By Ralph Schwartz
I was on the phone with Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, talking to him about Occupy Bellingham, when he told me that the Senate passed SB 5052, which would create a fourth Superior Court judge position in Whatcom County.
Ericksen said last week in an article I wrote about the bill that it wasn’t a done deal, but it passed the Senate easily, by a 48-1 vote. (Those of you keenly interested in seeing the county get a fourth Superior Court judge can ask Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, why he saw fit to vote “no.”)
Companion House Bill 1159 had its public hearing yesterday (Tuesday, Jan. 29). I have a call out to the bill’s prime sponsor, Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, to get an update.
The Associated Press has moved the story about the judge bill and other Senate bills that were among the very first to pass that house, just today:
^Senate delays vote on workers’ compensation bills
^Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated.
^By JONATHAN KAMINSKY
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state Senate has passed its first bills of the 2013 legislative session, but has put off a vote on a set of controversial measures intended to save businesses money by changing workers’ compensation rules.
Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler said the five bills dealing with workers’ compensation, which passed out of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee Monday, will likely come to the floor soon.
Among the five bills passed Wednesday with broad support were Senate Bill 5052, which would allocate an additional superior court judge to Whatcom County and Senate Bill 5021, which would change the name of the crime of rioting to that of criminal mischief.
Those bills will now be transferred to the House.