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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

January 18, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Flurry of bills to start the legislative session

State legislators have no shortage of things to do this session. One week into the session,more than 350 bills have been filed. While some of these bills will never see the light of day, there are a few stand-outs:

Legislators from both the House and Senate filed bills regarding “voluntary termination of a pregnancy,” otherwise known as abortion. HB 1044 filed by Rep. Eileen Cody, D-West Seattle, and SB 5009 filed by Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens,  and Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island, would require that certain healthcare plans providing coverage for maternity care provide coverage of abortion.

Numerous bills regarding sex offenders have been introduced to the House and Senate this session, including SB 5094, sponsored by Sen. Kirk Pearson, D-Monroe. This bill calls for school districts to notify parents, legal guardians, students over the age of 18 and school personnel if a level II or III sex offender is enrolled at any school, college or university. Necessary personnel determined by the school district or Department of Public Safety, would be notified if a level I sex offender is in attendance.

In an attempt to reform social services provided by the state, Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, introduced HB 1190. The bill would require that certain recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, a Department of Social and Health Services program providing families in need with temporary cash and medical assistance, be subjected to drug tests. Current state law only requires that recipients deemed drug or alcohol dependent participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program.

Republicans in both the House and Senate filed bills regarding identification cards for undocumented immigrants. Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, filed HB 1041, which would require driver’s license and identification card applicants to provide evidence of a valid Washington residential address. The Department of Licensing would then mail the newly-issued card to that address. Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, filed SB 5012 which would require people obtaining or renewing state driver’s licenses to show proof of U.S. citizenship, residency or a valid visa.

Comments | More in homepage, Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: abortion, healthcare, maternity care

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