Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday announced that the legislature would return to work Thursday in an effort to pass a package of bills to convince Boeing to build its new line of 777x airplanes here in Washington.
Boeing said that if this legislation is passed and if the machinists union votes to approve their new contract, the 777x will be constructed here.
The House held hearings on these bills Thursday and the Senate is scheduled to do the same Friday afternoon.
SB 5952 will:
- Extend expiration of all commercial airplane tax incentives until 2040. Incentives are now set to expire in 2024. Extending this incentive will bring an estimated $21 billion in new revenue to the state in 2025-2040 through creating new jobs in the aerospace sector.
- Expand the current sales and use tax exemption on construction of buildings to manufacture “superefficient airplanes” to include all commercial airplanes and suppliers of wings and fuselages.
SB 5953 will:
- Expand training capacity – Increase community and technical college enrollments by 1,000 FTEs in high-demand aerospace fields such as composite materials manufacturing and repair, quality assurance, machine maintenance and pre-engineering.
- Develop a squadron of composite wingmakers – Ensure skilled workers will be able and ready to fabricate composite wings by developing training programs at the Washington Aerospace Training & Research Center in partnership with Boeing.
- Complete Central Sound Aerospace Training Facility under development in Renton. This multi-institutional training facility serving a multi-age population will expand training capacity and provide important hands-on experiences for incumbent training for the many aerospace-related suppliers in south King County and north Pierce County.
SB 5953 also includes legislation to streamline the permitting process by:
- Assigning “Project of Statewide Significance” designation.
- Snohomish County and city of Everett have already completed significant environmental permitting for plant expansion/new development and committed to four-week permit processes, assuming eventual project is consistent with assumptions.
- Potential build-to-suit/leaseback of new building at Paine Field (if desired).
- Already awarded $2 million CERB loan (Community Economic Revitalization Board) for Paine Field facility.
- Establish an Advanced Permitting Grant Program in the Department of Commerce to help local jurisdictions develop planned action environmental impact statements in and around large manufacturing sites like those already in place in Everett and Renton.
Part of the plan also includes changes to water quality standards by:
- Develop balanced, practical solutions that achieve water quality goals, limit permittee costs and footprint requirements, minimize the risk of third-party litigation and ensure the state’s ability to retain and attract business.
- Final rules will be based on sound science, produce benefits for the environment and for human health, provide feasible compliance pathways and ensure a competitive economic climate.
Depending on who you ask, a long delayed transportation revenue package could also be included as part of the deal. Senate Republicans, however, stood in the way of infrastructure investments during the regular 2013 session and appear to reject the need for legislative action during this current special session. Instead, they’ve proposed delaying action again and returning later in the year for yet another special session, which would be the fourth special session of 2013. The Legislature has never before held four special sessions in a single calendar year.