2017 Legislative Agenda

2017 Legislative Agenda

At Front and Centered our policy advocacy is grounded in our Principles for Climate Justice. By creating a legislative agenda we are identifying where we can fight for equitable policy rooted in community that has the potential to create economic and environmental benefits for communities of color and people with low incomes. The bills identified here are an extension of the priorities and interests shared among multiple members organizations.

Priorities 

Clean Energy Transition Act – HB 1646 (Fitzgibbon) / SB 5509 (Carlyle)

  • Goal: Fund Equitable Climate Solutions By Pricing Carbon Pollution
  • Status: House Environment Committee, hearing March 14, contact: ellicott@weareoneamerica.org

This bill, built on the framework of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, invests in clean energy (including energy reduced through transit and transit oriented affordable housing), clean water, and healthy forests to reduce carbon pollution, protect Washington from climate change, and create jobs in communities across the State. By targeting 35% of investments to communities most burdened by pollution, climate threats, and social and economic barriers, it will spur an equitable shift to clean energy and through transition support for fossil fuel workers and rebates to households with lower incomes, it ensures no one is left behind. The bill creates an innovative performance-based carbon tax that scales in response to emissions reductions targets to fund these measures. It also includes oversight through an economic and environmental justice oversight panel and a oversight board that is one third equity focused, alongside consumer advocates, environmental groups, businesses, and other stakeholders.

Surcharge on Model Toxics Control Act – HB 1663 (Peterson) and SB 5501 (Carlyle)

  • Goal: Fully Fund and Make Equitable Toxic Pollution Clean-up, Prevention, and Public Participation
  • Status: House Finance Committee, Hearing February 7th, contact: james@duwamishcleanup.org

The voter-approved Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) was designed to clean up of toxic waste sites; prevent the use of harmful chemicals in products and manufacturing; controlling pollution to protect water quality; and support the participation of local communities in addressing toxic pollution threats. The law relies on funding from a hazardous substance tax, which is one of the most volatile revenue sources in the state budget. However, funding for the participation of communities was eliminated in the last budget, funding for other duties has been moved elsewhere, and the funding has not been granted equitiably. These bills would create a surcharge on hazardous substance to ensure funding is more stable and predicting. Simultaneously, we are advocating better integration of equity through rulemaking processes with the Department of Ecology.

Equitable Use of Air Pollution Reduction Money from VW Settlement

  • Goal: Funds directly benefit disproportionately impacted communities
  • Status: Capitol Budget Committee, contact: deric@frontandcentered.org

The State of Washington will receive $103 million from Volkswagen for participation in a claim against the company for violating emissions rules. The money must be spent on reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) air pollution. Eligible mitigation actions are restricted to vehicle technology switching to reduce NOx from heavy duty diesel sources near population centers, such as large trucks that make deliveries and service ports, school and transit buses, and freight switching railroad locomotives. The settlement requires reporting on beneficial impacts of projects funded on the air quality of areas that bear a disproportionate share of the air pollution burdens. An index of air pollution shows a 34 point spread in exposure between the white population (57) vs. the Asian Pacific Islander and Black population (both 81) on a scale of 0 to 100 (worst). Front and Centered is advocating that a minimum of 80% of funds should directly benefit communities disproportionately impacted by NOx emissions. Disproportionately impacted communities can be identified as census tracts in the 80th percentile or above of NATA diesel PM EJ index or equivalent cumulative measure of NOx emissions and socio-economic and factors that amplify risk from the impacts of NOx emissions.

Other Climate, Energy and Environmental Bills We’re Following

Clean Energy First Act – HB 1334 (Tarleton)
Utilities must first meet new energy needs with clean, renewable energy sources.

Public notices in a language other than EnglishSB 5046 (Hasegawa) / HB 1540 (Santos)
Public health, safety, and welfare notices in appropriate language in areas where 5%+ pop is English limited.

Particulate and Noise Assessment – HB 1171 (Orwall)
Creates study of associated with aircraft traffic in areas impacted by airport operations on Beacon Hill.

Lead pipes in schools and where children frequent – HB 1805 (Farrell) and HB 1842 (Pollet)
Addresses contaminated drinking water stemming from the lead content in drinking water infrastructure

Bills Addressing Voters in Communities of Color We’re Following

Keep Washington Working- SB 5689 (Wellman) and HB1985 (Ortiz-Self)
 Talking Points, Puntos Para Discusión
Establishes a statewide policy supporting Washington state’s economy and immigrants’ role in the workplace.

Washington New Americans Program (Budget Proviso)
Expands access to citizenship through free naturalization services at $1,000,000 per year ($2m/biennium).

Washington Voting Rights Act HB 1800 / SB 5267 (Gregerson/Hunt)
Improves our local elections process giving every voter a fair chance to elect leaders of their choice.

Youth voter preregistration – SB 5110 (16- and 17-year-olds, Billig) / SB 5335 (17-year-olds, Fain)
Pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds to vote

Same day voter reg. – SB 5192 (Kuderer)
Extending the time period for voter registration.

Free prepaid postage on ballots – SB 5019 (Hasegawa)

Automatic voter registration without real ID – SB 5469 (Hunt) not Sec. State with real ID

Voter registration with rental application – SB 5480 (Saldaña)

Relevant Lobby Days in Olympia

 February

  • 7th Ethnic Commissions Reception
  • 16th OneAmerica Mount Vernon-area
  • 20th Equity Rally
  • 20th African American Lobby Day
  • 23rd Asian Pacific American Legislative Day,
  • 23rd OneAmerica South/East King County
  • 27th Farmworker Tribunal & Legislative Day
  • 27th Latino Legislative Day

March

  • 2nd OneAmerica Vancouver
  • 7th OneAmerica South/East King County
  • 16th OneAmerica’s New Americans Lobby Day
  • 23rd OneAmerica’s Yakima/Central WA

April

  • 29th People’s Climate March

May

  • May Day March, Seattle WA details TBD

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