By Jerry Cornfield
OLYMPIA — Voters will get a chance to really shake up membership in the state Legislature this fall, if they are so inclined.
Possibilities for change abound with all 98 seats in the House and 25 seats in the Senate up for election. There are many controversial issues that may influence the electorate.
•Bump stock ban: It will soon be illegal to make, sell, own or possess a bump-fire stock, a plastic attachment that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire like fully automatic models. Under a bill sent to Inslee, the manufacture and sale of the devices is prohibited starting July 1. A year later, bump stocks will be considered contraband and in most instances subject to seizure by authorities.
•Abortion mandate: This legislation would require health plans that cover maternity care or services to also cover the voluntary termination of pregnancy. And those plans must cover contraceptives. It’s been atop the agenda of Inslee and Democrats in both chambers and is awaiting a vote in the House.
•Car tab relief: Lawmakers promised to ease the pain of soaring costs of car tabs in the Sound Transit taxing district. It hasn’t happened yet. The House and Senate each have an approach and are working to keep their promise.
•Eliminate the death penalty: This is close to happening but hasn’t yet. A bill to get rid of capital punishment passed the Senate. It is now in the House where its fate is unclear, as there are members who think voters should be given a chance to weigh in.
•Buying military-style rifles: This is a work in progress. There is a new bill to require a person be at least 21 to buy a semiautomatic rifle and that a full state background check be done on those seeking to buy one of those rifles. Many Democrats would like to use their majorities in each chamber to get this through before time runs out.
•Property taxes: In 2017, lawmakers increased the statewide property tax rate. In February, property owners got their bills and were shocked to see how much they owed. Members of both parties are devising a way to provide temporary relief this year or next.
Jerry Cornfield is the political reporter for The Herald in Everett, jcornfield@herald net.com.