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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Jump Start: Washington Lawmakers Pre-File Bills Ahead Of January Session

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network

Washington’s 2015 legislative session doesn’t start until January 12, but already lawmakers have pre-filed dozens of proposed laws.

  ’Twas the month before session, when all through the Capitol
Not a creature was stirring, not even a lawmaker.
The Holiday Tree glowed bright in the Rotunda,
Soon to be replaced by lobbyists and school children.
But on the legislative web page there arose a number of pre-filed bills.
This reporter sprang to his keyboard to see what they were.
One to fund education first. Another to limit speed zone traffic cameras.
Eighteen proposals for new laws from Representative Sherry Appleton alone.
From the rights of medical marijuana users to the rights of pit bulls.
While a Senator named Honeyford would give honey bee products agricultural status
As ideas that before the legislature convenes,
They are sure to meet with obstacles come January.
But for now the sponsors can exclaim --
“Happy New Year to all ... and may my idea for a new law be the brightest of all.”

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."