With the Washington State Legislature set to reconvene on Monday, January 12, the CleanTech Alliance sat down with Brad Boswell for a quick, three-question Q&A to get a glimpse of what might be in store for the coming year. Brad provides ongoing legislative strategy and counsel to the CleanTech Alliance.
What key issues are you monitoring for the 2015 legislative session?
The Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is, of course, first and foremost. The CleanTech Alliance is committed to supporting and maintaining the CEF and is currently working to provide feedback to help shape proposed language. Next Wednesday’s breakfast session with Brian Bonlender, Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, will provide deeper insight into the current state of the CEF. I encourage CleanTech Alliance members to attend to learn more about the CEF and show support.
Outside of the CEF, the CleanTech Alliance is committed to supporting high-tech research and development tax credits and lending a strong voice in any relevant clean technology and climate legislations, proposals or debates. We’ll be monitoring the 2015 legislative session to ensure that happens.
What should CleanTech Alliance members expect in 2015?
Expect a long cycle on any major policy efforts as nothing will move between Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature easily. There will be quite a bit of debate on anything climate related given the current legislative dynamic.
The major concern carrying over from earlier sessions is the budget, so expect the 2015 legislative session to be very budget focused. That’s been in play for a number of years. All of these budget discussions and decisions could ultimately impact the capital budget, which is where the Clean Energy Fund lives. Keep an eye on that.
What’s the best method for reaching state representatives? Does a letter or phone call still work?
Absolutely! Letters, emails and phone calls are still the most effective way to reach and influence your representatives. Social media like Facebook and Twitter can work, but it’s typically all about gaining audiences large enough for momentum and trends that get noticed. In my opinion, a letter, email or phone call is the best way to ensure your interests are heard and represented.
I encourage CleanTech Alliance members to use all means available, including The Alliance. The Alliance will be conducting several outreach initiatives in 2015, so stay tuned for more information.