Tuesday was the last day for Gov. Jay Inslee to sign bills into law that passed during the regular legislative session. He started by vetoing House Bill 1652, which would have allowed builders to defer the impact fees they pay to local governments. Inslee said deferring the fees would “delay funding for schools when the state’s paramount duty is to fund education.” He hopes to pass a modified version of the bill during special session that would help small builders who struggle to pay the fees upfront.
Among the bills he signed into law:
Social networking: Senate Bill 5211 bans employers from demanding a worker’s password to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The law makes exceptions for investigations into employee misconduct, such as if a worker is caught sharing financial data. During the bill signing ceremony, Inslee praised bill sponsor Sen. Steve Hobbs for being “way ahead of the curve” on the issue. Washington is the eighth state to pass a social networking privacy law.
Wolf compensation: Ranchers whose livestock are injured or killed by wolves will be eligible to receive compensation for the animals under Senate Bill 5193, which was sponsored by Sen. John Smith. The law increases fees for personalized licenses plates by $10, and the money goes into a newly created compensation account. Inslee said the law will make Washington state a “leader in the nation” in wolf management.
Hospital infection reporting: Hospitals must report more infection rates under a bill signed into law by Inslee, despite a request from the Washington State Hospital Association asking for a partial veto. House Bill 1471 law brings infection reporting requirements into line with federal law. Additionally, it requires hospitals to report infections that come as a result of knee, cardiac or hip surgeries. The hospital association objected to the latter three categories, which are not required under federal law.
Adoption birth certificates: People who were adopted will be allowed to get copies of their original birth certificates under House Bill 1525. Birth parents can fill out a form saying whether or not they want to be contacted. If they chose not to be contacted, they must complete a medical history form.
Confidential drivers’ licenses: Senate Bill 5591 allows the Department of Licensing to issue fake driver’s licenses and ID cards to undercover agents for “law enforcement activities.” It makes official a program that had been operating for years without Legislative oversight until it was brought to light in recent stories by the Kitsap Sun.
You can find a full list of bills signed into law here.