Scoop: Deal links carbon-fuel standard with transpo package

Here’s what’s happening on Day 40 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

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

2021 Washington Legislature, Day 40 of 105

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: | @dospueblos

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

OLYMPIA, Feb. 19, 2021 — Good morning. Happy Friday.

Let’s start with a bit of a scoop.

A major deal is coming together to settle sticky policy fights over a low-carbon-fuel standard and cap-and-trade program while securing funding for a new transportation package and removal of hundreds of culverts as required by a federal court order.

A key piece gets attention today. It is a revised version of Gov. Jay Inslee’s cap-and-invest bill dealing with carbon emissions. Originally, the money generated — roughly $1 billion per biennium — went into a Climate Investment Account for unspecified emission reduction efforts.

Now it specifies that $650 million go into an account to fund transportation projects each biennium through 2037, topping out at $5.2 billion over 16 years. After 2038, half of each year’s proceeds must continue to go into this account.

Sen. Reuven Carlyle of Seattle is steering this bill through the process. He’s holding a work session on the changes at 8 a.m. today for his Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee.

Meanwhile, those changes should please Sen. Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens because it provides a revenue stream for the “Forward Washington” transportation package he’s pushed the past couple of years, without success. And without the governor’s backing. That’s a second piece.

Theoretically, it will make Hobbs happy enough to allow the low-carbon-fuel standard bill to get out of the Senate Transportation Committee. He’s the chairman and has kept it bottled up. There’s a third piece.

Two other pieces are expected to surface next week. They are intended to raise $3.1 billion for culverts and $1.5 billion for water projects in the Chehalis, Columbia and Yakima river basins over the next decade. One is a proposed bond, which would require voter approval. The other is an annual parcel tax of around $15 for ag land, $40 per home and $60 per commercial property. Sens. Mark Mullet, a Democrat, and James Honeyford, a Republican are pushing these.

To be clear, nothing is settled. And there are as many convolutions as participants in the negotiations. But if the players can put these pieces together, Inslee could finally record victories on two climate change policies that have eluded him his entire tenure.

Pandemic aid

At 1 p.m. today, Inslee plans to sign the bill which disperses $2.2 billion in federal funds across the state to defray costs of the ongoing response to the pandemic and to restore a semblance of normalcy to public life.

Under the legislative schematic in House Bill 1368, hundreds of millions of dollars will be dropped into various buckets and poured into efforts to administer vaccines, resume in-person classroom instruction, reopen shuttered businesses, assist those who can’t make rent or afford child care, and provide food to needy families.

And another batch of federal aid could arrive before the session ends. A $1.9 trillion federal aid package is expected to passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden by mid-March.

Also today, the governor was supposed to get his second vaccination shot. But weather-related delays in the delivery of doses to this state are expected to push back the timeline.

Unhappy camper

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is peeved because his requested bill banning use of credit scores in setting rates got seriously edited, and credit scores are now not going away. Gutted is the word he used in a Thursday news release. He blamed the insurance industry.

“Once again, the insurance industry is asserting its muscle in Olympia,” Kreidler said. “This insurance industry designed this bill to make sure you stay with your current company. That’s a great incentive for the industry and a bad deal for consumers.”

To subscribe to the Cornfield Report, go to | Previous Cornfield Reports here.


News clippings

Compiled by: House Democrats | House Republicans



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



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) | Jim Camden (Spokesman-Review)

Talk to us

More in Local News

Paul McElhany points out how far the new building will extend past the current building at Northwest Fisheries Science Center's Mukilteo Research Station on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 in Mukilteo, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Oh, crab! NOAA’s Mukilteo waterfront fish lab won’t be rebuilt

Bids for a new Northwest Fisheries Science Center research station are too high. Are condos next?

Austin Johnson, 26 years-old, trains on the Centennial Trail in Lake Stevens and is planning to do a 24-hour run to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
24 hours, 80 miles, $23k raised for mental health

Austin Johnson completes a 24-hour run along the Centennial Trail to raise money for suicide prevention.

A pre-loaded syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sits on the table for the next person in line during a vaccine clinic as South Pointe Assisted Living on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish County to receive its largest shipment of vaccines

Even as case counts drop, researchers are finding a growing number of COVID variants in the state.

Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney during an interview at the sheriff’s department June 17, 2020. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Auditor denies Fortney recall group the extra time it seeks

He said he could extend the deadline for signature gathering if ordered by a court or the Governor.

Everett man identified after being found dead in creek

The cause of death for Renee Baltazar Romero remained under investigation Thursday.

Everett man found dead in creek near Lake Stevens

The man, 28, was reported missing Thursday. A neighbor found his body in Little Pilchuck Creek.

Autopsy shows Lake Stevens woman, 20, drowned Saturday

Anna M. Lopez was swimming when witnesses noticed she was not responsive, according to officials.

Joe Hempel swims off of the shore of Seawall Park on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 in Langley, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Scantily clad is the dress code for these cold rush swimmers

Immersed for 30 minutes in frigid water would kill most of us. It energizes these swimmers.

Gerry Betz makes bread at his home Saturday morning in Everett on February 20, 2021. Betz is the Community Loaves coordinator of the Everett Hub. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Hobbyists and pros bake homemade bread to donate in Everett

Community Loaves delivers the fresh goods to groups helping those who are experiencing food insecurity.

Most Read