OLYMPIA — The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) kicks off the first week of the Legislature’s 60-day session with six hearings on bills requested by Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Ferguson and his staff will be testifying in favor of these bills throughout the week.
The 2014 AGO legislative agenda focuses on veterans, open government, safer communities and protections for consumers against businesses who do not play by the rules.
The hearings take place at the Capitol campus in Olympia, Wash. Driving directions can be found here and a Capitol campus map can be found here. The House of Representatives hearings occur in the John L. O’Brien building and Senate hearings occur in the John A. Cherberg building. The committee hearings can be watched live online at www.tvw.org.
Objective: Protect the rights of active duty servicemembers and veterans by allowing the state to enforce certain federal laws. Violations of laws protecting servicemembers and veterans are not uncommon, but servicemembers can face significant roadblocks to seeking relief and asserting their protections. (read the full one-pager)
Objective: Require open government training for public officials to improve government transparency and reduce lawsuits.
Open government is vital to a free and informed society, but there is no formal requirement for public officials to receive training in the Public Records Act or the Open Public Meetings Act. (read the full one-pager)
Objective: Close a loophole in the Sexually Violent Predator statute to protect Washington communities.
Lack of participation by civilly committed sexually violent predators in state clinical evaluations reduces the experts’ ability to make an accurate recommendation in petitions for release and increases the risk that a sexually violent predator who has not been rehabilitated will be released. (read the full one-pager)
Objective: Improve consumer protections and protect taxpayers by removing the requirement that the state pay attorneys’ fees in an unsuccessful action brought under the Consumer Protection Act.
Washington is the only state liable for paying opposing attorneys’ fees in an unsuccessful consumer protection action. In 2008, Washington was required to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees in a case in which the state was ultimately successful on the merits. (read the full one-pager)
- 30 -