JUmp to: climate change; energy; forests & Rivers; Shorelines, Wetlands & Land use; transportation; water
*Action Alert!* SSB 5996 addresses our escalating annual expenses for wildfires by setting up a dedicated account to fund fire prevention and suppression activities. The substitute bill funds the account with a wildfire surcharge of .52 percent of gross receipts on property and casualty insurers (except medical professional liability business). For the last five years the incidences and costs of wildfires has escalated and the associated smoke is impacting our health and the economy. Please contact your Senator and Representatives and urge them to support this bill which is necessary to implement the budget (NTIB).
*Action Alert* Buried in the proposed Washington state budget is a plan to spend $534,000 to “study” the use of the lawn pesticide imidacloprid to kill naturally occurring burrowing shrimp in shellfish aquaculture. Imidacloprid is an insecticide neurotoxin and instructions for use specifically warn against use in water. Contact your legislators now to request that this expensive and toxic study be removed from the budget.
The League believes that global climate change is one of the most serious threats facing our nation and planet today. Climate change is having a significant effect on Washington State's natural and economic landscape. Addressing climate change impacts will require a sustained commitment to integrating climate information into legislation and government programs and services.
As we approach the April 17 cutoff to read bills out of the opposite chamber, we hope to see the bills below move to the chamber floors for a vote. Please contact your Legislators to support and fund the following bills.
SB 5971 Transportation funding, including carbon fee. In Senate Ways & Means. (Necessary To Implement the Budget)
HB 2009 Addressing environmental health disparities.
HB 1597 Integrates the natural gas upstream emissions rate and global warming potential rule into other environmental and energy laws.
SB 5489 Creating environmental justice task force.
SB 5811 Reducing emissions be making changes to the clean car standards and clean car program.
SB 5947 Establishing the sustainable farms and fields grant program.
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, put a price on carbon, and enact measures to promote climate resiliency.
Issue Team Chair: Elyette Weinstein – eweinstein [at] lwvwa.org – (360) 791-5840
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here!
*Action Alert!* see above to adequately fund the escalating annual expenses for wildfires.
April 17 was the cut off for bills to pass the opposite chamber, and all but two of the bills we supported passed. Unfortunately, HB 1187, revising hydraulic project eligibility for conservation district fish enhancement projects, and ESSB 5322, restricting motorized or gravity siphon aquatic mining, did not make it through their Rules Committees. We hope that these good common sense bills will be reintroduced next year.
HB 1889 / SB 5136 Establishing a water infrastructure program, funding projects for Office of Columbia River, Office of Chehalis Basin, Fish Barrier Removal Board and Department of Ecology. We oppose this bill due to omnibus bill overreach, lack of public transparency and participation in projects funded, not in Governor's budget and too extensive ($500M/biennium) considering other natural resource capitol budget requests this biennium. This bill may be Necessary to Implement the Budget, and thus may not be fully dead.
HB 1983 Concerning natural resource management activities.
SB 5701 Allows conveyance of state lands to a county for establishment of a community forest. Would weaken environmental protection and trust land payments.
*Action Alert* See above to take action supporting transparent government and defend our shorelines.
Legislators are proposing bills to address the orca crisis and improve clean water provisions. The League supports bills that enforce or strengthen the statewide protections on water, shorelines, wetlands and critical areas. The League opposes bills that will weaken the Growth Management Act.
The following bills passed their opposite house of origin and are now pending signatures from chamber officials before they can be delivered to the Governor for signature:
Upcoming hearings for bills which survived cutoff are listed below. If your legislators are on these committees, please urge them to support these bills.
SB 5626 Safe Cultivation of Shellfish. Authorizes use of a pesticide in nearshore aquaculture.
SB 5630 Concerning the composition of the growth management hearings board. Places unnecessary new requirements on the hearings board that would disrupt the current effective structure.
SB 5639 Concerning the growth management hearings board (GMHB) hearings. Places unnecessary new requirements on the hearings board that would disrupt the current effective structure.
The budget negotiations for transportation have not been public and are likely awaiting completion of other business. When it is clear what has emerged from that process, it will be covered here.
The information below reflects the current status of bills we are following, as of this week.
The following bills would implement the Senate Transportation budget and are in Rules Committee pending further negotiations.
The Legislature is wrapping up the 2019 session and have made progress in passing bills to reduce pollution as outlined below. Nevertheless, several bills have not yet completed votes in the legislature. Communicating with your legislators does make a difference. This is what you can do now: write to your legislators and ask for their actions described in the next 3 bullets.
Find more information on these bills and other below. Click through to the official bill web pages where you can express your opinions in the Comment on this bill box. You can also read the bill details in the documentation on these pages, especially under Available Documents, Bill Reports.
HB 1632 Reducing pollution from single-use plastic food service ware. These plastics are convenient, but when discarded often become litter and find their way into our water ways. This bill is a long-range phase out of single-use plastic utensils and condiment packaging with some exemptions.