Lawmakers in Olympia narrowing down which bills will move forward

OLYMPIA, Wash. — It will be a busy Friday for Washington lawmakers who will begin sorting or funneling through bills that have been discussed since the legislative session began.

Some bills will move on while others will not.

Two bills will get a lot of attention.

One has been introduced in the past but did not pass.

Senate Republicans have put forward a bill to ban homeless encampments within 1,000 feet of schools and childcare centers.

Rep. Curtis King of Yakima is co-sponsoring the bill. King introduced a similar bill three years ago but feels this one may gain more traction.

Lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that would scale back restrictions on police pursuits.

The bill would give law enforcement the authority to chase a suspect if there’s “reasonable suspicion” they committed a crime.

This would change the law passed in 2021, which only allows pursuits for DUI suspects with reasonable suspicion or with probable cause for violent, sexual and escape crimes.

The bills are in the beginning stages and still need to go through the legislative process.

Some of the bills on Friday’s agenda include HB 1823, which would modify Washington’s student loan program.

Those sponsoring the bill say estimate there are about 800,000 people who have student loan debt with an average balance of around $33,000.

Lawmakers will also introduce SB 5393, which addresses affordability through health care provider contracting.

Those behind the bill say health care costs and spending continue to rise and significantly outgrow inflation.

According to the Health Care Cost Institute, from 2015 to 2019, average health care spending per person reached $6,000.

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