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    E News: Important Information on Assistance Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak

E News: Important Information on Assistance Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak

March 17th, 2020|

Important Information on Assistance Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak

Dear friends and neighbors,

It’s clear that the new coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, presents an unprecedented challenge. I am committed to doing my best to help you and your family get through this crisis.

That includes providing resources on measures to help people and businesses whose lives are disrupted. Below, you can find information on financial help available in Washington; how to file for unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits; help with paying utilities, rent and mortgages; issues with insurance; food assistance; and much more.

Washington is committed to a non-political, non-partisan and fully science-driven decision-making process. We are making decisions based on data, evidence and science-based information in order to protect the health and wellness of our residents.

We all recognize that this crisis presents a historic change in our normal routine with many implications. Our economy – as well as each one of us, personally – is likely to experience profound consequences.

Each generation faces its own unique challenges. This is our time to come together as a community. I invite and welcome your ideas, thoughts and suggestions, as constituents, on how we can more effectively do that to manage this crisis. I will share your suggestions as appropriate with our state’s front-line response team and other public and private sector officials.

Moreover, while government, business and community leadership is central to this response, every one of us holds the true power of action. We each have a public and moral obligation to care for ourselves and others by 1) avoiding gatherings and maintaining social distance, and 2) maintaining rigorous standards of hygiene.

You will literally save lives by following those guidelines.

Please take care of yourselves and one another, and please stay safe.

Your partner in service,

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Federal, state and local agencies have announced measures to help people and businesses whose lives are disrupted. You can find some of the most important measures below, as well as on the state’s Coronavirus Response website.

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Employee Assistance

If you are temporarily out of work, Washington’s Employment Security Department provides support services.

If you have lost your job due to coronavirus or have had to take time off to self-quarantine or care for a sick relative (and you don’t receive paid sick time from work), apply for unemployment benefits.

If your job has brought you into direct contact with someone with coronavirus (e.g. you are a first responder or a health care worker) and you have become ill or are required to quarantine, file for workers’ compensation benefits.

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Consumer Resources

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has developed a list of financial resources for consumers impacted by coronavirus. This list will expand as more resources become available.

Health Care Coverage

If you are uninsured, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange has opened a special enrollment period through April 8. Call between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-855-923-4633; TTY: 1-855-627-9604.

Trouble Paying Rent or Mortgage

If you can’t pay, contact your lender or landlord immediately. Help includes:

Student Loan Deferment

If you need help with your student loans, you may be able to temporarily suspend payments by applying for a deferment or forbearance from the U.S. Department of Education.

Paying Utilities

If you need help paying your utility bills, contact your service provider immediately.

Food Assistance

If you’re looking for help feeding yourself or your family, visit the Food Lifeline website to find a partner food bank, food pantry or hot meal program in your neighborhood. This food is free and available to you, even if you don’t qualify for SNAP or EBT.

Seattle Public Schools is serving lunch for all SPS students at certain locations from Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you’re currently enrolled in certain City of Seattle-supported child care programs or food assistance programs, you may be eligible for an $800 voucher to purchase food, cleaning supplies and other household goods.

Insurance Issues

Visit the website of the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) for insurance-related resources and information for consumers. The OIC has required all insurance plans to cover coronavirus tests with no cost-sharing and no prior authorization requirement for anyone who meets the CDC criteria for testing. The OIC also has required insurance plans to allow enrollees to refill prescriptions early, one time, in order to maintain an adequate supply.

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Business Assistance

  • The federal Small Business Administration is providing low-interest loans of up to $2 million to help with operating expenses
  • The Washington State Department of Revenue can provide extensions on taxes or waive penalties
  • For businesses in Seattle, the City of Seattle has delayed B&O taxes for small business and established a small business stabilization fund to provide grants of up to $10,000

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Additional Resources

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Legislative Response

Prior to adjourning our constitutional 60-day session, the Legislature took bipartisan action to pass HB 2965, dedicating $200 million to our state’s coronavirus response. The bill also:

  • Includes language to ensure people can receive unemployment insurance even if they can’t meet the work search requirement due to quarantine or isolation, and mitigates costs to businesses due to increased numbers of workers receiving unemployment insurance
  • Gives the State Board of Education flexibility to address graduation requirements for the class of 2020
  • Offers reimbursement to nursing homes that aid in coronavirus response

The Legislature also amended SB 6189, which clarifies eligibility for school employees’ benefits board coverage, to ensure that school employees can maintain health insurance eligibility for the remainder of the school year, even if they come up short of required work hours.

