State of Washington
67th Legislature
2022 Regular Session
ByRepresentatives Walsh, Sutherland, Klippert, McCaslin, McEntire, Kraft, Jacobsen, and Young
Prefiled 12/23/21.Read first time 01/10/22.Referred to Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations.
AN ACT Relating to reforming the means by which the legislature establishes operating procedures; adding new sections to chapter 44.04 RCW; and creating a new section.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. The legislature recognizes the timeless truth articulated by James Otis' great American axiom that taxation without representation is tyranny.
The legislature acknowledges that limiting some legislators' access to capitol buildings, facilities, and resources creates a constitutional inequality that impairs representation for millions of Washingtonians. And the people of Washington have expressed frustration with this impairment and, more generally, a lack of transparency surrounding many actions of their state government.
The legislature acknowledges that segregating the people's legislative representatives effectively segregates the people. And such segregation violates the spirit and letter of the United States supreme court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which stated clearly that separate is not equal.
Finally, the legislature acknowledges that all branches of Washington's state government must operate within the guarantee clause of the United States Constitution, Article IV, section 4, which promises all people in the United States a republican form of government and provides protection from, among other dangers, "domestic violence."
Applying these important truths, the legislature therefore recognizes the need to clarify and reform the methods and means by which the legislature establishes the rules by which it operates.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 44.04 RCW to read as follows:
All meetings of the executive rules committee in the house of representatives and the facilities and operations committee in the senate, or their successor committees, must be open to the public.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 44.04 RCW to read as follows:
(1) No operating rule of the house of representatives or senate can segregate, discriminate against, or offer privileged status to legislators on the basis of medical status, including vaccination or antibody status.
(2) While any such segregation, discrimination, or privileged status is in effect, the operations of the legislature shall be suspended and no legislative action may occur except such action as is necessary to resolve the violation of subsection (1) of this section.
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