SB 5247

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 Senate Committee On:

State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections, February 6, 2019

Title: An act relating to addressing catastrophic incidents that are natural or human-caused emergencies by providing guidance that may be used by state public schools to plan for seismic catastrophic incidents.

Brief Description: Addressing catastrophic incidents that are natural or human-caused emergencies by providing guidance that may be used by state public schools to plan for seismic catastrophic incidents.

Sponsors: Senators Frockt, Zeiger, Hobbs, Bailey, Rolfes, Hunt, Conway, Das, Honeyford, Keiser and Mullet; by request of Military Department.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections: 2/01/19, 2/06/19 [DP-WM, w/oRec].

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Adds a catastrophic incident emergency response plan to the required plans the adjutant general will develop for the state.

  • Requires the adjutant general develop guidance that may be used by local school districts in developing, maintaining, training and exercising catastrophic incident plans.


Majority Report: Do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.

Signed by Senators Hunt, Chair; Kuderer, Vice Chair; Zeiger, Ranking Member; Bailey, Hawkins and Takko.

Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.

Signed by Senator Hasegawa.

Staff: Melissa Van Gorkom (786-7491)

Background: The Washington Military Department, under the direction of the adjutant general, administers the state's comprehensive program of emergency management. The Adjutant General is responsible for developing a comprehensive, all-hazard emergency plan for the state, known as the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, that includes an analysis of natural, technological, or human-caused hazards and procedures to coordinate state and local resources in responding to such hazards.

Summary of Bill: The adjutant general must develop:

"Catastrophic incident" is defined as any natural or human-caused emergency or disaster event, including terrorism and enemy attack, that is expected to result in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

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

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This bill gives our Military Department additional authority to develop emergency catastrophic response plans. Washington is one of the most hazard prone areas of the county, ranking fourth in the nation. One of the key priorities is to increase safety of our school children. Schools are required to have plans in place under federal law which take under considerations normal hazards schools may encounter and so the intent is to work with the school districts as they review these plans each year to ensure that they also address planning for catastrophic incidents in the state as well.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator David Frockt, Prime Sponsor; Robert Ezelle, Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.