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House Chamber, Olympia, Tuesday, January 16, 2001


The House was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Speaker Ballard.


Reading of the Journal of the previous day was dispensed with and it was ordered to stand approved.



January 15, 2001

Mr. Speakers:


The President has signed:


and the same is herewith transmitted.

Tony M. Cook, Secretary




The Speakers signed:





HB 1078by Representatives Romero, Alexander, O'Brien, DeBolt, Hunt, Pearson, Dunshee, Keiser, Edwards and Benson


 AN ACT Relating to locating facilities to house and/or provide inpatient treatment for sexually violent predators who have been determined to be eligible for release to a less restrictive alternative than being confined in a secure facility; adding a new section to chapter 71.09 RCW; and adding a new section to chapter 43.63A RCW.


Referred to Committee on Criminal Justice & Corrections.


HB 1079by Representatives Romero, Hankins, Haigh, Miloscia, Dickerson, McDermott, Kenney and Edwards


 AN ACT Relating to naming state buildings; and adding a new section to chapter 43.34 RCW.


Referred to Committee on State Government.


HB 1080by Representatives Ruderman, Campbell, Linville, Ericksen, Cody, Ballasiotes, Darneille, Schmidt, Haigh, Miloscia, Rockefeller, Edmonds, Wood, Barlean, Schual-Berke, Mitchell, Kagi, Quall, Dickerson, Romero, Kenney, Hunt, Ogden, Hurst, Murray, Conway, McIntire, Lantz, Keiser, Jackley, O'Brien, Lovick, McDermott, Tokuda, Simpson, Cooper, Dunshee, Hatfield, Edwards, Bush, Santos and Skinner


 AN ACT Relating to policies of the parks and recreation commission; and creating a new section.


Referred to Committee on Health Care.


HB 1081by Representatives Carrell and Lantz


 AN ACT Relating to jury service; and amending RCW 2.36.010.


Referred to Committee on Judiciary.


HB 1082by Representatives Delvin, Conway, Cooper, Ogden, Hurst, McIntire, Kenney and Haigh


 AN ACT Relating to making an irrevocable choice to become a member of the Washington school employees' retirement system plan 2 or plan 3; amending RCW 41.35.610 and 41.35.010; and providing an effective date.


Referred to Committee on Appropriations.


HB 1083by Representatives Cody, Campbell, Quall, Ruderman, Schual-Berke, Edmonds, Conway, Skinner, Kenney, Tokuda, Simpson, Linville, Keiser, Edwards and Haigh


 AN ACT Relating to health; requiring registration of a school health aide; and adding a new chapter to Title 18 RCW.


Referred to Committee on Health Care.


HB 1084by Representatives Ogden, Dunn, Boldt and Fromhold


 AN ACT Relating to independent commissions to set salaries for city and town elected officials, and county commissioners and councilmembers; amending RCW 35.22.200 and 36.17.020; adding a new section to chapter 35.21 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 36.17 RCW; and creating a new section.


Referred to Committee on Local Government & Housing.


HB 1085by Representative Dunshee


 AN ACT Relating to impact fees for state-owned or operated transportation facilities; and amending RCW 36.70A.070, 36.70A.280, 82.02.050, 82.02.060, 82.02.070, and 82.02.090.


Referred to Committee on Local Government & Housing.


HB 1086by Representative Mulliken


 AN ACT Relating to the consideration of prior felony convictions in employment and occupational licensing; and amending RCW 9.96A.020.


Referred to Committee on Children & Family Services.


HB 1087by Representatives Dunshee and Edwards


 AN ACT Relating to the authority to issue civil penalties by health districts; adding a new section to chapter 70.46 RCW; and prescribing penalties.


Referred to Committee on Local Government & Housing.


HB 1088by Representatives Dunshee and Edwards


 AN ACT Relating to allowing a second open record hearing and closed record appeal in certain instances; and amending RCW 36.70B.060.


Referred to Committee on Local Government & Housing.


