Olympia Legislative Report, April 5, 2013

Washington Clean Technology Alliance
Prepared by:  Boswell Consulting

Policy cutoff was on Wednesday and the Senate Majority Coalition caucus presented their proposal for the state budget.  Unlike the Governor’s proposal, they do not include any new tax increases nor do they extend the temporary taxes on services and beer like the Governor proposed.  They do include an additional billion dollars for education, as well as the Federal Medicaid expansion associated with Federal Health Care Reform.  The budget is expected to pass out of the Senate with a bipartisan vote count on Friday.  The House is expected to have their version out sometime mid-next week.  Negotiations will be ongoing on what is expected to be a very controversial budget, with the House Democrats clearly signaling a desire for new tax revenues and the Senate maintaining its “no new taxes” position.

As expected, the Senate has put out its version of the budget and, unfortunately, it currently does not include any of the Governor’s proposal for a clean technology fund.  There are also significant reductions within the Department of Commerce that could impact the clean technology industry including elimination of innovation research grants and reduction to the state energy policy office.  Also eliminated in the Senate operating budget proposal was Innovate Washington.  The budget negotiations are expected to be long and controversial between the House and Senate, and the Senate has not yet put out a draft capital budget proposal which is where the resources for the Governor’s clean technology funds would most likely come from.  HB 1301 (creating clean energy jobs in Washington state through renewable energy incentives) did not pass out of the Senate Environment Committee and is considered dead for this session.

Find the entire report including Bill Tracking here.