The League believes that global climate change is one of the most serious threats facing our nation and planet today. Climate change is having a significant effect on Washington State's natural and economic landscape. Addressing climate change impacts will require a sustained commitment to integrating climate information into legislation and government programs and services.
The following bills are scheduled for hearings or executive session committee action this week. If your legislators are members of these committees, please contact them and urge them to move these bills out of committee and onto the next committee.
SB 5489 Creating environmental justice task force. Passed the Senate, 27-21, 1 excused.
SB 5971 Transportation funding, including carbon fee. (Necessary To Implement the Budget)
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, put a price on carbon, and enact measures to promote climate resiliency.
Issue Team Chair: Elyette Weinstein – eweinstein [at] lwvwa.org – (360) 791-5840
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here!
Two priority Energy bills need your support moving through the legislative process. If your legislators are members of the below committees please contact them and urge them to support moving these bills out of committee and onto the next committee:
*Action Alert* ESSB 5579 would require rail facilities to provide type and vapor pressure of oil transferred to the Department of Ecology, and prohibits a rail facility from unloading or loading crude oil unless the oil has a vapor pressure less than nine (9) psi, which removes its volatility. Click here to tell the House Environment & Energy Committee to support this bill.
In Forests, there are bills strengthening wildfire preparation and supported community forests creation to preserve working forestland. New promising bills on carbon sequestration in forests and soils will probably be reintroduced next session.
In Rivers there are a number of bills aimed at fish barrier removal, that are costly and Necessary To Implement the Budget (NTIB). Bills also address problems caused by motorized hydraulic activities in rivers that impact salmon spawning areas.
The bills listed below have survived their chamber of origin and have their first hearings this week in the opposite chamber’s policy committee. Please click on the committee to see if your Senator or Representative is a member, then click on the bill number. This takes you to the bill information page, where you find your Legislative District and can comment on the bill to your legislator. Thank you for your support!
HB 1889 / SB 5136 Establishing a water infrastructure program, funding projects for Office of Columbia River, Office of Chehalis Basin, Fish Barrier Removal Board and Department of Ecology. We oppose this bill due to omnibus bill overreach, lack of public transparency and participation in projects funded, not in Governor's budget and too extensive ($500M/biennium) considering other natural resource capitol budget requests this biennium. This bill may be Necessary to Implement the Budget, and thus may not be fully dead.
HB 1983 Concerning natural resource management activities.
SB 5701 Allows conveyance of state lands to a county for establishment of a community forest. Would weaken environmental protection and trust land payments.
*Action Alert* Join the League in supporting five bills scheduled for public hearings this week designed to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales from threats, and increase their access to Chinook Salmon. These bills will give this species the best chance for rebounding in population in the coming years. Click here to send an email to your legislators to support these important bills.
Legislators are proposing bills to address the orca crisis and improve clean water provisions. The League supports bills that enforce or strengthen the statewide protections on water, shorelines, wetlands and critical areas. The League opposes bills that will weaken the Growth Management Act.
Upcoming hearings for bills which survived cutoff are listed below. If your legislators are on these committees, please urge them to support these bills.
SB 5626 Safe Cultivation of Shellfish. Authorizes use of a pesticide in nearshore aquaculture.
SB 5630 Concerning the composition of the growth management hearings board. Places unnecessary new requirements on the hearings board that would disrupt the current effective structure.
SB 5639 Concerning the growth management hearings board (GMHB) hearings. Places unnecessary new requirements on the hearings board that would disrupt the current effective structure.
Not all transportation bills were required to pass their house of origin on the same March 13 cut-off date as most bills, because transportation and budget are on a different schedule. However, some bills were affected by that cut-off as reflected in the list of bills that died below.
Senate Proposal – Transportation PackageThe following bills were moved out of the Senate Transportation Committee with a do-pass recommendation. They are now in the Senate Rules Committee. These comprise the transportation funding package Sen. Hobbs, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee proposed to supplement the 16-year plan adopted in 2016. They include:
In combination, these bills address gaps in the 2016 package and add support for multi-modal (transit, pedestrian and bicycle) and electrification that is new. In summary, the revenues include:
The projects that would be funded in this package include those in the table below. The following projects are identified as having statewide significance:
For additional specific project information, see the LEAP notes 2019 NL-1 and NL-2, which itemizes spending categories over the next 10 years, and the balance sheet, which compares estimated revenue to proposed expenditures for 10 years.
|DOT for Facility Maintenance, Operations & Construction||2,000,000|
|DOT for Highway Maintenance||50,000,000|
DOT for Traffic Operations
|DOT for Transportation Planning, Data & Research||100,000||Study the possible different governance structures for a bridge authority WA/OR; also limits funds to regional transportation planning organizations that do not provide reasonable opportunity for voting membership for Tribes|
|DOT Public Transportation Program||69,000,000||$20 million - special needs; $11 million - rural mobility grants; $3 million - vanpool grants; $30 million for bus & bus facility grants; $4.5 million for transportation demand program expansion|
|Dept of Commerce - Transportation Grid Electrification||50,000,000||Including electric charging needs of Chelan-Douglas PTBA (Link Transit)|
|Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board||5,000,000|
|Transportation Improvement Board (TIB)||18,000,000||Complete Streets Program and City grants|
|Country Road Admin Board (CRAB)||7,000,000||$2 million - emergency loan revolving account; $5 million to enhance county arterials|
|DOT Improvements Program 1||770,642,000||See LEAP 2019 NL-1, 2/11/19; $350 million for removal of fish culverts using watershed approach; replace US 101/Lower Hoh Road Intersection; $50 million for stormwater improvements; SR 18 widening and light shields|
|DOT Preservation Program||100,000,000||See LEAP 2019 NL-1, 2/11/19|
|DOT Ferries Construction||167,000,000||See LEAP 2019 NL-1, 2/11/19|
|DOT Rail Programs||15,000,000||See LEAP 2019 NL-1, 2/11/19|
|DOT Local Programs||56,158,000||$23.658 million for LEAP 2019 NL-1, 2/11/19; $10 million - WA Ports; $15.5 million - pedestrian & bicycle safety program; $6 million - safe routes to school projects|
|Distrib to Counties & Cities||37,500,000|
Senate and House Activity
These bills passed their house of origin, and will be considered in their opposite house beginning this week:
The legislative committees are now considering the bills that passed the other chamber. Your messaging with your legislators does make a difference. The bills listed below make improvements to water quality and may have other benefits. This is what you can do now: write to the legislators in the committees highlighted below, especially if they are in your district, and ask for their vote for these bills. You may express support to your legislators at any time, and you can find your legislative district and legislators at Who Represents You. A complete roster of all legislators is here.
Find more information on these bills and other below. Click through to the official bill web pages where you can express your opinions in the Comment on this bill box. You can also read the bill details in the documentation on these pages, especially under Available Documents, Bill Reports.
HB 1632 Reducing pollution from single-use plastic food service ware. These plastics are convenient, but when discarded often become litter and find their way into our water ways. This bill is a long-range phase out of single-use plastic utensils and condiment packaging with some exemptions.