May 21, 2013

To the Honorable Speaker and Members,
The House of Representatives of the State of Washington

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am returning herewith, without my approval as to Section 34, Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1552 entitled:

"AN ACT Relating to the reduction of metal theft."

Metal theft causes substantial and often expensive property damage harming, among others, businesses, utilities, state and local governments, and individual citizens. Under certain circumstances, metal theft can also lead to significant safety hazards. Our state has enacted laws over the past several years to curb metal theft by increasing penalties and regulation of businesses purchasing or receiving metal.

This bill is the result of recommendations from a wide array of stakeholders, including businesses, metal recyclers, utilities, local governments, and local law enforcement to enhance our laws to prevent metal theft. New licensing, purchasing, and records retention regulations are instituted. Further, changes are made to penalties associated with metal theft and illegal purchasing of scrap metal, and grants are established for enforcement.

Pursuant to Section 34 of this bill, if $1.5 million for the purposes of this act is not provided by June 30, 2013, in the omnibus appropriations act, this act is null and void. Unfortunately, the Legislature has not passed a budget at this time. It is my expectation that by passing this bill, the Legislature intends to provide the funding. It is also my expectation that the stakeholders who worked on this act, and will benefit from its enactment, will continue their efforts to secure funding to support the law enforcement grant provisions. To ensure the important, new regulatory provisions of this act are put in place as a means of combating metal theft, I am vetoing Section 34 of this bill.

For these reasons, I have vetoed Section 34 of Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1552.

With the exception of Section 34, Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1552 is approved.

Respectfully submitted,
Jay Inslee