Attorney General-sponsored bills survive the committee process with overwhelming support
OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna expressed his gratitude to state legislators today for allowing several AG-requested bills to be approved by key committees, setting the stage for final legislative approval.
“I’m grateful that in a short session dominated by tough budget issues, committee chairs took time to stand up for vulnerable populations and struggling consumers,” McKenna said. “Despite gridlock in the other Washington, these bills show that bipartisanship is possible in our state.”
McKenna added that each of his bills has a long list of sponsors from both parties, and so far have passed easily, if not unanimously, once they reached the floors of the House and Senate.
Among the AGO bills that will receive up-or-down votes by the Legislature:
- HB 2424, restricting child pornography: Combats the rape and molestation of children by pursuing abusers who video-record their crimes, and the underground market that trades in the resulting images. This bill was unanimously approved by the House and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today.
- HB 2777, enhancing domestic violence sentences: Just as the law gives extra penalties to serial car thieves and drug dealers, McKenna’s proposal clamps down on repeat domestic abusers. HB 2777 includes the sentencing provisions recommended by the AGO’s Domestic Violence Task Force. The AG-authored bill, HB 2427, was passed unanimously by the House on Feb. 12. HB 2777, containing the same language, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 26.
- SB 6202, improving protections for vulnerable adults: provides longer sentences for those who commit crimes against seniors and those with disabilities, and formally authorizes financial institutions to freeze a transaction for up to three business days if financial exploitation is suspected. The bill was unanimously passed by the Senate on Feb. 15. It was passed by the House Public Safety Committee on Feb. 23.
- HB 2428, restricting “found money” schemes: A cap on “found money” fees to protect foreclosed homeowners from scammers who offer to recover remaining sales proceeds for a substantial fee. The bill caps any fee for obtaining money from a tax sale at 5 percent of the amount recovered. The bill unanimously passed in the House on Feb. 10. It was approved by the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions on Feb. 24.
- HB 2429, Lemon Law: A fix to the state’s Lemon Law that extends “lemon” disclosures to used car dealers. The bill passed unanimously in the House on Feb. 10. It was passed by the Senate Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee on Feb. 25.
The attorney general’s bills addressing public records/open meetings and eminent domain did not survive the committee process.
LINKS: AGO 2010 Legislation
Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725