Legisletter – Week 3 – January 31, 2020

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Perspective and knowledge of history is important. Some staff here at the Farm Bureau have 30 or more years working with the WA State Department of Agriculture. For three decades we have seen the department as a friend of farmers and ranchers that has worked closely with stakeholders before moving forward with any new initiatives that would adversely affect the industry.
We have one important exception to this approach to share with you this week.
Yesterday there was a hearing on SB 6518 to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos from use in Washington. Three other states have taken similar action, even though the EPA has been researching chlorpyrifos for years and has NOT chosen to ban or restrict its use.
The senators on the committee listened to some of the most informative and compelling testimony provided by farmers that we have heard on this important issue. Some of those who testified were Farm Bureau members Brad Haberman, WFB First Vice President, April Clayton, president of Chelan-Douglas County Farm Bureau, Gary Christensen with L&G Christensen Farms, and Brock Leonard with Sunheaven Farms.
Following their testimony, we were not surprised what the speakers for Earthjustice and Columbia Legal Services had to say.
And then the department was called up to testify. The department did not oppose the bill. They did not express concerns with how the passage of this bill would negatively impact farmers.  Instead, they thanked the bill sponsor for working with the department and talked in detail about how they would work to implement the bill.
Here’s a portion of the department’s testimony:
“We recognize that our own agency and the Department of health data has cases of human exposure from drift or bystander exposure almost every year from this chemical. Our own environmental monitoring data indicates that chlorpyrifos use warrants additional scrutiny and possible restrictions. WSDA normally awaits EPA’s final taking federal action on federal products such as this with environmental and human health and implications. However, due to the recent delays in EPA’s decision making, Washington along with several other states, Hawaii, California, New York and Oregon…are all either already implementing or evaluating new restrictions or bans of this material under their own authority.”
You can find the department’s complete testimony here.
Oddly, even though the bill sponsor and the department both testified about how toxic chlorpyrifos is, each supported allowing it to be used on the following crops until another “reasonable and less toxic alternative is available”:  sweet corn, mint, onion, Christmas trees, alfalfa, including seed and hay, asparagus, and brassicas, including for seed and food production. Cattle ear tags and other nonfood and nonfeed uses would also be allowed.
An emergency temporary permit for use of the pesticide could be allowed until Dec. 31, 2025, but only with a 48-hour notification requirement which could allow pests to destroy a crop before treatment was applied.
The bill could be voted out of committee next Thursday

 

Important Committee Hearings Next Week

State Government & Tribal Relations (House) – HHR E, JLOB – 1/31 @ 8:00am

  • HB 2415 – Exec Session – Conforming elections for certain special districts with Title 29A RCW. (Oppose/High)

Environment & Energy (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 2/3 @ 1:30pm

  • HB 2550 – Exec Session – Establishing net ecological gain as a policy for application across identified land use, development, and environmental laws. (Oppose/High)
  • HB 2892 – Public Hearing – Authorizing the department of ecology to regulate greenhouse gas emissions associated with persons who produce or distribute fossil fuel products that emit greenhouse gases in Washington. (Oppose/High)

Appropriations (House) – HHR A, JLOB – 2/3 @ 3:30pm

  • SHB 2311 – Public Hearing – Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science. (Oppose/High)

Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4, JACB – 2/3 @ 3:30pm

  • SB 6306 – Public Hearing – Creating the Washington soil health initiative. (Support/High)

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – SHR 1, JACB – 2/4 @ 10:00am

  • SB 5981 – Public Hearing – Implementing a greenhouse gas emissions cap and trade program. (Oppose/High)

Environment & Energy (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 2/4 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 2550 – Exec Session – Establishing net ecological gain as a policy for application across identified land use, development, and environmental laws. (Oppose/High)
  • HB 2892 – Exec Session – Authorizing the department of ecology to regulate greenhouse gas emissions associated with persons who produce or distribute fossil fuel products that emit greenhouse gases in Washington. (Oppose/High)

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – SHR 1, JACB – 2/5 @ 8:00am

  • SB 6628 – Exec Session – Concerning emissions of greenhouse gases. (Oppose/High)

Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks (Senate) – SHR 3, JACB – 2/6 @ 1:30pm

  • SB 6518 – Exec Session – Reducing prenatal exposure and harm to children by limiting environmental exposure to certain pesticides. (Oppose/High)

 

Support

 

