WSBA & the 2017 Legislative Session

Capitol Building in Olympia

WSBA & the 2017 Legislative Session

Throughout the state legislative session, WSBA’s Office of Legislative Affairs will provide weekly updates regarding session-related activities. If you have questions or would like additional information regarding WSBA’s legislative activities, please visit the Legislative Affairs home page


Jan. 13, 2017

The 2017 legislative session began this week with a flurry of activity. Fiscal committees held hearings on Gov. Inslee’s proposed 2017-19 budget; policy committees held work sessions on issues such as statewide civil legal aid services; and legislators introduced bills dealing with issues ranging from administrative hearings to water rights. In addition, those newly-elected to the Legislature, statewide office, and the Supreme Court were sworn in.

Governor begins second term; welcomes Legislature

Gov. Jay Inslee (D) gave his second inaugural address on Wednesday, Jan. 11. Inslee focused his remarks on basic education funding and urged lawmakers to work together to address critical statewide issues including mental health and homelessness.

Link to TVW Gov. address.

Senate hears Bar-request bills

The Senate Law and Justice Committee heard public testimony regarding two Bar-request bills on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Michael Hutchings, representing the Corporate Act Revisions Committee (CARC) of WSBA’s Business Law Section, testified in support of Senate Bill 5011. Prime-sponsored by Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-43 this bill seeks to amend Washington’s Business Corporation Act to make our state more business-friendly through process efficiencies and modernization of outdated statutory provisions.

Michael Carrico, representing WSBA’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Section (RPPT), testified in support of SB 5012. Also prime-sponsored by Sen. Pedersen, this bill seeks to create a nonjudicial process for amending or replacing irrevocable trust documents.

Other sponsors of these bills include Senate Law and Justice Committee Chair Mike Padden, R-4, and Senators David Frockt, D-46 and Joe Fain, R-47.

Link to TVW testimony.

WSBA LAMP Section-supported bills heard

Two proposals regarding military service members and their families were heard in both the House and Senate judiciary committees this week.  

Supported by WSBA’s Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Section (LAMP), House Bill 1055 creates an office of pro bono legal services within the Attorney General’s office dedicated to military service members and their families. HB 1055 is prime-sponsored by Rep. Christine Kilduff, D-28; the Senate companion, SB 5021, is prime-sponsored by Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-28.

Link to TVW testimony (House).

Link to TVW testimony (Senate).

For additional legislative information, please visit the WSBA Legislative Affairs web page


Jan. 6, 2017

The 2017 legislative session begins Monday, Jan. 9, and is scheduled to last 105 days. Lawmakers have significant issues to tackle this year, including closing a budget deficit upwards of $5 billion that encompasses fully funding basic education under the McCleary decision, mental health obligations, and other emergent public policy needs.

Adopted by the Board of Governors in November 2016, the Washington State Bar Association’s legislative agenda includes the following priorities:

  • SB 5011: Modernizing Washington’s Corporate Act
  • SB 5012: Concerning the distribution of a Washington trust’s assets to another trust
  • Providing adequate state funding for Washington’s court system
  • Allocating necessary state funding for civil legal aid services