Committees kick into full gear this week with policy committee cutoff on March 26th — just 11 days from now. Highlights this week include public hearings on the Working Families Tax Credit (HB 1297), police accountability measures (HB 1267 and 1310), greenhouse gas reduction efforts (HB 1280 and 1287) and a bill to have a statue of Billy Frank Jr. represent our state at National Statuary Hall in Washington DC (HB 1372).

USE OF DEADLY FORCE INVESTIGATIONS

Senator Jamie Pedersen speaks into a microphone on the senate floor in olympia
Sen. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle), Chair of the Law & Justice Committee.

Monday, March 15
9:30 a.m.

The Law & Justice Committee will take public testimony on House Bill 1267, which will create an independent agency to investigate incidents of law enforcement use of deadly force. The bill passed the House on a 57-39 vote on March 3. Watch live on TVW.

Read more: HDC Press Release: Bill to mandate independent investigations of police uses of deadly force introduced

EMPOWERING WASHINGTON’S WORKFORCE

Two construction workers cut wood
There are several bills making their way through the Legislature helping Washington's workforce bounce back from the pandemic.

Monday, March 15
9:30 a.m.

The Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs Committee will hear public testimony on a pair of bills to help both working Washingtonians and those seeking employment. House Bill 1076, will expand Washington’s whistleblower protections to create safer work environments. The bill passed the House 53-44 on March 5.

The Committee will also hear House Bill 1493 on Monday, which will give the Employment Security Department the discretion to comply with federal law allowing states to continue to relax weekly job search requirements as many Washingtonians continue to search for work. The bill passed the House 93-3 on Feb. 24.

Watch live on TVW.

CLEAN DRINKING WATER

A photo of water coming out of a drinking fountain.
The Legislature continues to work to ensure that Washington's students have access to safe, clean water in their schools.

Monday, March 15
1:30 p.m.

The Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee will take public testimony on House Bill 1139, which will expand and strengthen testing for lead contamination in the water of Washington’s schools. The bill passed the House 94-4 on March 4. Watch live on TVW.

SDC/HDC MEDIA AVAILABILITY

Senators Manka Dhingra and Andy Billig take questions from the media in Olympia
Sen. Manka Dhingra will participate in a media availability on Monday.

Monday, March 15
2:15 p.m.

Leadership from the Senate and House Democratic Caucuses will answer questions from the media on Monday. Watch live on TVW.

CLIMATE COMMITMENT ACT

Senator Reuven Carlyle reads from paper while wearing a mask on the senate floor in olympia washington
Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle), Chair of the Environment, Energy & Technology Committee.

Monday, March 15
4 p.m.

The Ways & Means Committee will take public testimony on the Climate Commitment Act, a program to cap and limit carbon pollution and invest in clean jobs, environmental justice and climate resilience. Senate Bill 5126 is sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle. Watch live on TVW.

Read more: SDC Press Release: Carlyle introduces governor’s Climate Commitment Act

DE-ESCALATION FIRST

Representative Jess Johnson stands for the opening ceremonies on the House floor in Olympia Washington
Rep. Jesse Johnson, sponsor of HB 1310.

Tuesday, March 16
10:30 a.m.

The Law & Justice Committee will hear testimony on House Bill 1310, which sets the clear expectation that de-escalation should be an officer’s first instinct and that deadly force should only be a truly necessary last resort. The bill passed the House 55-42 on March 6. Watch live on TVW.

Read more: HDC Press Release: Johnson’s Use of Force Bill Passes House

WORKING FAMILIES TAX CREDIT

Rep. My-Linh Thai speaks on the phone while wearing a mask at her desk in the House of Representatives chambers in Olympia
Rep. My-Linh Thai, sponsor of the Working Families Tax Credit.

Tuesday, March 16
1:30 p.m.

The Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation Committee will hear public testimony on House Bill 1297, the Working Families Tax Credit. The bill will help provide tax relief for thousands of low-income Washington families that pay a disproportionate amount of their income in taxes. The bill passed the House 94-2 on March 9. Watch live on TVW.

Read more: The Tacoma News Tribune: State House passes bill to expand tax exemption for working families

REVENUE FORECAST

Senator Christine Rolfes speaks during debate in the Senate chamber in olympia
Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Kitsap County), Chair of the Ways & Means Committee.

Wednesday, March 17
8 a.m.

The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council will announce projected revenues for the 2021-23 biennium. Watch live on TVW.

HONORING BILLY FRANK JR.

Billy Frank Jr. speaks in Olympia as former Governors Chris Gregoire and Mike Lowry stand behind him
Under HB 1372, treaty rights advocate Billy Frank Jr. would have a statue of his likeness representing our state in Statuary Hall in Washington DC.

Wednesday, March 17
8 a.m.

The State Government & Elections Committee will hear public testimony on House Bill 1372, which would replace the Marcus Whitman statue in Washington DC with one of Native American leader, environmentalist and treaty rights advocate Billy Frank Jr. The bill passed the House 92-5 on March 8. Watch live on TVW.

Read more: Associated Press: State House approves bill for Billy Frank Jr. statue

GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION

State Rep. Alex Ramel sits in the gallery in the House of Representatives in Olympia WA
Rep. Alex Ramel, sponsor of both HB 1280 and 1287.

Thursday, March 18
10:30 a.m.

The Environment, Energy & Technology Committee will hold a public hearing on a pair of bills designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. House Bill 1287 will ensure that Washington’s electric grid and buildings have the charging stations and power supply necessary to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles. House Bill 1280 will require public buildings be designed with greenhouse gas reduction measures in mind. HB 1287 passed the House 65-31 on March 3. HB 1280 received a 57-39 vote on March 9. Watch live on TVW.