Action on these bills a benefit to all

In recent weeks, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed more than 200 bills into law, stemming from the 2008 legislative session.

While not every bill of importance made it to the governor’s desk, several did that are worth noting. It’s impossible to list each and every one, but here are a few of the more prominent bills worthy of print.

House Bill No. 2602 — Regarding employment leave for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

The new law, making it so victims (or their family members) of such crimes can take leave from work to seek treatment or participate in legal proceedings, is a monumental step in the fight against domestic violence. It may mean the difference in whether or not these victims can find a way to move forward with their lives.

Senate Bill No. 6809 — Related to providing a tax exemption for working families by the federal earned income tax credit. It’s increasingly becoming more difficult for hard-working families to make ends meet. A tax break for low-income families will be a welcome relief for those working, but continuing to struggle.

House Bill No. 3375 — Appropriating funds for catastrophic flood relief. With the devastating effects of the December floods still very real, this new law will allow for flood hazard mitigation measures throughout the Chehalis River basin — one of the hardest hit areas. Preventative measures now will hopefully prevent such destruction in the future.

House Bill No. 2479 — Requiring subscribers’ consent to disclosure of wireless phone numbers.

The amount of solicitation to home phone numbers is bad enough without having to worry about having to be bombarded via cell phones. Some level of privacy has to be maintained somewhere. Let’s hope this law holds up.

House Bill No. 2786/House Bill No. 2713 — Including Level I offenders who fail to maintain registration as required to the statewide notification Web site./Relating to DNA identification of convicted sex offenders and other persons.

Any new laws requiring more stringent guidelines for sex offenders are good laws.

House Bill No. 2582 — Regarding child care at institutions of higher education.

By administering child care programs and providing matching grants to colleges for child care services, this new law will break down the barriers that often prevent parents from pursuing higher education.

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