BILL REQ. #:  H-0957.1 


State of Washington63rd Legislature2013 Regular Session

By Representatives Pike, Alexander, Wilcox, Harris, Crouse, Overstreet, Hayes, and Ross

Read first time 02/06/13.   Referred to Committee on Appropriations.

     AN ACT Relating to establishing a period of public and legislative review of appropriations legislation; adding new sections to chapter 44.04 RCW; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   A new section is added to chapter 44.04 RCW to read as follows:
     The legislature finds that approval of the state budget is the most important act of the legislature in any year, having profound consequences for every resident of the state. The legislature further finds that the public is entitled to a reasonable opportunity to learn how public funds are proposed to be expended before bills making appropriations become law. The legislature further finds that public notice, dissemination of information, and informed analysis of proposed budgets is an essential requisite of transparent, accountable government.
     The state Constitution charges the legislature, and only the legislature, with the responsibility to fund the operation of state government through the enactment of appropriations legislation. Yet the abbreviated time frame in which the legislature acts on omnibus operating appropriations legislation permits little opportunity for informed legislative deliberation or public review and discussion, which in turn impairs public trust in government. The legislature finds that many other states, in their Constitutions, statutes, or legislative rules, require a reasonable opportunity for public and legislative review of budget legislation.
     The legislature therefore finds that it is in the public interest to provide for an appropriate period of public and legislative review of all omnibus appropriations bills before they are acted on by the legislature and submitted to the governor for approval.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 44.04 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) An omnibus operating, capital, or transportation appropriations bill, may not be voted on by the senate or the house of representatives unless seventy-two hours have elapsed since the bill was last subject to amendment.
     (2) For the purposes of this section, "amendment" means any proposed change to a bill and includes executive action by a standing committee of the senate or house of representatives, adoption of a conference report, or vote to concur with an opposite house amendment.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   This act shall be known and cited as the budget sunshine act.

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