Legislative session concludes

May 8, 2019
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Written by Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs
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Governor has until May 21 to take final action

Now that the 2019 Legislative Session adjourned last weekend, Governor Jay Inslee has until May 21st to take action on bills that made it to his desk.

His action can include signing the bill into law, a partial – section by section – veto, a full veto, or nothing.  If he takes no action the bill automatically becomes law.  Most bills take effect 90 days from the end of the session unless specified in the bill.

Between now and the 21st of May, the Governor will be hosting a variety of bill-signing ceremonies – he usually doesn’t host a ceremony for a bill veto.  For example, this past Monday Inslee hosted a ceremony in Seattle to sign a number of environmental-related measures that he supported.  Most bill signings are held in his office conference room.  These ceremonies are open to the public.  You will get your picture taken and be given a ceremonial Governor’s emblazoned pen.  Often the legislator who sponsored the bill will be present.  The Governor usually gives the sponsor the actual pen used for the signing.

Once signed the bill is given a Chapter Number for Laws of 2019 and filed into the Revised Code of Washington or RCWs.  If you feel strongly in favor or in opposition to a bill, you are welcome to contact the Governor and express your views.  All of the comments are compiled by staff as they make a recommendation to the Governor on what action to take.  He can be reached at 360-902-4111 or his address:  Governor’s Office, Legislative Building, Olympia, WA  98504.

After the bill becomes law, state agencies directed to implement the law will begin writing rules to make a new law work.  These rules are called the Washington Administrative Code or WACs.  These rules go through a stakeholder process where public input is requested and sought.

Washington Retail will be involved in several rule-writing efforts on bills that we supported and opposed.  Rules can be written to twist or modify the actual intent of the law.  It is essential they are carefully monitored and where appropriate, discussed. If you have any questions about the rulemaking process please contact me at 360-943-0667 or mjohnson@washingtonretail.org.