Will the Boeing repeal push lawmakers into overtime?

Day 45 of 60 of the 2020 session of the Washington Legislature in Olympia.

2020 Washington Legislature, Day 45 of 60

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

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OLYMPIA, Feb. 26, 2020 — Welcome to Wednesday.

Can we start the countdown to Sine Die, or will a conversation about raising Boeing’s taxes push lawmakers into a special session?

Lawmakers appear willing to grant the Boeing Co.’s wish — to repeal a tax break to help resolve an international trade dispute and stave off retaliatory tariffs from European nations against the aerospace giant, its suppliers and Washington exporters of wine, apples and seafood.

But a bill to repeal the tax break contains a provision to give it back if the company successfully settles differences with the World Trade Organization. That’s an issue with Democratic lawmakers. They want to capitalize on this opportunity to impose new conditions before reinstating the lower tax rate. Boeing officials haven’t said anything, but it’s a safe bet they don’t want to rewrite the rules.

Some of this spilled out in a public hearing in the House Finance Committee Tuesday that I covered. And in this report from Joseph O’Sullivan of The Seattle Times, House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan says the bill, as now written, lacks enough votes to pass. (Might it carry the day with Republican votes?)

Round II takes place at 3:30 today when Senate Bill 6690 receives a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Bill McSherry, vice president of government operations for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, on Tuesday after testifying before the House Finance Committee at the Capitol in Olympia. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Bill McSherry, vice president of government operations for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, on Tuesday after testifying before the House Finance Committee at the Capitol in Olympia. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

• It may be going nowhere, but a huge crowd showed up for a public hearing on Rep. Javier Valdez’s bill to ban the sale or transfer of high capacity gun magazines. This version wound up in front of the House Finance Committee because it repeals a tax break on precious metals and bullion to pay for a buy-back program.

Budget mania is under way.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee worked late Tuesday to pass a supplemental operating budget. They had 74 amendments to go through. Most of them got approved.

Today, at 3:30 p.m., the House Appropriations Committee is looking to advance its spending blueprint. Wonder how many amendments will be offered up.

• Are you following the data privacy debate? At 8 a.m., Sen. Reuven Carlyle’s data privacy bill is teed up for a possible vote in the House Innovation, Technology and Economic Development Committee. It’s also calendared for the panel’s Friday meeting, its last before cut-off for policy bills. It’s now, or then, or never.


What we’re writing and reading

Debate No. 10 is in the books for Democratic presidential candidates. You can watch it again (or for the first time) on the debate page set up by CBS. Another option is to read the full transcript prepared by the network.

James Drew of The News Tribune covered the emotion-packed hearing on the high capacity gun magazine bill.

• And in Oregon, as cap-and-trade legislation heads to the Senate floor, Republicans are heading for the exits again, reports Dirk VanderHart of Oregon Public Broadcasting.


What’s happening

• The House and Senate are planning to hit the floor at 10 a.m.

Transportation spending is on the agenda in both chambers. The House Transportation Committee is planning to exec its supplemental budget, while their Senate counterparts will be holding a hearing on their supplemental plan. Both meetings are at 3:30 p.m.

• Also at 3:30, a bill to make sure money recovered from opioid lawsuit settlements is used to tackle the opioid epidemic gets a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Here is today’s lineup of committee hearings.

Legislative agendas, schedules and calendars


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