[2/6/18] Legislative Roundup With Marcus Bellissimo – Focus: Carbon Tax Bill

Posted in Feature, Local Government & MeetingsTagged


A new carbon tax bill passed the democratic controlled legislature this year, but Republicans and some democrats remain doubtful about SB 6203, according to House Republican leader Dan Kristiansen.

020518 KRISTIANSEN :09

“….take that particular issue on.”

The proposal, which next goes to the Senate Ways and Means Committee, still faces a steep road before getting to Inslee’s desk. Democratic legislative leaders have been noncommittal about advancing the plan to full votes of the House and Senate. Rather than penalizing employers and families with a new carbon tax, Kristiansen prefers republican legislation that would offer businesses tax preferences for certain renewable energy and carbon reduction investments.

As many homeowners across the state brace for higher property tax bills due to changes in state education funding, Wenatchee Representative Cary Condotta has introduced legislation that would provide relief.

020518 CONDOTTA BITE :09

“….due to the McCleary decision this year.”

Condotta is trying to get a hearing on the bill in the house finance committee.

On a daily average, 20 U.S. military veterans will take their own lives, and more than one out of 10 college students will entertain suicidal thoughts. According to Washington state Representative Tina Orwall, veterans on campus, more than most people, could benefit from a coordinated push to build widespread awareness of danger signs and suicide-prevention resources.  

020518 ORWALL :10

“….and we know they’re at higher risk.”

Orwall, a Des Moines Democrat, is one step away from a vote by the full House on her bill to create Suicide Prevention in Higher Education Grants. 

020518 ORWALL :11

“….so they can get the help they need.”

These kinds of programs are common in high schools, but strangely absent at colleges and universities. That will change if Orwall’s bipartisan bill can survive the next few weeks of the legislative session.  

It’s a dilemma shared by every parent of a child with disabilities: What will happen when we’re gone? State Representative Tana Senn describes a chance meeting with a constituent that got her thinking about a solution.

020518 SENN :10

“….going to become of her son.”

Last Thursday morning the Mercer Island Democrat’s idea received a unanimous yes vote in the state House of Representatives. If her bill becomes law, aging parents will be able to transfer ownership of their family home to a non-profit supported-housing concern in a tax-free transaction, saving thousands of dollars and, as Senn said on the House floor,

020518 SENN :13

“….buy or build homes for supported living.”

By donating the homes to a non-profit rather than deeding them to the adult child, Senn said, parents of adults with disabilities can avoid the limitations on assets that could otherwise disqualify the survivor from receiving essential services.