Saturday, February 25, 2017

GOAL Post 2017-8



Day late again, this time because I didn't feel like trying to edit and post while getting ready to go to work.

I made the mistake earlier this week of going to the state legislature's web site and looking at the list of bills; Joe is correct, these are a drop in the bucket. 


***
FROM: GOAL WA <goalwa@cox.net> (Joe Waldron)
TO: undisclosed recipients
SENT: Fri 2/24/2017 5:57 PM
SUBJECT: GOAL Post2017-8

Legislative Update from Olympia, 24 February 2017
  • TIME TO TRIM THE LIST
  • FISCAL COMMITTEE CUT-OFF PASSES
  • CHAMBER CUT-OFF NEXT UP
  • GUN BILLS PASS OUT OF SENATE
  • IT’S ALL ON THE FLOOR FOR NOW
In a week or two I’m going to trim the list of bills under consideration, deleting those that did not survive the committee or chamber. That will give us a more manageable list to follow. At the end of the session I’ll publish a session recap with the complete bill list.

The fiscal committee cut-off is tonight. All bills that needed fiscal approval and did not get it died. At this time it appears that HB 1270 and SB 5073 likely died in their respective fiscal committees. I’ll correct any changes next week. HBs 1501 and 1612 passed out to House Rules. At this point there are nine bills still left alive out of 34 originally filed.

The next major cut-off is in twelve days, March 8th, when all bills must pass out of their original chamber (House or Senate). We’ll likely see a handful of the remaining bills die at that point.

Two gun bills have successfully passed out of the Senate, to be taken up by the House after the 8 March chamber cut-off date.SB 2268 (CPL renewal notice) and SB5552 (expanded exceptions to I-594) both cleared the Senate on a 49-0 vote. Neither was controversial!

For the next ten days, all of the action will be on the chamber floors as bills are called up, debated, possibly amended, and then an up or down vote. Floor sessions are televised on TVWashington for the masochists on the GOAL list. And there should be a link on the legislative web site (leg.wa.gov).

(To give you an idea of the magnitude of a legislative session, more than 2,300 bills have been filed so far in this session. As stated before, many are filed, few receive action.)
(BILL Information after the break)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

WA Governor proves he learned nothing

One might think that one of the few democratic governors left these days might have learned from  the 2016 election that now is not the time to double down on Democratic party big-money causes.

Nope.

Courtesy of Shift WA we learn that Governor Inslee has decided that Olympia is coming up a little short. $8.7 Billion short.

But that's OK, he has a plan...

That graphic neatly summarizes what Shift WA calls Governor Inlee's Lumps of Coal for WA:
  1. A lump of Inslee coal in your stocking: A “bold” budget to fund bigger gov’t. A 21% increase...
  2. Lump #2 of Inslee coal in your stocking: A new state income tax Proposals for an income tax always play so well here...
  3. Lump #3 of Inslee coal in your stocking: A BIG gas/carbon tax We voted down a carbon tax last November. This one was even designed to partially offset our high sales tax. So what does Jay want to do? Of course!
  4. Inslee’s Lump of Coal #4: Let’s sock it to small businesses This one is a "Gross Receipts tax", not a tax on profit, so it will literally tax some businesses out of business...
  5. Jay’s lump of coal #5: Tax the foreigners (from Canada)! People from out of state are exempt from the state's high sales tax. He wants to end that.which costs businesses business.

(edited to add) RELATED: Washington has what’s the nation’s most regressive state and local tax structure.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

GOAL Post 2017-7



Bunch of bills died this week, alas, not all of them deserved to die.  

And, of course, we can see them again if the legislative session goes into overtime, or next year, or as ballot Initiatives. IMHO, the ballot initiative process in WA highlights the drawbacks of pure democracy, in that there are few if any safeguards built into the system. Also oligarchy, considering the regularity with which the legislature ignores ballot initiatives it dislikes. Usually those which attempt to reign in their power, duh.

