Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, prefiled legislation in Olympia on Monday for the upcoming 2020 session that would prevent lawmakers from introducing title-only or “ghost bills” that contain a title or intent statement but no content. Legislators amend the bills with text later, “often when it is too late for the public to review or comment.” according to Walsh.
“Title-only bills are often hurried though the legislative process during the final days or hours of the session giving legislators and the public little time for review and deliberation,” Walsh added.
House Bill 2190 introduced by Walsh would require that legislation be introduced at least 72 hours prior to a public hearing.
“The voters of Washington state must have an opportunity to access and comment on legislation before it’s voted on by the Legislature. This bill assures that the public has that access,” Walsh said.
During the 2019 session, legislators introduced 26 title-only bills, and four of those passed into law.