March 21st Hot List - State House
This is the Legislative Hot List for the State House. It outlines the environmental community's positions on important environmental House bills and budget provisions for the week of March 21, 2011.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ACTION
HB 2008: Regarding the administration of natural resources programs.
General Government Appropriations & Oversight: Possible Executive Session
- This bill reduces environmental protection while combining two types of forestry-related permits and raising fees.
- We are concerned that the agency with the expertise to determine what’s needed to protect fish loses its ability to ensure that protection; four-year logging permits weaken the foundation of the state’s Forests and Fish Habitat Conservation Plan; and permit fee increases are too small to provide sufficient funding for needed state oversight of logging.
ESSB 5457: Providing a congestion reduction charge to fund the operational and capital needs of transit agencies.
Transportation: Possible Executive Session
- This bill preserves jobs, reduces congestion, and protects the environment by authorizing King County to impose a temporary congestion reduction charge to provide emergency funding for our critical transit service.
- Transit service faces a funding crisis in Washington State. Plummeting sales tax revenue is forcing transit agencies to slash service despite record-setting ridership.
ESB 5575: Recognizing certain biomass energy facilities as an eligible renewable resource.
Environment: Public Hearing
- This bill significantly undermines the purpose of I-937 (which is to add NEW clean energy resources to Washington's energy portfolio) because the bill would allow existing (pre-1999) biomass plants to count as qualifying renewable resources.
- If more existing resources are grandfathered into I-937 then fewer new clean energy resources will be developed in Washington, along with fewer new jobs and reduced economic activity.
SB 5730: Authorizing mileage-based automobile insurance.
Business & Financial Services: Possible Executive Session
POSITION: SUPPORT w/ AMENDMENTS
- This legislation eliminates existing regulatory barriers to offering usage based insurance.
- Do not support his bill unless the committee adopts amendments to address privacy, trade secret protection, and environmental benefits.