HB 1089by Representatives Dunshee and Simpson


 AN ACT Relating to impact fees; and amending RCW 82.02.060.


Referred to Committee on Local Government & Housing.


HB 1090by Representatives Dunshee, Bush, DeBolt and Mielke


 AN ACT Relating to the use of body-gripping traps as they apply to moles, gophers, and mountain beavers; and amending RCW 77.15.192 and 77.15.194.


Referred to Committee on Natural Resources.


HB 1091by Representatives Lambert, Sommers, Miloscia, Cairnes, Schindler, Talcott and Mielke


 AN ACT Relating to sexual misconduct with a minor; amending RCW 9A.44.093 and 9A.44.096; and prescribing penalties.


Referred to Committee on Criminal Justice & Corrections.


HB 1092by Representatives Lambert, Miloscia, Talcott, Pearson, Cairnes, Boldt, Anderson, Schmidt, Simpson, Bush and Mielke


 AN ACT Relating to tax exemptions for church and church camp property; amending RCW 84.36.020 and 84.36.030; and creating a new section.


Referred to Committee on Finance.


HB 1093by Representatives Schual-Berke, Ballasiotes, Cody, Campbell, Ruderman, Skinner, Conway, Edmonds, Kenney and Kagi


 AN ACT Relating to increasing the license surcharge for the impaired physician program; and amending RCW 18.71.310, 18.71A.020, and 18.57A.020.


Referred to Committee on Health Care.


HB 1094by Representatives Skinner, Schual-Berke, Cody, Campbell, Conway, Ruderman, Dunshee, Alexander, Edmonds, Kenney, Edwards and Kagi


 AN ACT Relating to the surrender of a health care professional's license; and amending RCW 18.130.160.


Referred to Committee on Health Care.


HB 1095by Representatives Mitchell, Fisher and Hankins (Requested by Department of Transportation)


 AN ACT Relating to the authority to issue special permits for oversize or overweight movements; amending RCW 46.44.090; and repealing RCW 46.44.038.


Referred to Committee on Transportation.


HB 1096by Representatives Mitchell, Fisher, Hankins, Jarrett, Tokuda and Dickerson (Requested by Department of Transportation)


 AN ACT Relating to intercity passenger rail service; adding new sections to chapter 47.79 RCW; and declaring an emergency.


Referred to Committee on Transportation.


HB 1097by Representatives Fisher, Mitchell, Hankins and Haigh (Requested by Department of Transportation)


 AN ACT Relating to transportation safety and planning; and amending RCW 81.104.115.


Referred to Committee on Transportation.


SCR 8401by Representatives Snyder, West, Spanel, Hale and B. Sheldon


 Adopting joint rules.


Held on First Reading.


There being no objection, the bills and resolutions listed on the day's introduction sheet under the fourth order of business were referred to the committees so designated.




Representative DeBolt explained the golfs balls on the members' desks as an invitation to the "miniature" golf tournament happening in the Rotunda. All were invited to participate.


The Sergeant at Arms announced the Senate had arrived. Speaker Ballard instructed the Sergeant at Arms of the House and the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate to escort President of the Senate Brad Owen, President Pro Tempore Rosa Franklin, Majority Leader Sid Snyder and Minority Leader Jim West to seats on the Rostrum. The Senators were invited to seats on the Floor.




Speaker Ballard called the Joint Session to order. The Clerk called the roll of the members of the House and a quorum was present. The Clerk called the roll of the Senate and a quorum was present.


Speaker Ballard called upon President of the Senate Owen to preside.


The flags were escorted to the Rostrum by the Sergeant at Arms Color Guard Jennifer Zilar and Brian Schlect. The prayer was offered by Pastor Terry Kaiser, Faith Assembly of Lacey.


The President appointed a special committee to escort the Supreme Court Justices from the State Reception Room to the House Chamber: Representatives Glenn Anderson, Sarah Casada, Bill Fromhold and Sharon Tomiko Santos and Senators Dow Constantine, Steve Johnson, Adam Kline and Larry Sheahan.


