In Olympia, they’re recycling bills and reusing plastic bags

It’s Day 4 of 60 of the 2020 session of the Washington Legislature.

2020 Washington Legislature, Day 4 of 60

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: | @dospueblos

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OLYMPIA, Jan. 16, 2020 — A degree of normalcy returned to the Capitol on Wednesday with senators passing bills and their House counterparts caucusing.

If you’re wondering, as most around here are: The subject of Rep. Matt Shea was not broached in the protracted Democratic confab. At least that’s what a few members told me.

In the Senate, they passed bills that they approved last year that died in the House. First up, legislation to have Washington adopt California’s standards for zero-emission vehicles. It squeaked by on a 26-23 vote, with Democrats Steve Hobbs and Dean Takko dissenting.

Senators voted by a wider and more bipartisan margin to ban single-use plastic bags. That, too, died in the House in 2019. Bans are catching on in cities and might be too popular an idea for lawmakers not to do.

Did you hear? A bunch of House Democrats dropped a bill to ban statewide initiatives from the ballot in odd years. They obviously didn’t like the results of the November election.

What we’re writing and reading

• Nine months ago, Senate Democrats killed a clean-fuels bill sought by Gov. Jay Inslee. Yet for some unexplained reason, the governor is confident of a different outcome this session. My ruminations on the matter.

• Jim Camden of the Spokesman-Review and I chewed the fat with Austin Jenkins of Northwest News Network on “Inside Olympia” this week. Watch us break down the first days of the session.

• Ignore the null-and-void clause! As Camden reports, there’s one such clause in the plastic-bag-ban bill, and it’s why at least one lawmaker voted no.

• The more the merrier: Phil Gardner, a former district director for Democratic U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, announced he’s running to succeed his old boss. It’s a crowded field, as James Drew of the News Tribune points out.

What’s happening

Gov. Jay Inslee is meeting with reporters at 10 a.m. Thursday. It will be a chance to get an update on snow-storm-related damage. It’ll be streamed live on TVW.

Got a question for the executive? Email it to me.

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

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