***
FROM: GOAL WA <goalwa@cox.net> (Joe Waldron)
TO: undisclosed recipients
SENT: Fri 2/17/2017 3:09 PM
SUBJECT: GOAL Post 2017-7

Legislative Update from Olympia 17 February 2017
  • GOAL POST DISTRIBUTION ISSUES
  • NEW BILLS COVERED
  • POLICY COMMITTEE CUT-OFF PASSES, BILLS DIE
  • FISCAL COMMITTEE CUT-OFF NEXT FRIDAY
  • MOST ACTION SHIFTS TO THE FLOOR  
GOAL Post 2017-6 was published last Friday, but apparently did not receive complete distribution.

I’ve been publishing GOAL Post since 2000, primarily in direct e-mail format through my home ISP.  As the subscriber list grew, I broke it up into segments of about 200 names each.  Every Friday night during session, no problem.  Compose message, hit “send” button, and it magically goes out of my mailbox into yours.   Try wagoal.org or on Facebook its Gun Owners Action League of Washington.

Until last Friday, when all of the batches were kicked back, theoretically as spam.  I will continue to try e-mail, but I’m working on alternatives, among them, posting GOAL Post on the web pages of the Washington Arms Collectors and the Washington State Rifle & Pistol Association.  About 18 months ago, a friend and co-worker created a “GOAL” web site which I never paid much attention to, as he merely posted the current GOAL Post during session.  Unfortunately he passed away last year, and at this point I cannot access the site.   

Two more bills I should have been tracking deal with firearms in the broader sense, but do not come under RCW 9.41, our state’s firearms code.  HB 1270, by Rep. Harmsworth (R-43) encourages voluntary use of firearm locking devices by offering a tax saving.  A similar law waiving the sales tax on gun safes was passed nearly 20 years ago.  HB 1612, by Rep. Orwall (D-33) expands on the suicide prevention program initiated last year, and supported by gun rights organizations.  Both bills are still alive.

Tonight is the first major cut-off day, when all bills must pass out of their policy committee.  Those that are not moving forward are most likely dead for the session.  That’s about 2/3 of them, good or bad.   The “Bill Status” column below shows the current status for each bill we’re tracking.   Basically, if it doesn’t have a position in Rules or a fiscal committee, it’s dead for the session.

Remember, nothing is really “dead” until the fat lady sings, on April 23rd.  While rare, extraordinary action may be taken to revive a bill, or even file a new one.  

The good news is that Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s flagship bills banning and/or registering so-called “assault weapons” all died in committee.  They tried to salvage the registration bill in the House by watering it down, narrowing the definition of “assault weapon,” deleting magazines, eliminating the annual licensing, etc, but even that couldn’t get the required votes to get out.  Stand by for an initiative.  The House version of the safe storage bill DID pass, but in amended and watered down form.  It’s still a bad bill, as well as totally unnecessary – current reckless endangerment law already covers the topic.  Unfortunately almost all pro-gun bills died as well.

Bills that have a significant fiscal impact have an additional week to pass out of one of the fiscal committees.  That cut-off is next Friday.  Keep in mind this is the biennial budget year, and if they fail to pass a budget, we could be looking at one or more special sessions, as happened a couple of years ago.  

The next critical cut-off is March 8th, when bills must pass out of their original chamber (House bills out of the House, Senate bills out of the Senate).  If they don’t make the cut, they’re nominally dead.  Most action will be on the chamber (House or Senate) floor, where bills will be debated and passed… or not.  After March 8th, those bills that passed out of their original chamber will go through the same process – on the other side:  committee hearing and possible action, fiscal committee action if required, then into the Rules committees while awaiting a full chamber (floor) vote.

All bills considered on the floor are subject to a roll call vote.  Because of their numbers (98 members), the House does it by machine – a quick red-green machine vote, called the Christmas tree (probably the only politically correct Christmas tree in the capitol).  The Senate, with only 49 members, does it the old fashioned way – a roll call voice vote.