The President appointed a special committee to escort the State Elected Officials from the State Reception Room to the House Chamber: Representatives Jim Dunn, Brock Jackley, Fred Jarrett and Steve Kirby and Senators Jim Kastama, Jeanine Long, Bob Morton and Debbie Regala.


The President appointed a special committee to escort Chief Justice Gerry Alexander to the Rostrum: Representatives Shirley Hankins and Joe McDermott and Senators Lisa Brown and Jim Horn.


The Supreme Court Justices arrived, were escorted to the front of the Chamber and were introduced: Associate Chief Justice Charles Z. Smith, Justices Charles W. Johnson, Barbara A. Madsen, Richard B. Sanders, Faith Ireland, Bobbe J. Bridge, Tom Chambers and Susan J. Owens.


The State Elected Officials arrived, were escorted to the front of the Chamber and were introduced: Mike Murphy, State Treasurer, Brian Sonntag, State Auditor and Christine Gregoire, State Attorney General.


Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerry Alexander arrived, was escorted to the Rostrum and was introduced.




Chief Justice Gerry Alexander: "Governor Locke, Lieutenant Governor Owen, Speakers Chopp and Ballard, state elected officials, members of the House and Senate, fellow justices and judges, ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning. Let me first thank all of you for the warm welcome that you have accorded me and my fellow justices on this and other occasions. As you have undoubtedly observed we have been frequent guests in this building of late, what with various oath taking sessions, a ceremony for departing statewide elected officials, a State of the State message, and the inaugural ball. The truth is that we really enjoy being a part of those occasions, but we promise you now that the traditional opening rituals of this session of the Legislature are behind us, we will recede into the Temple of Justice across the way and be far less ubiquitous.

That, I suppose, is as it should be under our doctrine of separation of powers, one of the crown jewels of our form of government. I would venture the opinion, though, that it is a good thing for the branches of government to have contact such as we have had this past week or so, because our government functions better, it seems to me, if the elected members of the three branches know each other and gain a better appreciation of the other's role.

Let me also thank the members of the Legislature for inviting me to deliver this message on behalf of the judiciary. We know that time is precious to all of you during a legislative session. We know also that you need not accord me this privilege. The state constitution, as you know, does require the governor to deliver a message to you at every session. That same constitution requires the judges of the Supreme Court to report to the governor in writing in January of each year on defects and omissions in the law. It does not, however, require the courts to report to the Legislature nor does it require you to provide us that opportunity. But by a custom that has developed over the last decade the chief justice has been invited to speak to the Legislature every other year, on the state of our justice system, and we are most grateful for that opportunity.

Relevant to that subject I would like to say a brief word about the court on which I sit-the State Supreme Court. I am here to tell you that we have a fine court. I am proud of my colleagues and I am very honored that they have elected me to serve as chief justice for a four-year term. As some of you know, I was raised in Olympia. My father was a state employee during much of my childhood and I went to high school just across Capitol Way at the old Olympia High School. It was common for students then, particularly during legislative sessions, to roam the halls of this building and soak up the atmosphere. Consequently, I have a special place in my heart for this building, our state government, and the work that you do as citizen legislators. So I am deeply honored to be able to address you.

As I indicated, we have a fine court. I can tell you that we are absolutely unified in our desire to work with our judicial colleagues at all levels of court to deliver on the promise of equal and quality justice for all. The current Supreme Court is very experienced. All of us practiced law in this state early in our careers and collectively we have 124 years of judicial service, including our tenure at the Supreme Court. At the same time we are all free thinking individuals. We come from different places and backgrounds, reflecting to some extent the diversity of our state's population.

I think that most of you are familiar somewhat with the returning members of the court. But let me, if I may, briefly say a word about our two newest members, Justices Chambers and Owens. Tom Chambers was raised in the Yakima Valley, at Wapato, but he chose to practice law in the big city-Seattle-where he had a remarkable career. Notably, he is a past president of the Washington Trial Lawyers Association and the Washington State Bar Association. Interestingly, he is the first former State Bar president to serve on the Supreme Court since Thomas Grady of Yakima served on the court in the 1940s and '50s.

