How our lawmakers voted

  • Wednesday, May 1, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion is a project of the Washington Policy Center. See www.

Senate Bill 5825, Addressing the tolling of Interstate 405, State Route 167 and State Route 509

Passed the Senate on April 25 by a vote of 30-18 (one member excused)

This bill would make both the Interstate 405 express toll lanes and State Route 167 express toll lanes permanent and assign separate toll revenue accounts. It also would authorize tolling on and create an account for the future Puget Sound Gateway facility. This facility is defined as SR 167 between North Meridian Avenue in Puyallup and I-5 in Fife, the SR 509 spur between I-5 in Fife and SR 509 in Tacoma and SR 509 between South 188th Street and I-5 in SeaTac. As passed, the bill also would direct that a lower rate schedule for low-income drivers be considered for the SR 509 portion of the facility. The bill was referred to the House Transportation Committee for a hearing on April 27.

Sen. Kevin Van De Wege

(D-Sequim) Yes

Senate Bill 5993, Reforming the financial structure of the model toxics control program

Passed the Senate on April 25 by a vote of 27-22

This bill would roughly double the state’s hazardous substances tax (HST) on petroleum products by changing it to a volumetric rate of $1.09 per 42-gallon barrel. Under current law, a 0.7 percent is collected on the wholesale value of all hazardous substances. The bill would not change the tax on non-petroleum products. During debate, proponents argued that raising the tax is necessary to pay for the cost of cleanup projects, which includes borrowing $80 million through bonds. Republicans strongly opposed raising the tax, warning that the increase would affect fuel prices for consumers and would add more burdens to an industry that provides good jobs. The bill was referred to the House Finance Committee for further consideration.

Sen. Van De Wege Yes

Senate Bill 5380, Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention and related services

Passed the House on April 169 by a vote of 60-38.

The bill is a comprehensive measure to deal with the opioid crisis and passed both houses with near unanimous votes earlier this month. The bill stalled this week when the Senate refused to agree to a House amendment to the bill. The amendment would prohibit the state Health Care Authority from working with any public agency that sponsors “safe injection” sites for the injection of illicit drugs. If enacted, the amendment would prevent public health dollars going to any city or county that sponsors a public facility for illegal drug use. After agreement could not be reached, a conference committee was appointed by the House and Senate to work out a compromise version of the bill.

Rep. Mike Chapman

(D-Port Angeles) Yes

Rep. Steve Tharinger

(D-Port Townsend) Yes

Senate Bill 5986, Establishing a tax on vapor and heated tobacco products to fund cancer research and support local public health

Passed the Senate on April 23 by a vote of 35-13 (one member excused)

This bill would impose a tax of $0.10 per milliliter of solution on vapor products and a a tax on heated tobacco products at a rate of $0.60 per ounce. Heated tobacco products, or heated cigarettes, are tobacco products that produce aerosols containing nicotine and other chemicals, which are inhaled by users through the mouth. Under the bill the governor would be authorized to enter into vapor products taxation compacts with federally recognized Indian tribes and establishes requirements for such compacts. The bill was referred to the House Finance Committee of further consideration.

Sen. Van De Wege Yes

House Bill 1465, Concerning requirements for pistol sales or transfers

Passed the House on final passage on April 23 by a vote of 56-40 (two members excused)

The bill removes a provision allowing a dealer to deliver a pistol to a purchaser who produces a valid concealed pistol license prior to the completion of a state background check. The new law would expire six months after the date on which the Washington State Patrol determines that a single point of contact firearm background check system is operational in the state. The bill is headed to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Rep. Chapman Yes

Rep. Tharinger Yes

House Bill 1112, Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from hydrofluorocarbons

Passed the senate on final passage on April 22 by a vote of 30-19

This bill is part of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “climate change” legislative agenda. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by phasing out hydrofluorocarbons used in refrigerators and other equipment. It had passed both chambers, but the House refused to concur on Senate amendments to the bill. The Senate backed off its amendments, one of which would have delayed implementation of the bill by a year, and approved it on final passage. The bill is headed to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Sen. Van De Wege Yes

Senate Bill 5497, Establishing a statewide policy supporting Washington’s economy and immigrants’ role in the workplace

Passed the Senate on final passage on April 24 by a vote of 27-21 (one member excused)

This bill, when enacted, will establish the Keep Washington Working work group within the state Department of Commerce. The work group is required to develop strategies and methods to strengthen immigrants’ career pathways, provide workforce stability for the agriculture industry and recommend approaches to attract immigrant-owned businesses. Under the bill, state and local law enforcement agencies, school resource officers and security departments may not provide information to federal immigration authorities for civil immigration enforcement or provide nonpublic personal information about an individual to federal immigration authorities unless otherwise required by law. The bill is headed to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Sen. Van De Wege Yes.

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