Editor’s Note: WashingtonVotes.org provides a roll call service to media outlets as long as the Legislature is in session. WashingtonVotes.org is a project of the Washington Policy Center.

Senate Bill 5987, concerning transportation revenues. Passed the Senate on March 2 by a vote of 27-22.

This bill proposes a $15 billion budget, including an 11.7-cent gas tax increase, to fund transportation projects for the 2015-17 budget period. The plan includes a number of reforms and would also allow Sound Transit to ask voters to fund expansion of its rail line. The proposed gas tax increase would take effect in increments — 5 cents this summer, 4.2 cents next year, and a final 2.5 cents in 2017.

Sen. Randi Becker — R-Eatonville, voted yes

Senate Bill 5988, concerning additive transportation funding and appropriations. Passed the Senate on March 2 by a vote of 41-8.

This bill would allocate the transportation spending plan to specific projects across the state, including extension of the Interstate 90 East rebuild on Snoqualmie Pass to Easton; construction of the west side of the 520 bridge; construction of the North Spokane Corridor freeway; and widening Interstate 405 from Bellevue to Renton. It would also pay for local transit and rail projects, as well as bike paths and pedestrian walkways.

Sen. Randi Becker — R-Eatonville, voted yes

House Bill 1355, increasing the minimum hourly wage to $12 over four years. Passed the House on March 3 by a vote of 51-46.

This bill would add would add a series of 50-cent increases to the current $9.47 state hourly minimum wage, already the highest in the nation, to bring it to $12 by Jan. 1, 2019. Beginning in 2020, the wage would be adjusted annually for inflation. The measure was heavily debated in the House, before it was passed along party lines 51-46.

Rep. Graham Hunt — R-Orting, voted no

Rep. JT Wilcox — R-Yelm, voted no

House Bill 1356, establishing minimum standards for sick and safe leave from employment. Passed the House on March 3 by a vote of 51-46.

Also passed along party lines, this bill would require all businesses with more than four full-time equivalent workers to give their employees at least five days of paid sick and safe leave. The leave time could be used if a worker is sick, needs to care for a sick family member or to deal with an emergency situation at home.

Rep. Graham Hunt — R-Orting, voted no

Rep. JT Wilcox — R-Yelm, voted no

House Bill 1745, enacting the Washington voting rights act. Passed the House on March 5 by a vote of 52-46.

This bill would authorize district-based elections for local governments and require redistricting and new elections in certain cases. It sets up procedures for local residents to change the way local government representatives are elected, including commissions, councils or school boards. It is intended to allow local governments to deal with racial representation issues on their governing bodies without federal interference. For example, a federal judge has ordered the city of Yakima to conduct city council elections by district voting rather than at-large voting to give minority candidates a better chance.

Rep. Graham Hunt — R-Orting, voted no

Rep. JT Wilcox — R-Yelm, voted no

Senate Bill 5978, modifying presidential primary provisions. Passed the Senate on March 3 by a vote of 36-12.

This bill would give more weight to ballots cast for Washington’s presidential primary in the delegate selection process. Currently, both Democrats and Republicans hold caucuses to choose their delegates for the national conventions that nominate presidential candidates. Republicans have incorporated results of the primary in their process, but under the bill, which passed with a bi-partisan vote, both parties would have to consider the results of the presidential primaries when choosing their delegates. They could still decide how much weight to give to the primary result, and they could still choose the caucus process as their main delegate selection process.

Sen. Randi Becker — R-Eatonville, voted yes

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