Monday’s policy cutoff acted like a wheat separator in a combine: it strips away the chaff to leave just the kernels. Those legislative kernels will be the focus of the remainder of session, bills with policy implications receiving the stamp of approval from at least one committee. Plus, of course, the three budgets the legislature must adopt. The policy limits imposed by Democratic leaders at the start of session has held to some extend – bills focused around COVID, the economy, police accountability, and diversity are being given top billing.
Of the legislation on WACD’s tracking list, many good bills are still alive. SB 5220 exempting salmon recovery grants from taxes is making its way through the Senate Ways & Means Committee this week. WACD is the Washington Association of Conservation Districts has signed in as supporting this bill. Staff believes any taxes paid on salmon recovery grants by CDs would be a waste of public dollars and would set a bad precedent for the Department of Revenue.
SB 5253 implementing the recommendations of the pollinator health task force is in front of the same committee. At the moment, the bill would create a small grant program within the Commission for CDs to fund outreach to residents and community groups about the benefits of pollinator habitat. WACD is the Washington Association of Conservation Districts is signing in as supporting this bill.