Washington Legislature wraps session
All it took was one election. After a Democrat won a special election for a Senate seat in King County last year, Olympia returned to one-party rule. Since 2012, a Republican-led coalition ran the Senate, blocking many bills sponsored by Democrats.In the recently concluded 2018 legislative session, Democrats used their new control of the Legislature to pass a sweeping range of bills regarding gun control, voting rights and registration, housing, use of deadly force by police, health care, school breakfasts and equal pay. They also boosted teacher pay to comply with a court order while also providing property tax relief that Republicans said didn’t go far enough.In some ways, Clark County fared well in the 60-day legislative session that ended on Thursday. The county received millions more in funds from the capital and transportation budgets. Members of the county’s delegation were able to pass bills that would have had a tougher time in previous sessions.However, several bills of particular significance for Clark County fell by the wayside as lawmakers moved to swiftly pass bills pent up from the divided Legislature.Bills that movedEarly in the session, the Legislature passed a bill intended to improve access to school breakfast programs. Referred to as “Breakfast after the Bell,” the legislation was sponsored by state Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver, and moved through both chambers after having stalled in previous legislative sessions.