(To give you an idea of the magnitude of a legislative session, nearly 2,300 bills have been filed so far in this session.  As stated before, many are filed, few receive action.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

E💗RW💓RM, 💘 DAY






And, wotthehell, as mehitable said to archy, since I'm on that YouTube page:


(If the title of this post looks wonky, it's because the device you're reading it on does not render emojis in the title space, and the experiment failed.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

GOAL Post 2017-6

Late again, due to communications/technical errors. I'm wondering whether this is an innocuous technical problem or hostile action...

I do want to point out that several of the pro-Second amendment Rights bills are sponsored by Democrats.  This is a trend that is more obvious at the state level, at least in WA.
***


FROM: GOAL WA
TO: undisclosed recipients
SENT: Mon 2/13/2017 4:15 AM
SUBJECT: GOAL Post2017-6

 I'm having major ISP problems.  A couple of weeks ago Cox Communications started bouncing my GOAL Post messages -- first time in ten years.  I'm working with them to resolve the issue, but this is going out to selected individuals.

GOAL Post 2017-6

Legislative Update from Olympia10 February 2017

  • NEW BILL(S) FILED
  • DROPPING HB 1784/SB 52 56 FROM TRACKING
  • POSITION CHANGE ON SB 5441
  • NEED HELP ON HB 1933/SB 5506
  • PUBLIC HEARINGS HELD
  • PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED
  • POLICY COMMITTEE CUT-OFF DATE NEXT FRIDAY,17 FEB
  • ACTION ON BILLS

 SB 5795, by Senator Chase (D-32), would mandate firearm owners have personal liability insurance to purchase or possess any firearm. No minimum coverage amount is specified, but you must show your policy to the FFL to purchase a firearm.

After a deeper evaluation of HB 1384/SB 5256, I am dropping them from the gun bill tracking list. As clarified, a “sexual assault protection order” is separate and distinct from a domestic violence protection order and is NOT to be used in lieu of a DV protection order. It does NOT automatically prohibit firearm possession.

After consulting with law enforcement professionals, I am changing the GOAL position on SB 5441 (involuntary freeze on firearm possession) from “OPPOSE” to “NEUTRAL.” The “consultees” are both rock solid pro-gun individuals with more than 60 years combined law enforcement experience, most of it on the street.

Washington gun owners need a push on HB 1933 and SB 5506.These bills would allow transfer of a firearm without I-594 background check at non-profit events such as Ducks Unlimited or Friends of NRA dinners. HB 1933 has not been scheduled for a hearing in House Judiciary.SB 5506 was considered in a public hearing but no executive session (committee vote) has been scheduled. If no action is taken on these bills by next Friday (17 Feb), they are dead for the session.  Please call or e-mail your Representatives and ask them to push HB 1933 in House Judiciary and your Senator to push SB 5506 in Senate Law & Justice.

Public hearings were conducted last week on HB 1100, HB 1501 and HB 1731.No executive action (committee vote on HB 1100 yet. Executive session (committee vote) on HBs 1501 and 1731 are scheduled for 16 Feb, along with HBs 1122, 1387, 1529 and SB s 5506 and 5552.the last day to get bills out of committee.

(After the hearings, and outside (state agency, other public agency, private citizen) input is heard, the committee staff prepares a “bill report” that describes the effect of the bill as submitted, a summary of public testimony, and includes any amendments to the bill offered by legislators. The bill next has to be scheduled for a vote (passage) in executive session, by the committee chair. Once a vote is taken – IF a vote is taken (not all bills heard get an up or down vote) -- the bill dies in committee or moves on, either to the Rules committee awaiting a floor vote, or to a fiscal committee for their review.)

A public hearing is scheduled for SB 5441 in Senate Law & Justice on Thursday, 15 Feb at 1:30 p.m.

Next Friday is the original chamber policy committee cut-off day, meaning all House Bills that have not passed out of their original policy committee are (nominally) dead for the session, with the exception of bills with a fiscal impact – they have an extra seven days to pass out of one of the fiscal committees (Appropriations or Ways & Means). I threw the word “nominally” in there because a bill CAN be resurrected after missing a cut-off, but it’s extremely rare.

