sen. John Braun has wasted no time in tackling big problems, including the state’s embarrassing Family & Medical Leave Act. Passed in 2007, the legislature has never let the law take effect because it’s too expensive. With SB 5159, Sen. Braun would take the Act off the books, bringing the letter of the law back in line with reality.

Supporting Action with Science
Rep. Shelly Short thinks state agencies that claim to rely on science should actually cite their sources. HB 1113, which passed in committee, would require “the Department of Ecology to identify the peer-reviewed science, scientific literature, and other sources of information being relied upon before taking significant agency action….”

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