Washington Legislative Update -April 3, 2019

It's been an active week with the House and Senate releasing budget and revenue proposals and their fiscal committees cranking through bills to meet the April 9 deadline for passing bills on to the floor.  And. . . good news about the Working Families Tax Credit.

Senate Capital Gains Tax Proposal Would Fund Working Families Tax Credit
Senate Democrats have proposed a capital gains tax designed to affect the wealthiest 8,000 Washington residents. The $780 million proceeds from this tax would pay for cutting small business taxes, reducing low-income senior citizen property taxes, eliminating the sales tax on certain items such as diapers and returning $220 million in taxes back to 400,000 of the state’s most underprivileged families – phase-outs begin when income is greater than $19,000 per year. The vehicle for this proposal will likely be a striking amendment for SB 5961 - a bill in Senate Ways and Means. 

House Approves Biennial Budget - Good News for Washington 211 
Last week, the House approved an operating budget for 2019-21 (HB 1109) by a vote of 56 to 38. This budget includes an additional $1 million to boost statewide delivery of Washington's 211 information service. The budget also includes an additional $13 million for the Housing and Essential Needs Program and $21 million focused on permanent supportive housing and youth homelessness. The Senate Committee on Ways and Means held a public hearing on the bill Tuesday. Last week, the Senate Democrats indicated how they would amend the House proposal by releasing its budget proposal.

House and Senate Fund Housing Trust in Their Capital Budgets
The House Capital Budget (HB 1102), which includes $150 million for the Housing Trust Fund, has been put on the House Floor Second Reading calendar. The Senate Capital Budget (SB 5134) puts $175 million in the Housing Trust Fund and was voted on by the Senate Ways & Means Committee on Monday. While advocates were seeking $200 million, the Senate proposal is the largest appropriate ever proposed for the Housing Trust Fund in a biennial budget.  

Follow Priority Bills On Our Tracking List 
During this active time, we'll be updating our tracking list almost daily.  But even if we do get a bit behind (note the update time at the top of the list), you'll find all the links you need to get the latest amendments, roll call votes and bill reports. 

You can sign up for these updates here.