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The Environment, Trade, and Maritime Featured in State Legislative Session Agenda

January 15, 2020

On Monday, January 13, the Washington State Legislature officially convened in Olympia for the 2020 State Legislative Session. The session will run for 60 days, concluding on March 12. 

Throughout the 2020 session, the Port will align its advocacy work with its overriding values of economic development, environmental stewardship, and equity. Here’s a preview of agenda items for this session that the Port thinks are important.  

Updates on 2019 Issues and Budgets

Lawmakers will debate and adopt “supplemental” budgets, making modifications and updates to the budgets they enacted in the 2019 session. In addition to budget amendment, the session promises to include robust policy conversations on high-profile issues that are held over from the 2019 session. Week One hearings are already scheduled on the state’s role in regulating a consumer’s personal data, the potential for the state to enact a Clean Fuels Standard, and the ever-present conversations on issues like affordable housing and mental health treatment. 

Clean Fuels Standard

The Port remains a steadfast supporter of enacting a statewide Clean Fuels Standard, which passed the House last year before stalling in the Senate. The urgency of the climate crisis suggests that there will be increased momentum behind this policy, but Senate passage remains a challenge in a 60-day legislative session. 

Distribution of Environmental Funds

Other Port priorities include a small change to public bidding policy to allow greater flexibility in distributing funds through our Airport Community Ecology (ACE) fund, which if enacted could benefit public improvement projects in communities neighboring SEA Airport.

Trade and Economic Growth  

The Port is also interested in partnering with the Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture on funding for export promotion activities to advance region-wide economic growth in this trade-driven state. 

  • See how Taylor Shellfish gets its seafood to global markets through SEA Airport

Advocacy Days

One highlight of the session is the annual advocacy days with a diverse range of voices coming to the Capitol Campus to meet with their legislators and promote their industries’ priorities. This includes Maritime Day, which the Port helps lead through its leadership role in the Washington Maritime Federation. On January 28, everyone from maritime labor to shipbuilding companies to the Seattle Maritime Academy come to Olympia to talk with lawmakers about maritime workforce training, environmental stewardship, and port competitiveness. And on Aerospace Day, the Port joins statewide advocates for our aerospace manufacturing cluster to discuss the benefits of our aerospace cluster with the Legislature.

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