Spin Control

WA Lege Day 30: Signature-gathering, death penalty, rape laws

OLYMPIA -- Hearings today run the gamut from rules covering collecting signatures on initiatives to abolishing the death penalty to eliminating the statute of limitations for child sexual assault.

A morning hearing at the State Government Committee generated familiar testimony for and against a plan to requires signature gathering businesses to register with the state, paid signature gatherers to sign the back of their petitions and provide other information. The bill also would raise the filing fee from $5 to $50.

An afternoon hearing in Senate Judiciary would abolish the death penalty in Washington, substituting life in prison without parole for cases that currently carry capital punishment.

Also in the afternoon, the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee has a bill that would allow prosecution for first or second-degree rape of a minor. Rape of an adult could be prosecuted within 10 years if the crime is reported to police within a year of the attack, but would have to be prosecuted within the current three-year limit if the attack is not reported within a year of the attack.

No word yet on when the Legislature will revisit proposals to block tax increases for unemployment insurance or the supplemental budget.

It's Immigrants Day and Employment Day for All at the Capitol.




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