Clark County’s legislators move bills through the opposite chamber

By Lucas Wiseman
The Columbian/Murrow News Service

Now that the 2013 legislative session is more than halfway over, state lawmakers from Clark County are working their bills through the opposite chamber in the Legislature. Here is the status of some of their bills that received hearings this week:

Senate Bill 5263: Motorcyclists may be happy with Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, thanks to his bill allowing motorcyclists to pass pedestrians and bicyclists in the same lane, as long as they do so safely on the left.

Benton’s bill passed in the Senate 48 in favor, with one absent. It received a public hearing in the House Committee on Transportation on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 5099: Aimed at helping small towns and cities, Sen. Ann Rivers’ Senate Bill 5099 would remove the requirement that all publicly owned emergency vehicles convert to biofuel or electricity by 2015.

The La Center Republican said she is not opposed to the switch to more environmentally friendly propulsion methods, but the technology does not currently exist to allow a mass overhaul of the state’s vehicles.

Rivers’ bill passed the Senate 46-2, with one member absent, and received a hearing in the House Environment Committee on Wednesday.

House Bill 1182: Concerned with a technical change to the Legend Drug Act, House Bill 1182 would allow pharmacists to prescribe drugs if they are working in conjunction with other licensed medical practitioners.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, described it as “ technical change” to current law. It previously passed in the House 97 in favor with 1 absent, and was heard in the Senate Healthcare Committee Tuesday morning, and passed out of the committee on Thursday.

Harris said he submitted the same bill last year, but it was killed by the very same committee.

Senate Bill 5524: Another health care related bill, Senate Bill 5524 would allow prescriptions filed by physician’s assistants in another state to be filled in Washington. The bill is aimed at the “border communities that face unique challenges,” said the bill’s prime sponsor, Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate.

Cleveland told the House Health and Wellness Committee that the bill simply adds physician assistants to the list of medical professionals who are already able to have prescriptions filled in Washington. The bill is scheduled for executive session later this week.

House Bill 1252: This proposal would create an online website for teachers to use to gain more training, especially in light of recent education reforms.

Proposed by Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver, the bill passed in the House 92-5.

On Monday, Stonier’s bill received a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Early Learning and K-12 Education. Given the support the bill received in the House from both parties, Stonier said she does not expect heavy resistance in the Senate. The bill is scheduled for a committee vote later this week.

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