HB 1491


Title:  An act relating to dog guides and service animals.


Brief Description:  Changing references from guide or service dog to dog guide or service animal.


Sponsors:  Representatives Cody, Cooke, Tokuda, Dyer, Murray, Ogden and Costa.





Meeting Date:  February 11, 1997.


Bill Analysis Prepared by:  David Knutson  (786-7146).


Background:  The State of Washington has provided protection and regulation of guide and services dogs under the "White Cane Law" since 1969.  The White Cane Law  provides totally or partially blind, hearing impaired, or otherwise physically disabled people the right to be accompanied by a guide or service dog into any public place without being required to pay an extra charge.  It is illegal to deny or interfere with admittance to or enjoyment of any public facility by a person with an enumerated handicapping condition.  State law related to guide and service dogs is inconsistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act enacted by Congress.  Enforcement of laws requiring access to public and private facilities by persons with guide and service dogs is difficult under the White Cane Law.


Summary of Bill:  Guide and service dogs will be referred to as dog guides and service animals.  Enforcement of the access requirements for people with dog guides or service animals will be assumed by the Human Rights Commission.


Appropriation:  None.


Fiscal Note:  None requested.


Effective Date:  Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.