How They Voted: Electric Vehicles by 2030 Mandate, Drug Possession Legislation and Mandated Racism Training in Schools

Posted

While negotiations on the budget proposals passed by both houses continue behind closed doors, floor action in both chambers revolve mainly on concurrence and final passage of bills that were amended in the opposite house. Lawmakers must agree to such amendments before a final vote on a bill. If they don’t agree — or “concur” — on an amendment, the bill is said to be “in dispute,” and a small “conference committee” is appointed by legislative leaders to iron out any differences before the bill is once again submitted for final passage. Among the bills that received a final vote after concurrence is HB 1287, which sets a target for all model year 2030 or later passenger and light-duty vehicles sold in Washington state to be electric vehicles. The Senate took action on a new bill, SB 5476, to reinstate criminal penalties for drug possession in response to the state Supreme Court’s “Blake”decision in February which struck down Washington’s felony drug possession law. The House voted last Sunday to pass SB 5044, to mandate cultural, ethnic, and racial diversity training for school board directors, district staff, and school staff. The lengthy debate included an amendment by Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, to bar specified content from the training, which was defeated by a rare recorded roll call vote which is highlighted in this report. Amendments are generally approved or rejected by voice vote.

 

Senate Bill 5044, concerning professional learning, equity, cultural competency, and dismantling institutional racism in the public school system, passed the House on April 11 by a vote of 57-40, with one member excused.

This bill would add equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism to existing cultural competency standards and training for school board directors, district staff and school staff. It would direct school districts to prioritize one of three professional learning days to focus first on these topics. The curriculum would require each of Washington 295 school districts to adopt the training. None of the bill’s proposed mandates would apply to private schools, homeschooling or non-public online education programs. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 30-19 vote in January. Because the House adopted a striking amendment by the House Appropriations Committee, the bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.

 

Rep. Joel McEntire, R-Cathlamet — Excused

Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen — No

Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia — No

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama — No

 

Senate Bill 5044, an amendment offered by Rep. Jim Walsh to bar certain content from mandatory equity training, failed in the House on April 11 by a vote of 39-58, with one member excused.

The proposed amendment would change the bill by specifying that the governance training programs, programs of courses, requirements and other activities leading to educator certification, and the school district staff opportunities for training, professional development, and professional learning may not contain, or instruct on, any of nine listed topics, for example: one race or sex is inherently superior to another, the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist, and any other form of race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating. Defines the terms "race or sex stereotyping" and "race or sex scapegoating." The amendment was not adopted.

 

Rep. Joel McEntire, R-Cathlamet — Excused

Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen — Yes

Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia — Yes

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama — Yes

 

Senate Bill 5476, responding to the State v. Blake decision by addressing justice system responses and behavioral health prevention, treatment and related services, passed the Senate on April 15 by a vote of 28-20 with one member excused.

As passed, the bill would reduce the criminal penalty for possession of a controlled substance from a felony to a gross misdemeanor. The bill was introduced by majority Democrats as a response to the state Supreme Court’s “Blake” decision in February that struck down Washington’s existing felony drug possession law. The original bill provided for outright decriminalization of drug possession for personal use, allowing for possession of specified amounts of drugs, including narcotics like oxycodone, heroin and methamphetamine. A striking amendment that would bring back penalties for possession was adopted, however, and the bill passed by a divided vote, with 15 Democrats and 13 Republicans voting in favor. Eleven Democrats, including sponsors of the original bill, voted against it. The bill was sent to the House Appropriations Committee where a public hearing is scheduled for April 19.

 

Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia — Yes

Sen. Jeff Wilson, R-Longview — No

 

 

House Bill 1287, concerning preparedness for a zero emissions transportation future, passed the Senate on April 10 by a vote of 25-23 with one member excused.

As amended and passed by the Senate, this bill would establish a goal that all publicly and privately owned passenger and light duty vehicles of model year 2030 or later sold, purchased or registered in Washington state be electric vehicles, contingent upon vehicle participation in a new road usage charge or equivalent tax or fee policy. The original bill was aimed only at preparing the state for an all-electric-vehicle future by requiring the Washington State Department of Transportation to create tools for mapping charging and refueling infrastructure to support forecasted levels of electric vehicle adoption, travel and use. It also required electric utilities to analyze how their resource plans account for anticipated levels of zero-emission vehicle use and information from the utilities' transportation electrification plans. These requirements are also provided for in the bill as passed in the Senate.

 

Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia — No

Sen. Jeff Wilson, R-Longview — No

 

House Bill 1287, concerning preparedness for a zero emissions transportation future, passed the House on final passage on April 14 by a vote of 54-43 with one member excused.

The House concurred in the Senate amendment that set a target for all model year 2030 or later passenger and light-duty vehicles sold in Washington state to be electric vehicles. With final passage by both chambers, the bill is now headed for the governor’s desk for his signature or veto.

 

Rep. Joel McEntire, R-Cathlamet — No

Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen — No

Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia — No

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama — No

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment