Lawmakers reading bills for guns, helmets, soju

Here is a snapshot of a few bills that have been pre-filed for introduction on opening day of the upcoming legislative session.

Know this motorcycle owners, soju drinkers and gun buyers: There are lawmakers trying to make your life a little easier.

With the 2019 session rapidly approaching, lawmakers are queuing up legislation to change the rules for who has to wear a helmet, where one can buy a bottle of the popular beverage, and what records of handgun sales must be destroyed.

These and other subjects are among the dozens of bills pre-filed for introduction on opening day, Jan. 14.

Here are snapshots of a few.

Freedom to ride: If you are of legal age to drink, the state may let you drive a motorcycle without a helmet. Senate Bill 5007 would allow those 21 years of age and older to go helmet free if they have legally required liability insurance. The bill, drafted by Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, also applies to moped drivers.

Executive protection: One of the Washington State Patrol’s duties is to provide security for Gov. Jay Inslee even when he is on a political junket in another state. Inslee traveled so much this year he busted the patrol’s budget for this chore. Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, wrote House Bill 1021 to solve the problem. It creates an account into which private contributions can be made to offset the extra protection and security costs. If there’s still a shortfall, it would be covered out of the budget of the governor’s office rather than state patrol.

Shredding by the thousands: If you buy a handgun in this state, a record of the transaction is sent to the state Department of Licensing. House Bill 2024 seeks to end that practice and get rid of what is already there. The bill is all of two paragraphs long and concludes, “The department of licensing shall eliminate from any of its databases any copies or records of pistol purchase applications or pistol transfers maintained by the department of licensing.”

Money matter: County leaders are eternally frustrated that state lawmakers pass new mandates but don’t provide enough money to cover the cost of carrying them out. Just how much is unfunded? House Bill 1008 from Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, might get the answer. It seeks to study what counties spend doing state-ordered tasks and what the state provides to do them.

Spreading the cost: A 2017 report identified more than 20,000 parcels of land around the state that are not paying an assessment for fire protection services yet in the event of a blaze will have firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources or a local district trying to save their property. Senate Bill 5010 seeks to make those property owners chip in a little. It sets up a process for a local fire district to annex adjacent parcels after which they could levy a fee.

Enlarging the liquor cabinet: Soju, a distilled alcoholic beverage which originated in Korea, isn’t a product Washington wants sold in eateries whose owners only have a beer and wine license. House Bill 1034 directs the state Liquor and Cannabis Board to make it possible for them to start serving soju by the bottle for consumption on-premises. Rep. Cindy Ryu, D-Shoreline, a Korean native, is the prime sponsor.

The 2019 session is slated to run 105 days and end April 29.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Back to the wild — a whole new outdoor recreation world | Guest editorial

When enjoying the great outdoors, continue to socially distance and be aware of how else COVID-19 has changed our world.

KCLS is stepping up its commitment to patrons

KCLS has expanding its online resources so patrons can continue to learn, build skills, stay entertained and remain mentally and physically active amid the pandemic.

The true meaning of community | Guest editorial

LWTech president Dr. Amy Morrison reflects on how the COVID-19 outbreak has brought the community together.

Deserving respect for being human | Windows and Mirrors

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Asians and Asian Americans have been targeted. Here’s what’s been happening on the Eastside.

Thank you grocery store clerks

Recognizing the sacrifices of our unsung essential workforce.

Now is the time to be kind to each other | Windows and Mirrors

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, it is important for us to be there for others in our communities.

To our elected officials: Be bold, be consistent, be honest, be helpful

By Patrick Grubb, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Governor Jay Inslee has been… Continue reading

Libraries are the place to go according to poll

Library will host short film festival on March 20.

A way to keep us healthy | Letter

A way to keep us healthy A problem has occurred recently that… Continue reading

We need to think before we act | Windows and Mirrors

As coronavirus has led to xenophobia and racism against Asians, we should all stop and think before acting on our biases.

Gov. Inslee is cordially invited to Kirkland, Eastside

We need the governor here to know we’re a priority, not in Olympia or on cable news channels.

The state has too much money and it’s a problem

With revenues rising, budget writers are going to get lots of requests on how to spend it