FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2013, 2013
Gov. Inslee signs two bills sponsored by Rep. Shelly Short
Bringing transparency and accountability to state agencies is more than just a catchy slogan for Washington State Rep. Shelly Short; it’s one of her passions. During the last week of the 2013 legislative session, Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law two bills sponsored by Short, R-Addy, that would bring more transparency and accountability to the decisions – and the decision-making process – of the state Department of Ecology and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Both of these bills will help keep the bureaucracies accountable to the Legislature and to the citizens,” said Short, who has worked on the bills for several years while in Olympia. “From the people’s standpoint, some of the decisions made by these two particular agencies seem arbitrary or capricious. My bills were designed to require a little more substance behind the reasoning that leads to the final decisions taken by these agencies. It’s not about having no government intervention or oversight; it’s about restoring state government to its proper role.” House Bill 1112 and House Bill 1113 made it through the entire legislative process without being amended and were approved by unanimous votes in both the House and Senate, a testament, said Short, to the work done on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of the Legislature. “It’s taken some time to convince my colleagues in the Legislature that these bills are designed to protect the public and the state agencies alike,” said Short. “I’m extremely pleased we were able to get folks in Olympia on the same page and that the governor agrees with us that some of our state agencies need a little more public scrutiny and oversight.” Short’s bills require the agencies to identify the peer-reviewed science, scientific literature, and other sources of information reviewed and ultimately relied upon before taking significant agency action related to certain agency programs. “Significant agency action” is defined in the bills as:
results in substantive requirements for a non-state actor with penalties for noncompliance;
establishes, alters, or revokes any qualification or standard for the issuance, suspension, or revocation of a license or permit;
results in significant amendments to an existing policy or program; or
results in the development of technical guidance, assessments, or documents used to implement a state rule or statute.
The 2013 legislative session ends on April 28. However, with no agreement on a state budget between the Democrat-controlled House and the bipartisan Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate, a special session is expected. PHOTO CAPTION: (From Left to Right: Ann Larson and Timothy Quinn from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, join Gov. Jay Inslee, Rep. Shelly Short and Tom Davis and John Stuhlmiller from the Washington State Farm Bureau at a bill-signing ceremony in Olympia.)
PHOTO CAPTION: (From Left to Right: John Stuhlmiller and Tom Davis from the Washington State Farm Bureau join Gov. Jay Inslee and Rep. Shelly Short as her bill to bring more accountability and transparency to state agencies is signed into law.) PHOTO CAPTION: (Rep. Shelly Short’s bill to make state agencies more transparent and accountable is signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee [left]. John Stuhlmiller from the Washington State Farm Bureau [right] testified in favor of Short’s bill.)
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Washington State House Republican Communications
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