TVW Update

Legislative Week in Review – March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

This week marks the week 8 of the legislative session. On February 27th, we covered a public hearing in the House of Representatives where two bills were debated. Among them, was House Bill 1091–an act relating to the Clean Fuels Program. Requested by Governor Jay Inslee, the program limits the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation fuels by establishing a low-carbon fuel requirement in the state.

Also discussed in the floor session was House Bill 1054–which relates to police accountability, tactics and equipment used during arrests.

On Monday March 1st, we brought you coverage of a Senate floor session, where state senators debated a number of bills. One of them was Senate Bill 5036, which relates to the release of incarcerated individuals from total confinement before the expiration of their sentence.

Later in the day, the Senate again convened for yet another debate–this time, on Senate Bill  5141. Also known as the “HEAL Act”, it aims to reduce environmental and health disparities on indigenous individuals, low income families, and communities of color through implementing recommendations by the Environmental Justice Task Force.

On Tuesday, March 2nd, the Senate convened for another floor debate, during which they discussed Senate Bill 5401– an act that if passed, will authorize  community and technical colleges to offer bachelor degrees in Computer Science.

Another bill on the Senate’s agenda was Senate Bill 5022-which aims to promote recycling and reduce litter by prohibiting the sale of certain polystyrene products, establishing the minimum recycled content requirements for plastic drink containers, and creating optional single-use food service requirements for restaurants.

Also debated by the Senate on March 2nd, was Senate Bill 5287, which establishes a new 20-year tax exemption for newly-built, permanently affordable homes, and extends the current tax exemption on existing affordable homes from 8 or 12 % to 20%.

From the Senate, we shifted our coverage to the House floor on March 3rd, where several bills were also debated. On the agenda was House Bill 1186–an act that, if passed, will allow juvenile offenders who have served at least 60% of their term, to finish its remainder as members of the community–under the supervision of the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).

Our March 3rd coverage then extended to a floor debate in the Senate where Senate Bill 5062 was discussed. The bill aims to provide Washingtonians with the rights to access, correct, and delete their own personal data collected by advertisers, businesses, and the like. The bill also gives consumers the chance to opt out of the processing of their personal data if it is used for targeted advertising or consumer profiling.

Then, later in the day, we also covered a floor debate in the House of Representatives, concerning House Bill 1267–which relates to independent investigations on police use of force. The bill aims to establish a new state office under the Governor, to look into incidents that involve peace officers’ use of deadly force.

On Thursday, March 4th, we started our coverage with a committee hearing by the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology committee on Senate Bill 5373– an act that aims to impose a ‘carbon pollution tax’ on all fossil fuel in the state, except when used for electricity. The proposed tax will be $25 for every metric ton of their equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.

We then moved on to a Senate floor debate where state senators debated the passage of Senate Bill 5160–an act that addresses landlord-tenant relations. The bill does this  by offering legal representation and certain protections to tenants facing eviction due to a public health emergency such as COVID; and allowing landlords to access state rental assistance programs.

On Friday, March 5th, our coverage included two bills–one from the House of Representatives, and the other from the Senate. State representatives convened to debate House Bill 1099, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington by proposing changes to the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA). The bill does this by specifically requiring the addition of addressing climate change to one of the goals in the state’s GMA. We wrapped up the week’s coverage with a floor debate on Senate Bill 5263–and act concerning police use of deadly force, which raises the legal bar for when police who injure or kill an individual can use the defense that the person harmed was committing a felony.

Keep watching Legislative Review to keep up with daily and weekly recaps of the top debates in the state legislature. You can also watch this week’s full hearings by logging on to tvw.org.

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