Washington: bills focused on judiciary sent to the Senate X File, likely dead for year

Three bills pending in the Washington Senate focused on the state’s judiciary have been effectively killed for the session. The three bills were

  • SB 5449 would have created a tax division of the Court of Appeals. It was approved by the full Senate in April 2015 but returned to the Senate at the start of the 2016 session. The bill was discussed here and here.
  • SB 6255 As introduced, the bill required judges recuse in cases in which they received $50 from party/attorney/lawfirm in prior 3 years. As amended, it requested the state’s judicial disciplinary commission create a rule for mandatory recusal for $1000 in contributions. The bill was discussed here.
  • SJR 8205 would have amended the state constitution to required justices of the Supreme Court be elected by district (four justices from District 1, three from District 2, and two from District 3)

On February 25 the bills were officially sent to the Senate Rules “X” file which refers not to the saga of FBI agents Mulder and Scully but according to the Washington Legislature’s website is how the House or Senate Rules committees kill a bill (“The House and Senate Rules Committees may place bills that will go no further in the process on the “X-file.””)