Plastic bags, clean water: local legislators vote on wide-ranging issues in 2020

Update: All four representatives to the state House from the 40th and 42nd legislative districts voted in every roll-call vote during the past session, according to the Missed Votes Report issued by WashingtonVotes.org at the session’s end.

Debra Lekanoff (D-Bow) and Alex Ramel (D-Bellingham) from the 40th district and Sharon Shewmake (D-Bellingham) and Luanne Van Werven (R-Lynden) from the 42nd each voted in all 617 roll-call votes.

On the Senate side, the 42nd district’s Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) missed a quarter (143) votes and Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes) of the 40th district missed 7 of the 569 roll-call votes. Senator Ericksen had not replied to an opportunity offered by WashingtonVotes to explain his absences when the report was released.

WashingtonVotes.org noted that 381 of 1,486 bills and measures introduced (including joint resolutions and memorials) were passed in the 2020 session; also:
Legislators with no missed votes: 82 (65 House members; 17 Senators) 
Legislators with more than 50 missed votes: 11 (7 House members; 4 Senators)

By Mike Sato

— “As the Legislature adjourned Thursday, 60 days felt like a lifetime ago,” noted Northwest News Network reporter Austin Jenkins on Friday, March 13. “A surreal ‘new normal’ had taken hold as Washington finds itself in the grips of a global coronavirus pandemic — which poses a threat not just to the public, but also to the economy and to state revenues.”

Jenkins reported on what transpired over the last two months in ‘What passed, what died in the 2020 Washington Legislature’.

Here’s how 40th and 42nd Legislative District officials voted on selected bills that were passed and sent to the governor for signing or veto by June 11, according to Washington Votes.

SB 5395: Requires every public school to provide comprehensive sexual health education to each student by the 2022-23 school year

YEA: Lekanoff, Ramel, Shewmake, Lovelett

NAY: Van Werven, Eriksen

SB 5323: Prohibits a retailer from providing a customer a single use plastic bag, a paper or reusable plastic bag that does not meet recycled content requirements 

YEA: Lekanoff, Ramel, Shewmake, Van Werven, Eriksen, Lovelett

HB 2567 Prohibits warrantless arrests within one mile of a court facility 

YEA: Lekanoff, Ramel, Shewmake, Lovelett

NAY: Van Werven, Eriksen

HB 2602 Prohibits hair discrimination 

YEA: Lekanoff, Ramel, Shewmake, Van Werven, Lovelett

NAY: Eriksen

HB 2511 Protects domestic workers from discrimination 

YEA: Lekanoff, Ramel, Shewmake, Lovelett

NAY: Van Werven, Eriksen

SB 6617 Accessory dwelling unit regulation 

YEA: Lekanoff, Ramel, Shewmake, Van Werven, Lovelett
NAY: Eriksen

HB 2638: Authorizing sports wagering subject to the terms of tribal-state gaming compacts 

YEA: Lekanoff, Ramel, Shewmake, Van Werven, Lovelett

NAY: Eriksen

2019 House Bill 1261: Ensuring compliance with the federal clean water act by prohibiting certain discharges into waters of the state 

YEA: Lekanoff, Ramel, Shewmake, Lovelett 

NAY: Van Werven, Eriksen

2020 House Bill 2311: Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science 

YEA: Lekanoff, Ramel, Shewmake, Lovelett

NAY: Van Werven, Eriksen

For more: Read about two bills that didn’t pass this session but did pass along some lessons: Suciasauras rex, moss piglet lose bids to represent state’.

Mike Sato compiles environmental news items for the weekday online publication Salish Sea News and Weather and periodically blogs for Salish Sea Communications. He is the author of The Price of Taming a River: The Decline of Puget Sound’s Duwamish/Green Waterway. He resides in Bellingham and on Lopez Island.