Additionally, the federal government has passed an $8.3 billion coronavirus response plan, although it remains to be seen how much of that money is destined for our state’s response efforts.

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Protect Your Health & Your Loved Ones

If someone you know has a fever and respiratory distress, they should call their doctor – not go to the clinic or hospital. Symptoms to watch for include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

The best preparation is to prevent the spread of infection with simple yet effective actions:

  • Practice social distancing: stay away from gatherings and keep a distance of 6 feet – about one body length – away from other people
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds (singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice)
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow, sleeve or a tissue (not your hands)
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid hugs or handshakes
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Use hand sanitizer when unable to wash your hands

If you have symptoms and do not have a doctor to call, you can call the King County Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 206-477-3977 or the Washington State Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 1-800-525-0127.

More resources are available at the website of the Washington Department of Health.

Carlyle issues statement on Washington Privacy Act

March 12th, 2020|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) issued the following statement today on Senate Bill 6281, the Washington Privacy Act.

* * *

“In today’s era, consumer data privacy is the soul of economic, social and consumer value, and it goes to the core of our treasured constitutional rights and interests. With the federal government’s inability to move forward, state-level action is more important than ever, and I’ve long believed that Washington is the right place and this is the right time to craft comprehensive state-level legislation.

Following two historic, near-unanimous votes on proposals in the Senate this year and last, I’m deeply disappointed that we weren’t able to reach consensus with our colleagues in the House. The impasse remains a question of enforcement. As a tech entrepreneur who has worked in multiple startup companies, and in the absence of any compelling data suggesting otherwise, I continue to believe that strong attorney general enforcement to identify patterns of abuse among companies and industries is the most responsible policy and a more effective model than the House proposal to allow direct individual legal action against companies.

I’m incredibly proud that in today’s divided era we were able to generate overwhelming bipartisan support for this legislation. I’m grateful for the work of my fellow Environment, Energy & Technology Committee members and colleagues on both sides of the aisle, particularly Sen. Ann Rivers, Sen. Manka Dhingra, Sen. Jamie Pedersen and Majority Leader Andy Billig. I also respect and appreciate the work of Rep. Zack Hudgins, Rep. Drew Hansen and Speaker Laurie Jinkins, despite our strong policy disagreements, and I offer my special thanks to Gov. Inslee for his strong support of consumer data privacy and our efforts to pass this bill.”

 

 

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    Join your 36th District lawmakers to discuss the 2020 legislative session

Join your 36th District lawmakers to discuss the 2020 legislative session

February 17th, 2020|

OLYMPIA – Join your 36th Legislative District lawmakers for a “drop-in” town hall meeting as we enter the final weeks of the 2020 legislative session!

Your citizen legislature has been considering action on a variety of issues, including climate change and the environment, consumer data privacy, behavioral health, housing affordability, accountability and fairness in our state’s tax code, election security, juvenile justice and many other important issues that impact our community.

Constituents are encouraged to attend and share their thoughts on the Legislature’s work so far. No RSVP is required, but a comment on the event page letting us know you’re attending would be welcome.

Out of respect for the venue and to avoid paper waste, please refrain from bringing signs, flyers and other similar materials.

* * *

Who: Sen. Reuven Carlyle, Rep. Gael Tarleton and Rep. Noel Frame

What: “Drop-in” town hall meeting

When: Sunday, Feb. 23, from 2 – 4 p.m.

