Working families win; state is No. 1; dinosaur bill dies

Here’s what’s happening on Day 59 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

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

2021 Washington Legislature, Day 59 of 105

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: | @dospueblos

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

OLYMPIA, March 10, 2021 — Good morning. Lawmakers are shifting back into committee mode after a protracted stretch of voting concluded with Tuesday’s “house of origin” cutoff.

A nearly unanimous House passed an expansion of the Working Families Tax Exemption, House Bill 1297. This program has been on the books since 2008 but never funded.

As written, roughly 420,000 taxpayers could be in line for rebates starting in 2023 at a cost of around $250 million to the state. That is if the Legislature and Gov. Jay Inslee agree to make the money available.

“We’ll fund the Working Families Tax Exemption in our budget,” House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, told reporters late Tuesday. “Our passing a bill off the House floor is tantamount to us funding it.”

Tuesday also brought passage of a blueprint for expanding forest health and wildfire prevention efforts across the state. House Bill 1168, which passed without a dissenting vote, is a top priority of Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.

This bill carries a potential $125 million cost. As the two policies await consideration in the Senate, their supporters must start working the trap lines to make sure budget writers in that chamber agree to fund them.

Meanwhile, a bill banning use of credit scores in the setting of insurance rates died when it didn’t get to the Senate floor.

And there was disappointment for many children lobbying for the Suciasaurus rex. They wanted it to be named the official state dinosaur, but House Bill 1067 failed to get voted on.

“The dinosaur bill wasn’t in our priority category areas,” Jinkins said.

We’re No. 1 again

Washington, for the second consecutive year, is No. 1 in the U.S. News Best States rankings.

“I am so happy for the people of Washington to take home this honor again. It takes all 7.6 million of us to make this state the dynamic place it truly is,” crowed Gov. Jay Inslee in a news release.

The magazine culls and meshes data from an assortment of sources. In all, there are 71 metrics across eight broad categories. Of those, Washington is in the top 10 in health care, education, economy and infrastructure.

There’s room for improvement. Drill down and you find that the state is 24th in transportation due to deteriorating roads and some long commutes. And Washington is 44th in affordability because of a high cost of living and housing prices.

Battle cry

With a capital gains tax set to motor through the House to the governor’s desk, foes are busy figuring out how best to prevent it from ever taking effect. Two main options loom.

A referendum is one, since Senate Democrats stripped off the bill’s emergency clause. Gathering signatures, then conducting a campaign, would be neither cheap nor easy. And even if voters did repeal the law, nothing would stop its re-emergence in the future.

A legal challenge is the other option. It won’t be cheap or fast. A lawsuit would certainly reach the state’s Supreme Court, where the legislation’s legality could be settled one way or another, for a longer period.

Emotions are high, with one critic declaring Tuesday, “It’s Defcon 1.”

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

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Police investigating cause of fatal 3-vehicle crash on Highway 9

The man, 61, crossed the center line in Snohomish on Monday and crashed into the truck, the sheriff’s office said.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
1 dead, 1 in hospital after 3-vehicle crash on Highway 9

A concrete pumping truck and two sedans crashed Monday afternoon, closing the highway near Bickford Avenue.

Moses Malachi Brewer appears in court for sentencing Friday, March 24, 2023, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Man sentenced to 18 years for 2019 shooting in Everett

Moses Brewer, 23, shot four people in an Everett apartment, which left one victim paralyzed on his right side.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Health care spending continues to outpace inflation, driven by prices

Can state efforts curb 6.7% growth per year in overall health care spending?

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A buffet of budgets, a bunch of whales and a request for your miles

It’s Day 78. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Anthony "Road Rage" Mohs (Photo Provided by Dana Mowbray)
Motorcyclist identified in deadly Mountlake Terrace crash

Anthony M. Mohs, 32, was killed Monday when an SUV crashed into him at the intersection of 212th Street SW and 44th Avenue W.

The Cathlamet made headlines when it crashed into pilings at Fauntleroy terminal on July 28, 2022. WSDOT launched an internal investigation to determine the cause of the collision. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Cathlamet ferry to depart from Edmonds after repairs from July crash

The ferry will serve Edmonds-Kingston route for a week, equipped with a new black box that will become the fleet’s standard.

FILE - Former President Donald J. Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Lawyer: Trump indicted, 1st ex-president charged with crime

Former president Donald Trump has been indicted on charges in New York regarding payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Thursday to add a ninth judge to the Snohomish County District Court. Sen. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, who sponsored the bill, and Presiding District Court Judge Jennifer Rancourt look on. Taken March 30, 2023  (Jerry Cornfield / The Herald)
Snohomish County will get another District Court judge

Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Thursday to add a ninth judge to the court. It’s the first expansion in a quarter-century.

Most Read