— The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) kicks
off the first week of the Legislature’s 60-day session with six hearings on
bills requested by Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Ferguson and his staff will
be testifying in favor of these bills throughout the week.
The 2014 AGO legislative
focuses on veterans, open government, safer communities and protections for
consumers against businesses who do not play by the rules.
The hearings take place at the Capitol campus
in Olympia, Wash. Driving directions can be found here and a Capitol campus map can be
The House of Representatives hearings occur in the John L. O’Brien building and
Senate hearings occur in the John A. Cherberg building. The committee hearings can
be watched live online at www.tvw.org.
Objective: Protect the rights of active duty servicemembers and veterans by allowing the state to enforce certain federal laws. Violations of laws protecting
servicemembers and veterans are not uncommon, but servicemembers can face
significant roadblocks to seeking relief and asserting their protections. (read
the full one-pager)
Objective: Require open government training for public officials to improve government transparency and reduce lawsuits.
Open government is vital to a
free and informed society, but there is no formal requirement for public
officials to receive training in the Public Records Act or the Open Public
Meetings Act. (read the full one-pager)
Objective: Close a loophole in the Sexually Violent Predator statute to protect Washington communities.
Lack of participation by
civilly committed sexually violent predators in state clinical evaluations reduces
the experts’ ability to make an accurate recommendation in petitions for
release and increases the risk that a sexually violent predator who has not
been rehabilitated will be released. (read the full
Objective: Improve consumer protections and protect taxpayers by removing the requirement that the state pay attorneys’ fees in an unsuccessful action brought under the Consumer Protection Act.
Washington is the only state
liable for paying opposing attorneys’ fees in an unsuccessful consumer
protection action. In 2008, Washington was required to pay hundreds of
thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees in a case in which the state was
ultimately successful on the merits. (read the full
Follow the AGO on twitter @AGOWA and facebook for updates. Check
out the AGO legislative website for more information here.
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