Where: Lagunitas Seattle TapRoom & Beer Sanctuary, 1550 NW 49th Street

Why: Engage directly with your 36th District lawmakers as they enter the final weeks of the 2020 legislative session in Olympia

Senate passes Carlyle’s Washington Privacy Act

February 14th, 2020|

OLYMPIA – The Washington Senate today overwhelmingly approved the Washington Privacy Act, one of the nation’s strongest consumer data privacy protection measures.

Based on global standards and best practices, the act strengthens consumer access and control over personal data held by companies and it regulates the use of facial recognition technology.

A bipartisan group of senators voted 46-1 in favor of Senate Bill 6281, sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle).

“We’re so proud that Democrats and Republicans voted together to recognize that consumer privacy is essential and that data belongs to individuals,” said Carlyle, who chairs the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee. “This bill carefully, responsibly takes the best practices from Europe, California and other states to build a data privacy regulatory framework that will help set a standard and lead the nation in bringing our data privacy laws into the 21st century.”

The comprehensive act builds on central elements of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and gives Washington residents meaningful tools to determine how their personal data is used and shared. That includes the right to know who is using consumers’ data and why, the right to correct inaccurate personal data, the right to delete certain personal data, and the right to opt out of the processing of data in key areas.

The act also requires companies to disclose data management policies in order to increase transparency and establishes limits on the commercial use of facial recognition technology.

An overview of the bill is available here.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Washington residents overwhelmingly favor efforts to defend data privacy. In a Crosscut Elway poll released in January, 84 percent of respondents said consumer protections for personal online data should be strengthened.

On Wednesday, the Washington, D.C.-based Future of Privacy Forum released a side-by-side comparison of the Washington Privacy Act with the CCPA – the only existing comprehensive consumer privacy law in the United States – and the GDPR.

The group concluded that, in the absence of a comprehensive federal law, “the Washington Privacy Act could serve as a useful regulatory model for other states and for Congress that improves upon the CCPA, provides rights to Washington residents, and helps companies build effective data protection programs.”

Carlyle lauds passage of bill to support floating homes

February 12th, 2020|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) today welcomed unanimous Senate passage of a bill that will help ensure the continued vitality of Seattle’s historic floating home community.

Senate Bill 6027 cuts red tape that hindered residents of floating, on-water residences – which, unlike houseboats, lack propulsion – from repairing or remodeling their homes.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle), also ensures that floating home residents whose residence is on state-owned aquatic land do not face higher rents than residents of houseboats.

“Floating homes and houseboats are part of the heartbeat and the history of our district and city,” said Carlyle, who cosponsored the bill. “This important legislation gives people living in floating, on-water residences greater protection, as well as more certainty and clarity in dealing with regulators.”

The bill will now proceed to the House of Representatives.

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    Bills on consumer data privacy, facial recognition introduced

Bills on consumer data privacy, facial recognition introduced

January 13th, 2020|

OLYMPIA – A bipartisan group of Washington state senators and representatives today unveiled a pair of bills strengthening consumer access and control over personal data and regulating the use of facial recognition technology.

Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) — sponsor of one of the bills, the Washington Privacy Act — told reporters gathered at a press conference that the lawmakers had reached “95 percent agreement in principle on the core elements of the bills.”

He was joined by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center), Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center) and Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard).

Carlyle’s SB 6281 gives Washington residents the right to know who is using their personal data and why, the right to correct inaccurate data, the right to delete certain data, and the right to opt out of the processing of data in key areas.

The bill also requires steps companies must take to disclose data management policies in order to increase transparency and establishes limits on the commercial use of facial recognition technology.

A brief overview of the bill is available here.

Nguyen’s SB 6280 limits the ways government and law enforcement can use facial recognition technology.

A brief overview of the bill is available here.

Washington residents overwhelmingly favor efforts to defend data privacy. In a Crosscut Elway poll released last week, 84 percent of respondents said consumer protections for personal online data should be strengthened.

E News: 2019 Legislative Session Report

May 23rd, 2019|

Dear friend,

We finished the 2019 Washington legislative session on time and I couldn’t be more excited about our progress advancing meaningful policies that elevate the quality of life of families, children and communities across our state. Here’s an overview of our work in Olympia.

