HB 2815

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 House Committee On:

Local Government

Title: An act relating to library districts.

Brief Description: Concerning library districts.

Sponsors: Representative Ortiz-Self.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Local Government: 2/5/20, 2/7/20 [DPS].

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Extends the maximum term of nonvoter approved general obligation bonds for a library district from six to 20 years.

  • Allows a county legislative authority to submit a single ballot proposition for establishing a library district and financing the library district.


Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 6 members: Representatives Pollet, Chair; Duerr, Vice Chair; Griffey, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Appleton, Goehner and Senn.

Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 1 member: Representative Kraft, Ranking Minority Member.

Staff: Elizabeth Allison (786-7129).


Any county, city, town, or library district can establish and maintain a library, either by itself or in cooperation with one or more other governmental units. There are four categories of library districts: rural county library districts; intercounty rural library districts; rural partial-county library districts; and island library districts.

A rural, intercounty, or island library district may contract indebtedness and issue general obligation bonds. The maximum term of nonvoter approved general obligation bonds may not exceed six years.

The county legislative authority or authorities for the county or counties in which a proposed library capital facility area is to be established must submit separate ballot propositions to voters to: (1) authorize the establishment of the library capital facility area; and (2) authorize the library capital facility area to finance facilities by issuing general indebtedness and imposing taxes.

A library capital facility area is a quasi-municipal corporation, independent taxing authority, and a taxing district created by a county legislative authority of one or several counties.


Summary of Substitute Bill:

The maximum term of nonvoter approved general obligation bonds for rural, intercounty, and island library districts is extended from six to 20 years.

County legislative authorities establishing a library capital facility area may propose establishment of the library district and authority to finance the library district in a single ballot proposition, rather than separately. The ballot proposition must be approved by a supermajority vote, rather than a simple majority vote.

Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill:

The substitute bill requires the single ballot proposition to be approved by a supermajority vote, rather than a simple majority vote.


Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date of Substitute Bill: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) The bill is a technical fix and provides parity with other special purpose districts including fire districts. This will allow libraries to raise the funds necessary to operate the library, which is used by students for around three hours a day after school. Libraries are a pivotal part of communities.

(Opposed) Many residents of Vancouver have pledged to vote "no" on the next Vancouver library district levy because libraries across the state are promoting "Drag Queen Story Hour" where fully-dressed drag queens are reading gender-confusing books to 3- to 8-year-olds.

Persons Testifying: (In support) Representative Ortiz-Self, prime sponsor; and Abby Moore, Public Libraries of Washington.

(Opposed) Gary Wilson, Keep the Library Safe for Children.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.