FEBRUARY 17, 1997

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legislative update

Legislative update


Backlund named to House contracting committee

   State Rep. Bill Backlund (R-Redmond) has been named to the House Select Committee on Vendor Contracting and Services. The seven-member committee looks into allegations of misconduct by state-funded nonprofit agencies.
   More than 400 non-profit organizations contract with DSHS, which currently audits the contracts. The committee will be considering whether the state should audit these contracts directly. Investigations currently before the committee include a defunct Seattle organization that provided services to minorities and a Yakima-based group which worked with migrant workers.

Buy college credit now, use later

   The Senate Higher Education Committee is considering allowing parents to buy college credits now, at today's prices, and use them any time in the future, regardless of tuition increases. The bill (SB 5106) would allow up to four years credit for about $30 for each credit. Units would be transferable between family members and used out of state. Advance payments would be invested by the State Investment Board, with investment income offsetting future tax increases.

Videotaping in tanning, changing booths

   While it is illegal to tape record a person's voice in Washington State without prior consent, individuals are not able to press charges when filmed in a tanning booth, bathroom, changing room, or other locations thought to be private. SB 5656 would make it illegal to film, videotape, or photograph someone in such a location.

Work camps; lower the death penalty to age 16

   Juvenile crime is a concern of lawmakers proposing tough sentencing combined with rehabilitation by sending repeat offenders to work camps until they're 21 years old. "The idea is to get them out of negative environments and motivate them to change," according to Sen. Bill Finkbeiner (R-45th).
   A bill in the House proposes to lower the age of eligibility for the death penalty from 18 to 16, reflecting the belief of several lawmakers that judges and juries should have the death penalty as an option when dealing with extreme cases of violent juvenile crime.