SB 5205

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Passed Senate, March 5, 2015

Title: An act relating to allowing spouses to combine volunteer hours for purposes of receiving a complimentary discover pass.

Brief Description: Allowing spouses to combine volunteer hours for purposes of receiving a complimentary discover pass.

Sponsors: Senators Becker, Parlette and Warnick.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Natural Resources & Parks: 1/21/15, 1/28/15 [DP].

Passed Senate: 3/05/15, 49-0.


Majority Report: Do pass.

Signed by Senators Pearson, Chair; Dansel, Vice Chair; Hatfield, Ranking Minority Member; Chase, Hewitt, McAuliffe and Warnick.

Staff: Curt Gavigan (786-7437)

Background: Discover Pass Program Generally. During the 2011 regular session, the Legislature passed 2SSB 5622 which generally requires an annual Discover Pass or day-use permit for motor vehicle access to recreation lands managed by the State Parks & Recreation Commission, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Fish & Wildlife (agencies).

Discover Pass Exemptions. A Discover Pass or day-use permit is not required in certain circumstances. Examples include the following:

Complementary Volunteer Discover Pass. A volunteer who performs 24 hours of service on agency-sanctioned volunteer projects in a year is entitled to a complimentary Discover Pass. The agencies provide a volunteer with vouchers identifying the number of volunteer hours. After reaching 24 volunteer hours, the volunteer can redeem the vouchers for a Discover Pass.

Summary of Bill: Married spouses who collectively perform 24 hours of volunteer service on agency-sanctioned projects are entitled to receive a single complimentary Discovery Pass.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: The bill recognizes the many hours and volunteer efforts of family members in maintaining state parks. The fiscal impact is small compared to all of the volunteer investment this bill could support.

OTHER: There is concern about any negative financial impact to state parks.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Larry Walker, WA Road Riders Assn., Grant Nelson, NW Motorcycle Assn., WA Off Highway Vehicle Alliance.

OTHER: Alia Griffing, WA Federation of State Employees.