Democrats ready to ditch the other ‘grand bargain’ of 2021

Here’s what’s happening on Day 10 of the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature.

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

2022 Washington Legislature, Day 10 of 60

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

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

OLYMPIA, Jan. 19 — Democrats and Republicans will rumble this afternoon over the long-term-care benefits program known as WA Cares.

They’ll be scrapping over a bill to put the program on hold and halt a payroll tax that some workers started paying 19 days ago. It will be an 18-month timeout. Democrats hope by then to erase concerns about the future solvency of their initiative to provide workers with money to defray the costs of long-term care. Republicans hope by then to kill the program as now designed, and maybe replace it with something else.

Spoiler Alert: House Bill 1732 will pass. It shouldn’t be close. There’s broad agreement the program is not ready.

What’s next: A quick pass through the Senate, then to Gov. Jay Inslee for signing, maybe late next week.

A side bargain to the Grand Bargain

Democrats negotiated amongst themselves for many, many hours last session to amass enough votes to pass a signature piece of their agenda, the Climate Commitment Act. To lock up votes of moderate Dems, language was added requiring action on a transportation package before enforcement of the bill’s carbon pricing system kicked in.

Inslee wanted no part of this. He vetoed the provision, clearing the way for a launch next year and future collection of hundreds of millions of dollars by the state.

Turns out, in the same piece of legislation, Democrats made another deal to sew up votes.

It is a separate provision that bars spending any of those proceeds unless, by April 2023, the lawmakers enact legislation from the Department of Ecology creating a path for emissions-intensive, trade-exposed businesses — think steel, concrete and aerospace manufacturers — to reduce their emissions by certain amounts through 2050.

House Bill 1682 is the legislation. It got a hearing Tuesday in the House Environment and Energy Committee. Firms it targets aren’t happy with it and want revisions. It’s no slam-dunk.

One proposed change didn’t stir debate — axing the spending prohibition. As proposed, the language put in a few months ago would be cut, allowing lawmakers to earmark use of those dollars sooner than later.

“We don’t need the link any more,” said Sen. Marko Liias, D-Everett, the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “It was there to get a transportation package. We are now working on a transportation package.”

Stay tuned.

Leaning forward

One of the architects of last year’s bargains was then-Sen. Steve Hobbs, a centrist Democrat from Lake Stevens. He insisted a portion of carbon money be spent in the state’s transportation system, and he wouldn’t budge, withholding his vote absent a guarantee.

He’s gone to the secretary of state’s office and is engaged in a whole different set of battles. In his first extended interview, Hobbs shared with Seattle non-profit news outlet Crosscut his resolve to take on the spread of misinformation about elections and his caution about Inslee’s proposal to jail politicians who lie about election results.

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 | 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) | Shauna Sowersby (McClatchy newspapers) | Laurel Demkovich (Spokesman-Review)

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville
Want to serve on the Marysville School Board? There’s a vacancy

Katie Jackson resigned in November for personal reasons. The board plans to fill the spot by Jan. 4.

Robert Miller blows snow out of the parking lot next to his home as snow comes down on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snow arrives earlier than expected in Everett; more expected Tuesday night

Forecasted snow arrives earlier than expected. Wind, winter weather advisories are in effect through Wednesday afternoon.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Man identified in fatal Lake Stevens crash

Bradley Gilbert, 52, of Lake Stevens, died in the crash on State Route 92 last week.

Clyde Shavers, left, and Greg Gilday.
Shavers wins by narrow margin as Dems flip seat in 10th District

Democrat Clyde Shavers won by 211 votes against incumbent state Rep. Greg Gilday. It’s close enough for a recount.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Washington state.
Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7

Find information and resources to help make the best choice for you.

Marysville Jail (City of Marysville)
Man with hepatitis C accused of spitting on Marysville jail staff

Hepatitis C is usually spread through blood. The suspect, 28, faces allegations of exposing the officers to a contagious disease.

A sign posted on the door of Bits’n Pieces in Arlington. (Jacqueline Allison / The Herald)
‘3 Students’ max: Arlington businesses bemoan early release, rowdy teens

Since middle-school students started getting released at 1:15 p.m. Fridays, downtown businesses saw a rise in disruptive behavior.

Eric Wilkinson, a Community Transit driver of 17 years, departs from Seaway Transit Center in an empty 280 bus Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Everett, Washington. Wilkinson said he usually has about 5 passengers from Boeing on the bus to Granite Falls, but had none Friday because Boeing was closed for the holiday weekend. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Driver shortage prompts Community Transit’s trip cut proposal

Reducing service, by 78 trips total on 9 routes, could make for more reliable arrivals and departures in March.

Influenza A data from The Everett Clinic labs.
Second flu death since 2020 reported in Snohomish County

A Lynnwood woman died last week in Everett. County health officials say this could be worst flu season since the pandemic.

Most Read