(Just for information, almost 2,200 bills have been filed so far in this session. As stated before, many are filed, few receive action.)
{Bill details after the break}

Friday, February 10, 2017

Making America America

So, if you don't have the time to read James Webb's excellent little book Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America*, Joe Bob Briggs offers the TL;DR version here: A Brief History of the Redneck - Taki's Magazine Being Joe Bob of course, his version is, well, funnier.

I like to speculate about what things would look like today if James Webb had won the Democratic nomination for President.  Frankly, when he wasn't looking,American politics shifted and he would now fully qualify as "sometimes a RINO" if he changed parties.





*Because "executive summary" somehow just doesn't apply to Joe Bob Briggs writing about rednecks...

Timely

A co-worker has asked me and another co-worker for advice...




Last weekend we took her to the gun show, looked around, convinced her that she didn't want a Taurus, or a Hi-Point, or a... We'll hit the range with her, was supposed to be this weekend but now probably next.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Uh-oh... UPDATED

So I woke up about 0200, couldn't get back to sleep, decided to read a bit. Mrs. Drang informed me that she was watching a DVD because the satellite dish was acting up again, "probably the snow." (See comments to previous post.)

About 0400 or so as I was about to turn out the light she came to bed and informed me that we might be about to lose the birch tree in the back yard.

"Nothing we can do about it now" we agreed.

Right.

Ten minutes later I was out in the back yard.

One of the limbs her father had secured with a line (plastic-sheathed clothed line, I think) was hanging down almost to the ground; the line had snapped.

The upper branches from the limb were over-hanging the corner of the roof, although I couldn't get a good look. Being me, I grabbed a large pair of side-cutting loppers from the back porch/lawn tool storage, and trimmed it up as best I could.

I think I need a real chain saw.

Did get the satellite dish cleared, though.
The tree in question.
Pretty sure I ran pics of it in pretty much this condition a few years ago.
Photo ©2017 D.W. Drang and The Cluemeter
Same tree, from driveway, post-dish clearing.
The white streaks are more snow falling, BTW.
Photo ©2017 D.W. Drang and The Cluemeter

The hood of Mrs. Drang's car.
The snow is heavy enough that the front half of the hood was cleared, the snow there slid off of it's own weight.
Photo ©2017 D.W. Drang and The Cluemeter

The solar-powered garden light seems to have problems...
Photo ©2017 D.W. Drang and The Cluemeter

For those of you in Fimbulwinter-free zones:
This picture was taken with ambient light, no flash.
"Waiting for daylight to assess the damage" wasn't completely necessary...
Photo ©2017 D.W. Drang and The Cluemeter

No bird baths today...
Photo ©2017 D.W. Drang and The Cluemeter
While I was out there I could gear limbs cracking all over the neighborhood, but did not see any actual damage to any of our trees. I think maybe what woke me up was a limb breaking down the street.

UPDATE: Just heard a loud cracking noise from outside. 😟 Can't tell if it's ours or a neighbors. Will wait for full daylight for further inspection, don't want to walk around under it if  it's about to go...😨

UPDATE 2: Lost power just before 0700. Lost two limbs from the birch tree, they fell down in the street. Called in power outage, notified 911 of a downed line in the street. Checked out the limbs in the street, decided it was enough of a public nuisance I needed to clear it away...

...and my silly little electric chain saws had no power.

Dug around in the garage and found a fairly large saw that Mrs. Drang's father had, grabbed it and a pair of offset loppers and got the street cleared, if not the entire mess cleaned up.

Power just came back on, trying to decide if I'd rather have breakfast or a shower first...

Sunday, February 5, 2017

FLASH!



The kitty emojis are handy for saving you from the 140-charecter limit... 😉

Cat Gravity is still being applied, BTW.

FOLLOW-UP: Cat gravity removed. She wants back outside, I don't think so.

Snow sticking on grass.