Getting two-thirds of lawmakers to roll back Initiative 1351 — as is required for the Legislature to change a new voter-approved initiative — will be a challenge, House leaders say. But they have a strategy they hope will gain them some votes: Making annual cost-of-living increases for teachers part of the deal.
HB 1174 prohibits the sale of upholstered residential furniture or children’s products that contain certain flame retardants. A second toxics measure sought by Gov. Inslee gets Ecology started on a long-term project to encourage manufacturers to use alternatives to chemicals that pose harm to the environment.
A steady stream of business leaders and local government officials urged a House panel to raise the gasoline tax and several other vehicle fees and spend the projected $15 billion on roads, bridges, mass transit and ferries. Climate Solutions, criticized what some call a “poison pill” on carbon fuel standards.
The Senate’s transportation package would increase spending by $13.8 billion through 2031. It would increase the state gas tax by 11.7 cents over three years, bringing in $5.6 billion through 2031. It would redirect some pollution control funds to stormwater and fish passage projects. It would streamline local permitting to speed project completion and reduce costs.
As a major exporter of aircraft, apples, software and other products in high demand, Washington would likely benefit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership more than any other state. Complex trade agreements are easily demonized, so it’s not surprising that Congress hasn’t been rushing to help President Obama. But it’s time for action.