Susan Owens is a North Carolinian who chose Forks, Washington, out on our coast as her home. She never regretted that decision even though Forks is said to be the city with the greatest annual rainfall in the lower 48 states. In Forks she has served as a Clallam County District Court judge and as a judge of the Quileute and Lower Elwha Tribal Courts. She is the first person from Clallam County to ever serve on our court in our 111 years as a state and the first to ever have prior service as a tribal court judge. I am proud to say that upon her inauguration the Washington Supreme Court now has more women among its members than any Supreme Court in the union, including the United States Supreme Court.

Before I move to my main topic, let me say a word about a recently retired member of the Washington Supreme Court. Our court and the entire judiciary of our state is more unified than I have ever seen it during my almost 28 years as a judge. That is so for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the leadership and personality of my predecessor as chief justice, Richard Guy. Justice Guy is present here today and I would like to ask him to stand and be recognized for his many and significant contributions to the administration of justice in the state of Washington.

Let me now, in my capacity as the state's 52nd chief justice, speak to you about the state of Washington's justice system. I can tell you that it is in good shape despite the many demands that have been placed upon it. I know that there are reputable persons who would suggest otherwise, claiming that our justice system is in crisis. I disagree with that and so do the many judges I have talked to in recent months. The system's 215 full- and part-time judges of our municipal and district courts efficiently manage caseloads made heavy with annual filings of over two million matters. Our 174 superior court judges do the same with the over a quarter of a million cases being filed each year in those courts that are located in every county of our state. Collectively these trial courts entertain one case filing for every 2 ½ citizens every year-cases that run the gamut from parking citations to aggravated first degree murder, and from small claims to cases that involve millions, and in some cases, billions, of dollars.

I wish that I had the time to tell you about all of the innovative things our judges are doing, often on a shoestring, to make the system more efficient and more responsive to the public while still maintaining the goal of fundamental fairness. A few examples: Pend Oreille District Court Judge Phillip J. Van de Veer offers citizens that enter the courthouse in Newport an information map that tells them, most of whom are not represented by counsel, how to navigate the court. Similarly, Chelan County District Court Judge Thomas Warren has reached out to the Hispanic community in his area by creating brochures in Spanish, as well as English, that describe how one uses the court system. King County Superior Court Judge Patricia Clark, working with our state's Gender and Justice and Minority and Justice Commissions, is dedicated to erasing the bias that is sometimes felt by women of color in our courts-with a program entitled "When Bias Compounds."

Many of our judges are doing pioneer work in the relatively new concept of restorative justice. Spokane County District Court Judge Vance Peterson has a program that is designed to let people reinstate their suspended driver's license by making monthly payments on outstanding court-ordered financial obligations. In Mason County District Court, Judge Victoria Meadows utilizes the services of a restorative justice panel, composed of citizen volunteers, who recommend to her alternatives to jail for nonviolent offenders.

The problem of domestic violence has, of course, captured the attention of the judiciary-just as it has captured the attention of the legislative and executive branches. In 1995, Governor Lowry, the Supreme Court, and Attorney General Gregoire co-sponsored the first ever statewide Domestic Violence Summit. It was an important step to bring leaders of each branch of government together with professionals in the field to discuss this cycle of violence, which affects many families directly and all of us indirectly. Since that first summit we have made much progress. Under the leadership of my colleague Justice Barbara Madsen, local domestic violence summits are held each year in many counties to bring people together to discuss better coordination and delivery of services to victims of domestic violence.

The Clark County Superior and District Court benches have been innovative in this field, consolidating their domestic violence calendars under one judge. Judge Robert Harris, the presiding judge of that superior court is present here today. Last year also saw the debut of King County's specialized Domestic Violence Court. At three locations in that county dedicated judges of the district court, prosecutors, and defense counsel work solely on these cases each day to provide more effective and consistent justice.

