NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, February 8th, 2022

Right to repair heads to House floor; Sound Transit revenue bill goes to Senate Rules

Two NPI pri­or­i­ty bills are on the move in the Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture, with one week left to go until the 2022 cham­ber of ori­gin cut­off arrives.

HB 1810, spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mia Gregerson (D‑33rd Dis­trict: South King Coun­ty), has been placed on sec­ond read­ing in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and could run on the floor when­ev­er lead­er­ship decides the time is ripe.

The bill requires com­pa­nies that make elec­tron­ics to either make doc­u­men­ta­tion, parts, and tools avail­able to own­ers and inde­pen­dent repair shops on “fair and rea­son­able terms,” or else pro­vide train­ing to allow busi­ness­es based in Wash­ing­ton to become man­u­fac­tur­er cer­ti­fied to car­ry out repairs.

69% of Wash­ing­ton vot­ers sur­veyed on NPI’s behalf last Novem­ber said they sup­port­ed right to repair leg­is­la­tion, while only 13% were opposed. We unveiled our poll find­ing at HB 1810’s pub­lic hear­ing last month.

If HB 1810 gets a floor vote in the House before next Tues­day at 5 PM, it would be sent over the Sen­ate for fur­ther consideration.

Mean­while, over in the Sen­ate, leg­is­la­tion to give Sound Tran­sit more flex­i­bil­i­ty for fund­ing future tran­sit expan­sion projects has been sent up to the Rules Com­mit­tee by the Sen­ate Trans­porta­tion Committee.

SB 5528, spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Jamie Ped­er­sen (D‑43rd Dis­trict: Seat­tle) got a do pass rec­om­men­da­tion at yes­ter­day’s Trans­porta­tion meeting.

The bill would allow Sound Tran­sit to cre­ate what are known as “enhanced ser­vice zones” with­in its juris­dic­tion. Fol­low­ing the cre­ation of such a zone (i.e. the City of Seat­tle), Sound Tran­sit could ask vot­ers with­in just that zone to levy a spe­cial motor vehi­cle excise tax and a com­mer­cial park­ing tax to accel­er­ate exist­ing projects or sys­tem plan­ning for future projects to ben­e­fit the region.

The roll call vote on the bill was as follows:

Vot­ing for a “do pass” rec­om­men­da­tion: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Marko Liias, Rebec­ca Sal­daña, Annette Cleve­land, Mona Das,  Liz Lovelett, John Lovick, Joe Nguyen, T’wina Nobles, Emi­ly Ran­dall, and Claire Wil­son; Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Brad Hawkins and Tim Sheldon

Vot­ing for a “do not pass” rec­om­men­da­tion: Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Phil For­tu­na­to and Mike Padden

Vot­ing for “with­out rec­om­men­da­tion”: Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Cur­tis King, Jeff Holy, and Jeff Wilson

NPI’s research has found that more than sev­en in ten vot­ers in Seat­tle sup­port accel­er­at­ing Sound Tran­sit’s Phase III sys­tem expan­sion projects, which include light rail to Bal­lard to West Seat­tle. We released these find­ings last sum­mer in part­ner­ship with our friends at Seat­tle Sub­way, who are cham­pi­oning Sen­ate Bill 5528. As with every oth­er bill that has­n’t yet run on the floor, the leg­is­la­tion must be approved by the Sen­ate no lat­er than next Tues­day after­noon or it will go inac­tive for the remain­der of the leg­isla­tive session.

The 2022 leg­isla­tive ses­sion con­vened twen­ty-nine days ago, which means the mid­way point of the 2022 ses­sion is lat­er today.

In accor­dance with the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion, which lim­its even-num­bered year reg­u­lar ses­sions to six­ty days, the Leg­is­la­ture must adjourn Sine Die no lat­er than March 10th, 2022. The Leg­is­la­ture has the option of return­ing to con­tin­ue work­ing on one or more pri­or­i­ties in a spe­cial ses­sion, but Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­isla­tive lead­er­ship is unlike­ly to sup­port such a move.

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