As a legislative deadline nears, it’s time to place your bets

It’s Day 15 of the 60-day 2020 session of the Washington Legislature in Olympia.

2020 Washington Legislature, Day 15 of 60

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: | @dospueblos

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OLYMPIA, Jan. 27, 2020 — Good morning. Today we enter the second quarter of the 60-day session.

• Pressure is slowly building. The cut-off to get policy bills out of a committee is next week. One topic yet to receive much attention is the so-called “title-only” bills. Legislation has been introduced in both chambers to eliminate them, but there have been no hearings scheduled.

• There continues to a be lot of conversation about gambling and betting on sports. A House committee is holding a hearing this afternoon on a bill to allow wagering in tribal casinos. That same committee is going to consider a bill to increase the ceiling price of a pull-tab to $5, from the current $1 limit. The Senate version of the pull-tab bill is already in the Rules Committee.

• Also this afternoon, a bill permanently exempting feminine hygiene products from sales tax is in front of the Senate Ways and Means Committee today.

• As I noted last week, Democratic senators are pushing to require Sound Transit start using a state-created 2006 depreciation schedule right away. That means ditching the controversial one it’s now using, which everyone knows over-values newer vehicles.

Sound Transit officials told me Sunday the projected loss of revenue would be $1.024 billion, “with a total fiscal impact of $2.911 billion through 2041 after factoring in increased borrowing costs.” That’s higher than the figure Sound Transit initially provided for use in this story Sunday.

• ICYMI: Closely watched legislation on data privacy and use of facial recognition passed out of the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee last week.

What we’re writing and reading

• Washington’s presidential primary on March 12 is going to be meaningful, report Jim Brunner and David Gutman of The Seattle Times.

• A pivotal point in the debate over a low-carbon fuel standard is how it might impact the price of gas, reports James Drew of The News Tribune.

• Why won’t your state representative accept your note? Crosscut reporter Melissa Santos writes about how the Public Records Act is spurring lawmakers to shun paper.

• His legend wasn’t supposed to end this way: Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke on the death of Kobe Bryant.

What’s happening

• The House will be in session at 10 a.m. Don’t be surprised if the low-carbon fuel standard bill comes up for a vote.

• On the move: Creation of a Washington apples specialty license plate could get voted out of Senate Transportation Committee today.

Here’s today’s lineup of committee hearings.

Legislative agendas, schedules and calendars


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