Kitsap County District Court Judge James Riehl, a national leader in this field, is training Washington judges on the means by which domestic violence orders of courts of other states and of tribal courts can be enforced in our courts. Judge Riehl is also here.

In several of our counties, Unified Family Courts have been established to better serve families and children who find themselves in the system. These have been established under the theory that the 'one-judge/one family' approach improves court proceedings for families by allowing one judge to fully deal with the legal problems that members of a family may face.

You may be aware through press reports of some of the innovative work that our courts are doing in dealing with drug offenders. Currently 12 superior courts in this state have a drug court and this past year, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Joe Thibodeau designed a drug court specifically for juveniles. Island County Superior Court judges Vickie Churchill and Alan Hancock have started a similar program in that county. Participants in these programs commit to a stringent drug-treatment regimen and have weekly meetings to make sure they keep on track with their recovery.

Despite the many innovative programs that have been launched in recent years, I am not telling you that our justice system is perfect and cannot be improved. There is no institution that has been created by humans that cannot be improved. The judiciary and our many fine employees know that and we are dedicated to making the justice system better.

In accomplishing that goal we will benefit from one of the many legacies left by former Chief Justice Guy. This vision was that the judiciary would be united in seeking improvements and would speak to the executive and legislative branches in one voice. That vision led to a reorganization and revitalization of our state's Board for Judicial Administration (the BJA). Its membership has been broadened to provide for increased representation of all levels of court, as well as the non-voting bar members. In addition a new position of "member-chair" was added. That person co-chairs the Board along with the chief justice. Spokane County Superior Court Judge James M. Murphy, who is here, has shown tremendous leadership as the first member-chair, in addition to his duties as president of the Superior Court Judges' Association. The BJA is meeting in Olympia today. In fact, we started at 8:00 a.m. and adjourned for this session.

These changes have been significant. Within the past two years, the BJA formed two committees to explore major issues of concern to the courts. Out of those committees came various proposals to the BJA. The BJA, in turn, approved many of the proposals. I would like to discuss them with you-particularly those that require legislation in order to be implemented.

The first proposals came from the Washington Jury Commission which was chaired by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Daniel Berschauer. That commission was composed of citizens, former jurors, judges, lawyers, court personnel, business persons, and three members of the legislature, Senator Adam Kline, Representative Mike Carrell, and then Representative and now Senator Dow Constantine. The commission's charge was to look at our state's jury system from top to bottom and recommend ways that it could be improved. This was important work because the right to trial by jury is one of the cornerstones of our democracy. The commission found that despite the importance we attach to juries, the courts of our state were experiencing difficulty in finding jurors. Indeed in some jurisdictions less than 15 percent of the persons summoned for jury service actually made it on to the jury panel. Most troubling was that about 20 percent of persons who were summoned did not even bother to respond to the summons.

The commission quickly discovered that there were many reasons for this underwhelming response to what we generally consider an obligation of citizenship, but that certainly a general belief among citizens that jury service is somewhat unpleasant, definitely contributed to the problem. The commission, therefore, made nearly 40 recommendations to the BJA for improving jury administration and for making jury service more palatable. The BJA approved most of these proposals and many can and will be accomplished within the court system without the necessity of legislation. A few, though, will require legislative action in order to be realized.

Chief among these is a fee increase for jurors. The statutory minimum was set in 1959 at $10 a day. We are now at the year 2001 and most counties, including all of our metropolitan counties, still pay the minimum $10. I recall thinking, when I was a young superior court judge in the 1970s, that $10 was an inadequate amount to pay our jurors. Well if I was right then, and I think that I was, it is woefully inadequate now.

To bring home the inadequacy of the $10 fee, if that is necessary, I should tell you that I recently attended a meeting at the King County Courthouse. It was a rainy day and prior to the meeting we parked about a block away from the courthouse in an open parking lot. The charge for parking for several hours was $13, but I was told that it would be $18 for the entire workday. Obviously the jurors' fee would not even cover that cost.

