Washingtonvotes.org compiles votes by Eastern Washington lawmakers for The Spokesman-Review.
Sunday Liquor Sales: By a vote of 31-17 on Wednesday, the Senate approved House Bill 1379, which directs the state Liquor Control Board to begin selling liquor in select stores on Sundays. Currently, liquor stores are closed on Sundays. The Senate also amended the bill to state that the liquor stores that do operate on Sundays must be open for at least five hours. The House approved the bill by a vote of 62-34 on March 9. The House must now concur on the Senate amendment before the bill can go to the governor for signature or veto.
Yes: Sens. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane; Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville.
No: Sens. Bob McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley; Brad Benson, R-Spokane; Bob Morton, R-Kettle Falls.
Housing for the Homeless: By a vote of 28-18 on Thursday, the Senate approved House Bill 2163, which creates a homeless housing program to develop and coordinate a statewide strategic 10-year plan to end homelessness in Washington. The plan will be funded by adding a $10 surcharge to the fee that county auditors charge for recording documents. The House approved the bill by a vote of 51-45 on March 15. The House must now concur on the Senate amendment before the bill can to go the governor for signature or veto.
No: McCaslin, Benson, Schoesler.
Prescription Drug Importation: By a vote of 76-19 on Wednesday, the House approved Senate Bill 5470, which directs that by Sept. 1, 2005, the state will submit a waiver request to the federal Food and Drug Administration that will authorize the state of Washington to license Canadian prescription drug wholesalers, thereby providing retail pharmacies licensed in Washington state the opportunity to purchase prescription drugs from approved Canadian wholesalers. The bill passed the Senate 40 to 6 on March 9. The Senate must now concur on the House amendments before the bill can go to the governor for signature or veto.
Yes: Reps. Alex Wood, D-Spokane; Timm Ormsby, D-Spokane; Larry Crouse, R-Spokane Valley; Lynn Schindler, R-Spokane Valley; Don Cox, R-Colfax; David Buri, R-Colfax.
No: Reps. John Serben, R-Spokane; John Ahern, R-Spokane; Bob Sump, R-Republic; Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda.
Health Care Liability: By a vote of 54-42 on Friday, the House approved House Bill 2292. The bill proposes an alternative to Initiatives 330 and 336, both of which address the issue of health care liability reform and will appear on the general ballot in November. HB 2292 does many things, including establishing a voluntary arbitration system for disputes involving alleged professional negligence in the providing of health care, requiring prior approval of medical malpractice insurance rates by the state Insurance Commissioner, and establishing criteria for “expert witnesses” in disputes. The bill is now under consideration in the Senate.
Yes: Wood, Ormsby.
No: Crouse, Schindler, Serben, Ahern, Sump, Kretz, Cox, Buri.