In the 2019 Legislative Session, Front and Centered made many strides to advance equitable statewide climate policy thanks to the strength of our coalition and allies. The HEAL Act took Olympia by storm, we created the first ever WA State environmental justice taskforce and helped develop and pass the most equitable 100% Clean Energy policy in the U.S.!
Front and Centered 2020 Legislative Priorities
As the 2020 Legislative Session kicks off, we intend to build on this momentum and address the climate crisis by moving Washington toward a more sustainable, healthy, and equitable transportation system. In collaboration with the Climate Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy we are working in the legislature to:
Make Transportation Revenue Equitable
We can achieve this by creating transportation revenue sources that are progressive, reduce pollution, and allow for deep infrastructure investments for the most impacted communities. Less regressive revenue sources reduce the unjust financial burden on communities of color and rightly increase costs for those directly responsible for pollution.
Make Transportation Investments Equitable (HB 2688/SB 6399)
At the same time, we must ensure that all transportation packages are evaluated through community-centered criteria that embraces equity, environmental justice, accessibility, safety, health, economic vitality, and other key values. How policymakers decide and evaluate future transportation investments must be transparent, equitable, evidence-based, and accountable to all, including the most impacted communities.
Set Strong, Comprehensive Climate Pollution Limits (HB 2311/SB 6272)
We will also be working to align Washington’s greenhouse gas (GHG) limits with stronger global goals, ensuring our natural lands contribute, but do not compromise pollution source reduction, and accounting for emissions from goods and services consumed in Washington that occur outside our state’s boundaries. A state inventory that shows emissions by higher consumers and accounts for offshored emissions would help reveal those most responsible for pollution.
Front and Centered Community Priorities
Our member organizations have vital priorities that we endorse, lobby, and sign-in to show our collective support, including:
- Expanding aircraft noise abatement area in majority community of color neighborhoods (HB 1847) — El Centro de la Raza
- Strengthening protections for farm workers (SB 6261) — Community to Community
- Language Access (SB 6207) — OneAmerica
- Working Family Tax Rebate: Fund a state level match to the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Ban all private detention facilities (SB 6442): Prevent private companies that contract with local, state and federal agencies, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, from operating in Washington state — One America, Latino Civic Alliance, others
Climate and Environmental Justice Watch List
Here are important policies that we will be tracking throughout legislative session. Stay tuned for updates:
- Buy Clean, Buy Fair (HB 2744): Encourage state procurement of materials that are lower carbon content with labor standards.
- Cap and Trade (SB 5981): Directs the Department of Ecology to implement a market based GHG emissions cap and trade program designed to be linked to California’s trading system, invest pollution auction revenue in climate mitigation and resiliency projects, and achieve statewide GHG emissions reduction targets.
- Community Solar (HB 2248/SB 6223): Creates a state incentive for shared ownership of solar power with 40% of participation reserved for lower-income households and the community-based organizations that serve them.
- Clean Fuels Standard (SB 5412): Creates a declining limit of the intensity of carbon pollution in transportation fuels on distributors and allow those distributors to purchase credits from clean fuels distributors.
- Forest Health and Wildfire (HB 2413): Funds forest health and wildfire protection through a surcharge or tax paid by insurance companies based upon their home and casualty insurance policies and ensure urban forestry invests in highly impacted communities.
- Modernizing the Evergreen Communities Act (HB 2768/SB 6529): Updates the 2008 Evergreen Communities Act to help communities develop urban forestry plans to align with key goals including salmon recovery and environmental justice, and require a minimum 50% of program investments to be in highly impacted communities as identified by data driven tools and analyses.
- Zero Emission Vehicle (SB 5811): Requires automakers to make a certain percentage of low and no emission vehicles available for sale in Washington with targets increasing each year
Take Action for Climate!
While we may have the momentum, we don’t have much time! This session is short and legislators are considering a lot of policies and hearing from many different stakeholders. Sign up here and share how you can stand with our communities and help us raise our priorities to the top in the upcoming days.