We are asking you to correct this inequality by passing legislation that maintains the fee at $10 per day for the first day of jury service, on the theory that every citizen should be willing to devote one day at little or no cost to being a juror, but increasing it to $45 for every succeeding day of jury service. We are asking you to provide that the additional $35 be underwritten by the State of Washington with the local jurisdictions remaining responsible for $10 of the fee.

We are also asking that you approve legislation shortening jury service to two days or one trial.

The other major committee formed by the BJA was Project 2001. This committee was chaired by retired Judge Tom Swayze and former WSBA President Paul Steere. It was also a broad based committee and included state legislators Senator Jeanine Long, Representative Luke Esser, Senator Pam Roach, Senator Adam Kline. The committee was asked to thoroughly review the judicial system, the way that it operates, its funding system, and more important, it was to make recommendations as to how it may be made more efficient. The project got started in the spring of 2000. It worked hard and submitted its report to the BJA, which has approved many of its recommendations. Those have been reported to you and are contained in this final recommendation to the Legislature. Again, many of those approved recommendations, like mandatory judicial education for all judges and a strengthening of the role of trial court presiding judges, can be adopted by the courts internally by court rule. A few of the recommendations, though, require legislation to implement them and I will just briefly touch on one of them.

The most significant recommendation is for a constitutional amendment providing for what we call transportability of judges. In a nutshell, this would allow a previously elected judge, active or retired, to sit in any trial court at the request of the presiding judge of that trial court. Currently, active or retired judges or even lawyers can serve as pro tem judges but only on the agreement of both sides of counsel in the case. It is that veto right of attorneys that the constitutional amendment would eliminate. Although this may not seem, at first blush, to be a significant step, it really is. This would give the presiding judges of our trial courts greater flexibility in managing their dockets and would allow the trial courts of our state to have the advantages that might be realized from a formal merger of our two levels of trial court without the attendant cost of doing so and without eliminating our courts of limited jurisdiction which are designed to handle matters within their jurisdictional limits in a less formal way than the superior court. To me this is a sensible recommendation and one that will allow the courts to use existing judicial personnel more efficiently.

Finally, and somewhat related to these proposals I wish to advise you that we are seeking an appropriation to maintain, update, and modernize the state's judicial information system. Our state's court system has been blessed by having one of the most established and efficient judicial information systems in the nation-one to which all of our trial and appellate courts are tied.

The bad news that goes with that is that the system's hardware and software are old, at least as we measure age in the fast moving technological world. Our Judicial Information System Committee, which is chaired by my colleague, Justice Bobbe Bridge, has compared our current system to an eight-track tape system. We think it is time to get a CD player. With this funding, greater efficiencies can be realized, all to the benefit of our courts in every part of the state. We think this would be a prudent investment in an established and proven system.

Let me close where I began by thanking you for your time and your willingness to listen to this report on the state of the judiciary. As I indicated, I think our judges and the court's' employees are doing a magnificent job providing justice. We can and want to do even better, though, and we believe these modest proposals for legislation, coupled with changes we can make without the necessity of legislation, will allow us to do even a better job. Thank you."


The President thanked Chief Justice Alexander for his remarks.


The President asked the special committee to escort Chief Justice Alexander from the Rostrum to the State Reception Room.


The President asked the special committee to escort the Supreme Court Justices from the Chamber to the State Reception Room.


The President asked the special committee to escort the State Elected Officials from the Chamber to the State Reception Room.




On motion of Representative Mastin, the Joint Session was dissolved.


The President thanked Speaker Ballard and members of the House for their hospitality and returned the gavel to him.


Speaker Ballard asked the Sergeant at Arms of the House and Senate to escort President of the Senate Brad Owen, President Pro Tempore Rosa Franklin, Majority Leader Sid Snyder, Minority Leader Jim West and members of the State Senate from the House Chamber.


There being no objection, the House advanced to the eleventh order of business.




On motion of Representative Mastin, the House adjourned until 9:55 a.m., January 17, 2001 the 10th Legislative Day.