The Senate and House have until tomorrow March 9th to pass and send bills over to the opposite chamber before the 5pm cutoff. You can track floor activity and the lineup of the bills to be considered in real time here. After floor action, legislators will go back to committees on Wednesday, March 10th.
Fare enforcement bill passed out of the House. HB 1301 passed 96 to 1 last week. This bill would give Sound Transit the authority to create their own internal fare enforcement system. We are thrilled to see the nearly unanimous support for the bill, which shows that there is strong support for Sound Transit and agencies across the state to have the authority to reform their fare enforcement systems to be less punitive and more supportive. Next stop: the Senate Transportation Committee.
Quarterly Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET) payment. SB 5448 would allow drivers to set up a payment plan to pay off certain vehicle fees and taxes, such as car tab fees. Drivers would be able to split their car tab bills that are $150 or more into four quarterly payments. SB 5448 is currently in the rules committee.
The Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act passed out of the Senate! SB 5141 passed out of the Senate by a vote of 28-21 last week. The HEAL Act would address the health disparities that low-income and BIPOC communities face across our state, and create high standards of environmental health quality in every community. Access to a clean, healthy, and safe environment is a human right. Thanks to our partners at Front and Centered for leading this advocacy work! Take this action to urge House Energy and Environment Committee members to vote yes on the HEAL Act.
Updates to the Growth Management Act bill passed the House. HB 1099, which would add climate change mitigation — including amended vehicle miles traveled targets — to the listed goals of the Growth Management Act (GMA), passed the House and is moving on to the Senate. Take this action to urge your Senator to be a climate champion and vote yes on HB 1099. Thanks to our partners at Futurewise for taking the lead on this bill.
Clean Fuel Standard bill passes the House. After six hours of debate, HB 1091, the Clean Fuel Standard, passed the House. It is already scheduled for its hearing in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology on March 10 at 8 a.m. Thanks to our partners at Climate Solutions and the Nature Conservancy for leading on this bill.
Transportation package. The House and Senate transportation committees are working to turn their transportation package proposals into bills as they transition into committee work again after the March 9th cutoff. There will be hearings in the transportation committees once the transportation packages turn into bills and are introduced to the committee.
Related, Front and Centered has released their findings from their statewide transportation listening sessions and surveys. This is a critical report from our partners that highlights the needs of BIPOC communities from across the state, and speaks to the need for a Clean and Just transportation system. Participants emphasized the need to improve air quality and health, and increase the quantity and quality of public transit. Check out the report. Front & Centered will be providing an online briefing about the report on Friday, March 12, at noon.
Revenue forecast is scheduled to be released on March 17th with biennial budgets to follow a week or so later.