5 wrinkles for lawmakers to iron out in session’s last days

Here’s what’s happening on Day 92 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112

2021 Washington Legislature, Day 92 of 105

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: jcornfield@heraldnet.com | @dospueblos

Want this in your inbox Monday-Wednesday-Friday? Subscribe here.

OLYMPIA, April 12, 2021 — Good Monday morning. Only 14 days left. Tough conversations and tricky negotiations lie ahead in this penultimate week of the 2021 regular session.

Many will be between Democrats in the House and Senate — they hold majorities in both chambers — and with Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee. Democrats have some challenging wrinkles to iron out amongst themselves. Republicans aren’t going to sit idly by and in some instances may provide the political steam required to smooth things out.

Here are five wrinkles. Please send the Cornfield Report others that you’re keeping an eye on.

Budgets: Lawmakers will pass two-year operating, transportation and capital budgets. These deals may be the easiest to close. Those latter two spending blueprints should move along smoothly because their initial drafts passed with huge bipartisan votes in each chamber. Regarding the operating budget, Republicans’ distaste for the levels of taxation and spending are well enunciated. Influencing how federal COVID-19 relief dollars are used may be a focus of their energy in the waning days.

Capital gains tax: This is still in the House Finance Committee. If Democrats keep it in their budgets, they must watch the clock. Time is an increasingly precious commodity, and the bill’s arrival on the House floor will incite a lengthy debate. Unless, of course, Democrats are recalculating on this matter.

Housing: A dispute is emerging over legislation to ensure low-income tenants facing eviction have access to a lawyer, if needed. The House amended Senate Bill 5160 to set a hard end date for the state’s eviction moratorium. That didn’t sit well with Democratic Sen. Patty Kuderer, the bill’s author, as Brandon Block of The Olympian reports.

Transportation package: If any matter pushes the Legislature into special session, it will be this one.

Right now a transportation package of some magnitude is the linchpin of the so-called grand bargain. Two climate-change bills — one targeting pollution from industries through a carbon emission cap-and-trade program and the other targeting tailpipe emissions through a low carbon fuel standard — are contingent on the transportation budget’s passage.

The proposed package is a 16-year, $17.8 billion undertaking. It is funded with revenue from cap-and-trade plus a gas tax hike, a new assessment on development and 28 other fees. A public hearing on the plan will be held at 10 a.m. today in the Senate Transportation Committee, whose chair, Sen. Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens, is the driving force.

Meanwhile, Senate Bill 5126, the cap-and-trade bill, will gets a first hearing in the House at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Blake decision: The current legislative response, Senate Bill 5476, encountered headwinds Saturday from those opposed to provisions allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of narcotics for personal use.

The Democrat-led Senate Ways and Means Committee pondered then punted the bill to the Rules Committee without recommendation. Amendments from three Republicans and a Democrat sought to restore penalties for possession and craft a comprehensive response before the next session.

Meanwhile, Gov. Inslee is helping speed the release of people affected by the state Supreme Court decision from state prison by granting them clemency. On Friday, he commuted the sentences of seven men in custody solely because of a conviction under the invalidated statute. More commutations are expected. Across the state, dozens of people are out of jail and thousands are getting charges dismissed or sentences vacated as a result of the court’s February ruling.

To subscribe to the Cornfield Report, go to www.heraldnet.com/newsletters. | Previous Cornfield Reports here.

 

News clippings

Compiled by: House Democrats | House Republicans

 

On TV

Non-profit TVW covers state government in Olympia and selected events statewide. Programs are available for replay on the internet, and the channel is widely available on Washington cable systems.

TVW schedule | Current and recent video | Archives | Shows

 

Links

Contact your legislator | District lookup | Bill lookup

Legislature home | House | Senate

Caucuses: House Democrats | House Republicans | Senate Democrats | Senate Republicans

Office of the Governor

Laws and agency rules

Beat reporters: Jerry Cornfield (Herald) | Rachel La Corte (AP) | Joseph O’Sullivan (Times) | Jim Brunner (Times) | Austin Jenkins (NW News Network) | Melissa Santos (Crosscut) | Sara Gentzler (McClatchy) | Laurel Demkovich (Spokesman-Review) | Jim Camden (Spokesman-Review)

Talk to us

More in Local News

A wanted suspect was arrested after a standoff with law enforcement Tuesday night. (Bothell Police Department)
Kidnapping suspect arrested after standoff in Bothell

A large police presence contained the property in the 20500 block of 32nd Dr. SE on Tuesday night.

Community Transit's Lynnwood microtransit pilot project is set to launch this fall with a service area around the Alderwood mall. (Community Transit)
Lynnwood’s microtransit test begins this fall, others possible

Community Transit could launch other on-demand services in Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens.

Doctor Thomas Robey sits in a courtyard at Providence Regional Medical Center on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
‘It’d be a miracle’: Providence tests new treatment for meth addiction

Monoclonal antibodies could lead to the first drug designed to fight meth addiction. Everett was chosen due to its high meth use.

Rev. Barbara Raspberry, dressed in her go-to officiating garments, sits in the indoor chapel at her home, the Purple Wedding Chapel, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Everett, Washington. The space used to be two bedrooms, but she and her husband Don took down a wall converted them into a room for wedding ceremonies the day after their youngest son moved out over 20 years ago. The room can seat about 20 for in-person ceremonies, plus it serves as a changing room for brides and is the setting for virtual weddings that Raspberry officiates between brides and their incarcerated fiancees at the Monroe Correctional Complex. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s oh-so-colorful Purple Wedding Chapel is in the red

Rev. Rasberry has hitched hundreds of couples over the years. After her husband died, she’s unsure if she can keep the place.

Everett
Man dies in motorcycle crash that snarled I-5 in Everett

Washington State Patrol: he tried to speed by another driver but lost control and hit the shoulder barrier.

Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, right, a Democrat, and Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, left, running as a nonpartisan, take part in a debate, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Olympia, Wash., with Melissa Santos, center, of Axios Local, moderating. Hobbs and Anderson are seeking to fill the remaining two years of the term of Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who left to take a key election security job in the Biden administration. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Sparks fly as Hobbs, Anderson face off in secretary of state debate

Julie Anderson called Steve Hobbs an “inexperienced political appointee.” He’s been in the job since Inslee put him there in November.

Zion Wright, 6, makes a face as Cecilia Guidarrama starts to massage cold facial cleanser onto his face during Evergreen Beauty College’s annual back-to-school beauty event on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of kids get free back-to-school haircuts in Everett

For hours on Wednesday, training beauticians pampered families at the Everett campus of Evergreen Beauty College.

Jose Espinoza Aguilar appears in court via video for arraignment Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prosecutors: ‘Danger’ shot man in head ‘without provocation or warning’

Jose Espinoza Aguilar had just been released from prison in May for another shooting. He now faces charges of first-degree assault.

Former public works site at 1201 Bonneville Ave is slated for affordable in housing in the Midtown District of Snohomish, Washington on April 21, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Small step’ toward affordable housing is big debate in Snohomish

Four months of public hearings have hinged on how much more taxpayers could shell out if the city offers a developer a break.

Most Read