|Photo by Han van Hoof @photopedia|
Multiple bills were able to make the cutoff and continue on with the migration that is the legislative process. Please note that many of the Discover Pass and State Parks funding bills will likely be put on hold until the larger operating budget proposals begin moving through the legislature. Some of the bills that did not pass out of committees contain elements that are considered necessary to implement the budget (i.e. bills related to the Discover Pass) may still resurrect themselves. Following are the bills that appear to be heading for survival thus far:
SSB 5054 Requires increased legislative oversight of recreation and habitat lands acquired by state agencies. After being passed out of its second committee it goes to the Rules Committee to be considered for the floor of the Senate.
SSB 5057 Prohibits certain private, not-for-profit organizations acquiring real property through state funds (including grants and transfers) from prohibiting or restricting public access for hunting, fishing, trapping, or other outdoor recreation on that property. This bill was amended to allow for limiting public access where it is necessary to protect natural resources and/or cultural resources. After being passed out of its committee it goes to the Rules Committee to be considered for the floor of the Senate.
SB 5097 Allows a married couple to pool their volunteer hours (24 hours are required) to obtain a complimentary Discover Pass. The bill was passed out of the Senate and is currently in the House Committee on Community Development and Housing & Tribal Affairs with a hearing scheduled for March 6th.
SSB 5289 Allows a Discover Pass holder to display their pass in any prominent location on the vehicle, instead of just their windshield. Exempts those driving on non-gated forest roads managed by the state from needing a Discover Pass. Allows DFW vehicle pass holders to purchase a Discover Pass for $5. After being passed out of committee it goes to the Rules Committee to be considered for the floor of the Senate.
SHB 1632 Creates a new vehicle tag for wheeled all terrain vehicles (certain types of 4x4s). Funds from the new tags goes into account to pay for ORV education and enforcement programs. . ORVs are allowed to operate on rural roads so long as the vehicle meets a number of safety requirements and drive no faster than 35 mph. The bill was amended to a require that ORV riders under the age 16 years must be supervised by an adult who is within a reasonable distance at all times. After being passed out of its committee it goes to the Rules Committee to be considered for the floor of the House.
HB 1704 Requires notices to local jurisdiction when State Parks takes
action to acquire, develop or close a park. After being passed out of its second committee it goes to the Rules Committee to be considered for the floor of the House.
To track these bills, I recommend using the Washington State Legislature bill tracking tool.