By Taylor McAvoy

By Taylor McAvoy

As the legislative session ends, a look forward to November

What did they do, and what matters to you?

Voters will get a chance to really shake up membership in the state Legislature this fall, if they are so inclined.

Possibilities for change abound with all 98 seats in the House and 25 seats in the Senate up for election.

Soon, we in the class of pundits will prognosticate on forces and factors that may influence the electorate and determine the outcome of contests.

One will be lawmakers’ decision to remove themselves from the duties of the state Public Records Act in favor of a separate and less rigorous disclosure protocol of their own design. Already, editorial board of the Everett Herald has said that if the governor vetoes the bill, any lawmaker voting to override it will be disqualified from getting the paper’s endorsement.

This isn’t the only issue consuming the attention of lawmakers and the public, and won’t be the only one on voters’ minds.

Below are a few other things lawmakers have done or may do before the session ends March 8. I could use some help figuring out if any of these could be a deal-breaker for a voter.

Tell me, would any of these matters incite you to vote incumbents out of office or to keep them in?

Bump stock ban: It will soon be illegal to make, sell, own or possess a bump-fire stock, a plastic attachment that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire like fully automatic models. Under a bill sent to Gov. Jay Inslee, the manufacture and sale of the devices is prohibited starting July 1. A year later, bump stocks will be considered contraband and in most instances subject to seizure by authorities.

Abortion mandate: This legislation would require health plans that cover maternity care or services to also cover the voluntary termination of pregnancy. And those plans must cover contraceptives. It’s been atop the agenda of the governor and Democrats in both chambers and is awaiting a vote in the House.

Same-day registration: You will soon be able to walk into a county auditor’s office on the day of an election, register as a voter then cast a ballot. This change will start with the November 2019 election under a bill heading to the governor’s desk.

Car tab relief: Lawmakers promised to ease the pain of soaring costs of car tabs in the Sound Transit taxing district. It hasn’t happened yet. The House and Senate each have an approach and are working to bridge the gap and keep their promise.

Eliminate the death penalty: This is close to happening but hasn’t yet. A bill to get rid of capital punishment passed the Senate. It is now in the House where its fate is unclear, as there are members who think voters should be given a chance to weigh in.

Buying military-style rifles: This is a work in progress. There is a new bill to require a person be at least 21 to buy a semiautomatic rifle and that a full state background check be done on those seeking to buy one of those rifles. Many Democrats would like to use their majorities in each chamber to get this through before time runs out.

Property taxes: In 2017, lawmakers increased the statewide property tax rate. In February, property owners got their bills and were shocked to see how much they owed. Members of both parties are devising a way to provide temporary relief this year or next. Meanwhile, this fall will be the first time lawmakers will be on the ballot since the increase took effect.

This is a short list. If your vote is going to be tied to something different, let me know.

It’ll help in developing accurate forecasts for the coming electoral season.

This column first appeared in the Everett Herald. Jerry Cornfield can be reached at 360-352-8623 or jcornfield@heraldnet.com. His Twitter handle is @dospueblos.

More in Northwest

Photo courtesy of Neelam Chahlia 
                                Redmond’s Neelam Chahlia crowned as Mrs. Washington America and competing for the national Mrs. America title on Aug. 26.
Redmond’s Chahlia to compete for Mrs. America 2020 title

Mrs. Washington America winner says her journey embodies the ‘American Dream.’

Spring Chinook salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish and Wildlife Service
State awards millions for salmon recovery

Puget Sound counties received more than $45 million.

King County Correctional Facility is located at 500 5th Ave., Seattle. File photo
King County jail’s leaky pipes have national implications

Lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court alleges Aquatherm has been selling faulty pipes.

VoteWA is a $9.5 million program that came online last May and is meant to unify all 39 county voting systems in the state into a single entity. Courtesy image
WA’s new voting system concerns county elections officials

VoteWA has run into some problems in recent months as the Aug. 6 primary election draws closer.

‘Feedback loops’ of methane, CO2 echo environmental problem beyond Washington

University of Washington among researchers of climate change’s effects in global temperatures.

PSE’s battery storage project could help the clean energy roll-out

The tiny pilot project in Glacier could eventually be expanded.

Courtesy photo
King County Sheriff’s Office has been giving ICE unredacted information

Both the office and jail have supplied the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Mukilteo schools may soon have state’s highest paid teachers

Teachers ratified a new contract Monday and the Board of Education will consider it next month.

Among 9 other candidates, Inslee gets his 6 minutes of fame

Here’s what the governor, a longshot presidential candidate, said in Miami Wednesday night.

What’s next for Washington’s 2045 green energy goal?

The Legislature set the goal, but how does the state actually get there?

Tasting room proposal could redefine alcohol production in King County

Pilot program would benefit wineries, breweries and distilleries. Several farmers are concerned.

Climbers rescued after days on Rainier

Several rescue attempts went awry, thanks to bad weather and flying conditions.