2020 Washington Legislature, Day 59 of 60
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OLYMPIA, March 11, 2020 — Good morning.
It is the next-to-last day of the 2020 session. Time for everyone to start wondering if lawmakers will Sine Die tomorrow at midnight or earlier.
House Speaker Laurie Jinkins told reporters she aspires to finish at a reasonable time in the evening. She’s only one vote.
• A bill repealing a tax break for Boeing emerged Tuesday afternoon, and the state Senate passed it in the evening. Remember, the company asked lawmakers to do this in hopes it will resolve a protracted trade dispute. The bill will not give Boeing all of the tax break back when the fighting is done. A company spokesman said it’s all good and they look forward to the House passing it.
• Negotiations continued Tuesday on a comprehensive data privacy bill. I’ve mentioned the issues before that are dividing the House and Senate. They have not changed. This is starting to shape up as a final-day decision.
• Matt Shea, anyone? The fate of the Republican lawmaker from Spokane Valley was the story when the session opened. House Democrats have today and tomorrow to decide if they will try to censure him for allegedly being involved in domestic terrorism, or take other actions.
• U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders went to bed with a slim lead on former Vice President Joe Biden in Washington’s presidential primary. You can find results here and you can find a side-by-side table here of how they fared in the state versus Snohomish County.
This morning, Gov. Jay Inslee will announce a ban on events of more than 250 people in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Leaders of those counties will join him for a news conference at 10:15 a.m. in Seattle. Sporting events, like the Seattle Mariners home opener, are in jeopardy.
Inslee will broach another sensitive subject — shuttering public schools. He’s not ready to order such a move. But he might urge districts to begin planning for closures that could last several weeks.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday Inslee ordered new rules regarding access to residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Washington. The aim, he said, is to better protect older adults who are at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Lawmakers have yet to enact the $100 million emergency funding package requested by the governor to help state agencies and local health districts responding to the coronavirus. Jinkins said the amount is certain to rise because the situation has worsened quickly. It will be passed before they leave.
What we’re writing and reading
• That bill repealing Boeing’s tax break cleared the Senate late Tuesday. Here’s my coverage.
• Joseph O’Sullivan of The Seattle Times writes about what could happen when the governor bars public events of more than 250 people in King County.
• Republican leaders in the House and Senate have joined an effort to get the governor to veto a controversial sex-ed bill, reports Jared Wenzelburger of the Daily Chronicle.
• One union, two results. SPEEA splits on a Boeing contract vote, according to a news release from the union.
• The House and Senate are starting up again at 10 a.m.
• At 10:15 a.m. in Seattle, the governor is holding a news conference regarding restrictions on public events.
• At 1:30 p.m., the House-Senate conference committee on the budget will meet and formally approve the supplemental operating budget.
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.
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)