How our lawmakers voted — April 5, 2017

How our lawmakers voted — April 5, 2017

  • Wednesday, April 5, 2017 1:30am
  • Opinion

State lawmakers last week focused on budget legislation, as this year’s 105-day Regular Session heads for adjournment in less than a month.

The Senate unanimously adopted the state capital construction budget and the House approved a $44.9 billion spending plan for 2017-2019. The House budget measure started out as HB 1067, the governor’s budget request. It was substituted by the House Democrats’ spending proposal and passed by the House Committee on Appropriations after considering 59 amendments.

House leaders then moved SB 5048, the state budget bill passed by the Republican-led Senate last week, to the floor, stripped it and inserted the content of HB 1067, along with 20 floor amendments — out of 86 proposed — before passing it along strictly partisan lines Friday morning.

Senate Bill 5048, Making 2017-19 fiscal biennium operating appropriations

Passed the House on March 31 by a vote of 50-48

This budget bill, passed by the Senate last week, was stripped and replaced by the contents of HB 1067, the House Democrats’ $44.9 billion 2017-2019 state spending proposal.

The state 2017-2019 budget bill now includes appropriations of $22.0 billion for K-12 public schools; $5.9 billion for the Department of Social and Health Services; $8.2 billion for other human services programs, including the Health Care Authority and the Department of Corrections; and $3.8 billion for higher education institutions and financial aid.

It also would fund the state employee and non-state employee pay raise agreements negotiated between the governor and state employee unions last year, Initiative 732 cost-of-living adjustments and additional K-12 salary increases. The bill also would provide supplemental appropriations in the current 2015-2017 state budget, adding $1.6 million in total budgeted funds.

The bill now goes back to the Senate for approval or rejection of the House amendments. If the amendments are rejected and the House insists on its position, the bill will go to a conference committee of members selected by leaders of both chambers to negotiate a final state budget measure.

Rep. Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles) Yes

Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Sequim) Yes

Senate Bill 5086, SB 5086: Concerning the Capital Budget

Passed the Senate on March 30 by a vote of 49-0

The Capital Budget generally includes appropriations for the acquisition, construction and repair of capital assets such as land, buildings and other infrastructure improvements. Funding for the Capital Budget is primarily from state general obligation bonds, with other funding derived from various dedicated taxes, fees and state trust land revenues.

This bill would authorize $3.98 billion in new capital construction projects for state agencies and institutions of higher education for the 2017-2019 fiscal biennium. The proceeds of state general obligation bonds would fund $2.53 billion of the total appropriations.

The bill also provides for a net decrease of $870,000 in adjustments to the current 2015-2017 capital budget. It now heads to the House for consideration.

Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim) Yes

Senate Bill 5130, Increasing marijuana license fees and adding a temporary additional fee on marijuana licenses issued by the Washington state liquor and cannabis board

Passed the Senate on March 31 by a vote of 35-10 (four members excused)

The state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) has the authority to license and regulate marijuana businesses in Washington. It issues licenses to marijuana producers, processors, retailers and researchers. The fee for each license is currently set in statute at $1,000 for both the original application and each annual renewal.

This bill would raise the licensing application and renewal fees for marijuana producers, processors, retailers and researchers to $1,300, beginning on July 1, 2018. It also would impose a one-time nonrefundable additional fee of $480 on all marijuana license applications and modifications.

The fee would apply to new license applications and all license renewals for licenses expiring on or after June 30. The one-time fee would expire on June 30, 2018.

The LCB is would be required to use the revenue from this fee to replace the LCB’s current electronic traceability system. The bill is now headed to the House for consideration.

Sen. Van De Wege Excused

WashingtonVotes.org is a project of the Washington Policy Center. See www.WashingtonVotes.org.

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