Enabling Legislation2016-12-01T17:03:16+00:00

Enabling Legislation

FINAL BILL REPORT ESB 5381

C 305 L 05

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Authorizing an independent, nonprofit Washington academy of sciences.

Sponsors: Senators Kohl-Welles, Parlette, McAuliffe, Pridemore, Rockefeller, Brown, Rasmussen, Schoesler, Shin, Haugen, Schmidt, Keiser and Kline; by request of Governor Gregoire.

Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research & Development House Committee on Higher Education House Committee on Appropriations

Background: Academies of Science are part of our Nation’s history. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was signed into being by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Since its inception, the NAS has served to investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art whenever called upon to do so by the federal government. The NAS is actually made up of four organizations. These non-profit organizations work outside the framework of government to ensure independent advice on matters of science, technology, and medicine.

There are also state level academies of science. California’s Academy of Science is a private non-profit organization that provides scientific knowledge and expertise to visiting scientists, educators, adults, students, parents, children, conservation organizations, government leaders, and the media. The Mississippi Academy of Sciences is an organization of scientists, engineers, and others from schools and universities, government, industry and business that supports science within the state.

Summary: The Washington Academy of Science (Academy) is created as a nonprofit organization whose principal mission is to provide scientific analysis and recommendations on issues referred to the Academy by the Governor or the legislature, including identifying past or present research projects in Washington State, or other research institutions and the findings of such research projects.

The presidents of the University of Washington and Washington State University serve as co-chairs of an organizing committee for the purpose of creating the academy. The organizing committee is to be comprised of representatives of appropriate disciplines of academic, private, governmental, and research sectors.

The timeline for the creation of the Academy is as follows:

January 1, 2006: organizing committee formed;

April 30, 2007: committee’s review is complete; and

by April 30, 2007: academy files articles of incorporation.

The organizing committee is to recommend procedures and funding requirements for receiving and disbursing funding in support of the Academy’s programs and services. The report is to be

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made to the Governor and the appropriate committees of the Senate and House of Representatives by April 30, 2007.

The bylaws or other operating guidelines are to outline procedures for selecting panels of experts to respond to Governor or legislative requests. The panel members are to avoid conflicts of interest, and proposed panelists must disclose any advocacy positions or financial interest, within the past ten years, related to the research at hand.

The Governor provides funding to the Academy for the actual expense of investigations, examinations, and reports. This funding is in addition to state funding assistance to the academy in its initial years of operation.

Votes on Final Passage:

Senate 48 0

House 87 7 (House amended)

Senate 37 0 (Senate concurred)

Effective: July 24, 2005

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Read the full legislation, Engrossed Senate Bill 538