HB 1363

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 Reported by House Committee On:

State Government & Tribal Relations

Title: An act relating to state agency employee access to peer-reviewed journals.

Brief Description: Concerning state agency employee access to peer-reviewed journals.

Sponsors: Representatives Blake, MacEwen, Dolan, Orcutt, Doglio, Dent, Shewmake, Springer, Bergquist, Chandler, Fitzgibbon, Appleton, Stanford, Steele and Pettigrew.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

State Government & Tribal Relations: 2/12/19, 2/22/19 [DP].

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Commissions a study by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to determine the feasibility of providing relevant state employees with comprehensive electronic access to peer-reviewed journals.


Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 9 members: Representatives Gregerson, Chair; Pellicciotti, Vice Chair; Walsh, Ranking Minority Member; Goehner, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Appleton, Dolan, Hudgins, Mosbrucker and Smith.

Staff: Jason Zolle (786-7124).


In a number of scientific fields, academics and professionals rely on articles published in peer-reviewed journals for their research. Before publication in a peer-reviewed journal, articles must be reviewed by experts in the field. Reviewers may suggest revisions to an article before it is published, and an article will be rejected from publication if it is lacking in scholarly validity and rigor.

Access to peer-reviewed journals often requires purchasing a subscription or paying an access fee, although specific articles may sometimes be purchased individually. College and university libraries generally subscribe to relevant journals for their students or others with library accounts. Several other states provide access to online journals for state agency employees or, through state or public libraries, all state residents.

The Legislature created the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) in 1983 to conduct nonpartisan research at the direction of the Legislature or its Board of Directors (Board). The Board is comprised of 16 members that represent the Legislature, the Executive Branch, and the academic community. The Board reviews and provides oversight for the WSIPP's projects. The WSIPP is housed in Olympia and receives fiscal and administrative services from The Evergreen State College.


Summary of Bill:

The WSIPP is directed to study the feasibility of providing relevant state employees with comprehensive electronic access to peer-reviewed journals. The study must also consider potential funding sources. The sum of $200,000 is appropriated from the General Fund to the WSIPP for the study.


Appropriation: The sum of $200,000.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) More access to peer-reviewed journals is good for public policy and evidence-based decision making. Rulemaking requires access to the best science to make good policy. There needs to be a study on how to do this because there is a complicated process for purchasing subscriptions, and there are complex negotiations involved. This is a critical first step. Texas, Montana, and other states have found a way to consolidate access. People want greater access to these journals, and access should even be extended to every citizen of the state. There is certainly a cost, but good science must be available to communities and government.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: Representative Blake, prime sponsor; Andrea Cobb, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; Jay Jennings, Office of the Secretary of State; Gareth Waugh, Port Blakely; Christy Hoff, Washington State Board of Health; and Jason Callahan, Washington Forest Protection Association.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.