Bill # Abbrev. Title Short Description Status Sponsor Priority
HB 2498 DNR lease termination Providing compensation to department of natural resources lessees whose leases are terminated for reasons other than default. H Approps Corry High
HB 2559 (SB 6365) WDFW/payments in lieu of tax Concerning payments in lieu of real property taxes by the department of fish and wildlife. H Approps Springer High
HB 2906 Gray wolf radio collars Concerning the use of radio collars on gray wolves by the department of fish and wildlife. H RDev, Ag&NR Kretz High
SB 6306 Soil health initiative Creating the Washington soil health initiative. S Ways & Means Liias High
SB 6315 Ecology policy enforcement Concerning enforcement of the policies of the department of ecology. S Environment, E Holy High
SB 6329 (HB 2696) Meat and poultry misbranding Concerning the misbranding of meat and poultry products. S Ag/Water/Natur Warnick High
SB 6345 Water infrastructure program Establishing the water infrastructure program. S Ag/Water/Natura Honeyford High
SB 6347 Pistol license expiration Extending the expiration date for a concealed pistol license. S Law & Justice Wagoner High
SB 6352 Alt. energy facilities Eliminating expedited processing of alternative energy resource facilities before the energy facility site evaluation council. S Environment, E Warnick High
SB 6365 (HB 2559) WDFW/payments in lieu of tax Concerning payments in lieu of real property taxes by the department of fish and wildlife. S Ways & Means Warnick High

Oppose

 

Bill # Abbrev. Title Short Description Status Sponsor Priority
E2SHB 1110 Greenhouse gas/transp. fuels Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. H Passed 3rd Fitzgibbon High
HB 1172 (SB 5314) Capital gains tax/prop. tax Assisting Washington families by improving the fairness of the state’s tax system by enacting a capital gains tax and providing property tax relief. H Finance Santos High
HB 1343 (SB 5129) Revenue Increasing revenues for the support of state government. H Finance Tarleton High
HB 1703 Tax exemptions Increasing tax exemption transparency and accountability. H Finance Pollet High
HB 1841 (SB 5877) Crew size on certain trains Establishing minimum crew size on certain trains. H Passed 3rd Riccelli High
SHB 2311 Greenhouse gas emissions Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science. H Approps Slatter High
HB 2415 Special district elections Conforming elections for certain special districts with Title 29A RCW. H State Govt passed Hudgins High
HB 2549 Salmon recovery efforts/GMA Integrating salmon recovery efforts with growth management. H Env & Energy Lekanoff High
HB 2550 Net ecological gain Establishing net ecological gain as a policy for application across identified land use, development, and environmental laws. H Env & Energy Lekanoff High
HB 2609 (SB 6335) Climate change/GMA Addressing climate change through growth management. H Env & Energy Duerr High
HB 2689 (SB 6440) Workers’ comp medical exam Concerning industrial insurance medical examinations. H Labor & Workpl Mead High
HB 2892 Greenhouse gas emissions Authorizing the department of ecology to regulate greenhouse gas emissions associated with persons who produce or distribute fossil fuel products that emit greenhouse gases in Washington. H Env & Energy Fitzgibbon High
SB 5314 (HB 1172) Capital gains tax/prop. tax Assisting Washington families by improving the fairness of the state’s tax system by enacting a capital gains tax and providing property tax relief. S Ways & Means Wellman High
SB 5412 (E2SHB 1110) Greenhouse gas/transp. fuels Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. S Environment, E Saldana High
2SSB 5489 Environ. health disparities Establishing a healthy environment for all by addressing environmental health disparities. S Rules 3 Saldana High
SSB 5717 Employee scheduling Concerning employer and employee scheduling. S Labor & Commerc Saldana High
SB 5973 (2SHB 2117) State tax structure Providing a pathway to modernize and rebalance the Washington state tax structure so that it is equitable, adequate, stable, and transparent for the people of Washington state. S Ways & Means Wellman High
SB 5981 Greenhouse gas cap and trade Implementing a greenhouse gas emissions cap and trade program. S Environment, E Carlyle High
SB 6260 Water resources/tribes Concerning tribal traditional and cultural interests in water resources. S Ag/Water/Natur McCoy High
SB 6261 Farm labor contractor system Strengthening the farm labor contractor system by removing an exemption for nonprofits, prohibiting retaliation and the use of farm labor contractors in certain circumstances, and establishing liability for related violations. S Labor & Commer McCoy High
SB 6272 (SHB 2311) Greenhouse gas emissions Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science. S Environment, E Das High
SB 6335 (HB 2609) Climate change/GMA Addressing climate change through growth management. S Local Governme Salomon High
SB 6440 (HB 2689) Workers’ comp medical exam Concerning industrial insurance medical examinations. S Labor & Commer Stanford High
SB 6453 (HB 2427) Climate change/GMA Tackling climate change as a goal of the growth management act. S Local Governme Salomon High
SB 6454 Salmon habitat planning Concerning local salmon habitat recovery planning in critical areas. S Local Government Salomon High
SB 6518 Pesticide, chlorpyrifos Reducing prenatal exposure and harm to children by limiting environmental exposure to certain pesticides. S Ag/Water/Natur Rolfes High
SB 6519 Archaeological sites Requiring protection of archaeological and cultural sites by state agencies, local governments, and all recipients of state revenue. S State Govt McCoy High
SB 6628 Greenhouse gas emissions Concerning emissions of greenhouse gases. S Environment Carlyle High