Environment, Energy, and Technology

Your Legislature had one of its most productive and successful environmental years in decades. As chair of the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology (EET) Committee, I was proud to lead on issues of vital importance, including climate action, orca protection and data privacy.

100 percent Clean Energy – I sponsored the Washington Clean Transformation Act, a historic bill moving our electric utilities completely off coal by 2025 and to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2045. It ensures that we continue to lead in the worldwide movement away from fossil fuels toward a modern system using integrated wind, hydro and solar power. It’s also the centerpiece of a comprehensive carbon emission reduction package that I partnered with Gov. Inslee to craft, and it puts Washington on track to meet the Paris climate agreement goals.

Orca Protection – Only 75 Southern Resident orcas are left in the Salish Sea, the lowest number in decades. The Senate EET Committee led on bills to aid orca and Chinook salmon recovery by improving oil transportation safety, prohibiting the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products and protecting orca habitat in Puget Sound. The operating budget increases funding for orca recovery efforts by $31 million. The capital construction budget allocates another $585 million for projects to benefit salmon and orca recovery.

Data privacy – Washington is home to some of the world’s most prominent technology companies, but we fiercely value our right to privacy. My Washington Privacy Act would advance our leadership on this issue by bringing our state’s data privacy laws into the 21st Century. Taking best practices from Europe and California, it would give Washingtonians meaningful tools to determine how their personal data is generated, collected, stored and sold. It would also provide safeguards on the use of facial recognition by companies and law enforcement. The Senate passed the bill 46-1, but it House failed to bring it to a vote. I remain committed to passing this groundbreaking policy in 2020.

Repealing the Death Penalty

I have supported legislation to repeal the death penalty each of my 10 years in the Legislature, including Senate Bill 5339 this year. I was proud the Senate passed the bill, but disappointed that it didn’t receive a vote in the House. It’s time to join the global movement away from the death penalty and I’m confident the bill will pass next year.

Education Funding

I appreciate the substantive discussion on school funding this session. Following the McCleary case, our state continues to undergo an enormous transformation in how schools are funded, from a local-centric system to a state-centric one. This transition is not easy and will require years of engaged dialogue and reexamination to ensure we do what is best for our kids.

I voted against the original McCleary bill that increased state property taxes and capped local levies, and I remain deeply uncomfortable with the state’s over-reliance on property taxes to fund education. Nevertheless, despite my concerns about lifting the levy lid, I’m pleased that we found a compromise lifting caps in Seattle Public Schools to $2.50 per $1,000 assessed value, or $3,000 per pupil. While the state should lead on funding, this will allow local districts to decide how best to fund other critical aspects of K-12 education, like nurses, librarians and counselors. We also increased special education funding by $155 million.

Behavioral Health

We significantly invested in reforming and improving Washington’s behavioral health system. The centerpiece is House Bill 1593, establishing a new innovation and integration campus at the UW School of Medicine to train the next generation of behavioral health providers and provide inpatient and outpatient services. We also appropriated $47 million to expand community behavioral health beds and services, and $92 million to ensure the stability of state hospitals.

Higher Education

In this 21st-century economy, a post-secondary credential is more important than ever, but higher education is increasingly unaffordable and inaccessible for middle class families. We addressed this head-on with the Workforce Education Investment Act, expanding need-based aid and increasing career pathways. It replaces the State Need Grant with the Washington College Grant Program, a statewide, guaranteed free college program for lower-income students. This investment is paid for by an increase in the B&O tax on companies that employ highly educated workers, including Microsoft and Amazon.

Budgets

As a member of the Ways & Means Committee, I’m proud that we put together an operating budget that truly puts people first by investing substantially in children and families. We improved our state’s behavioral health system, enhanced our foster care system, bolstered access to early learning and increased funds for housing. I pushed hard to include $3.5 million to expand Treehouse, which helps youth transition out of the foster care system. In 2018, 83 percent of Treehouse participants graduated high school within five years, compared to 49 percent of foster youth statewide. Our investment will help Treehouse continue a proven track record of supporting our most vulnerable children.

I’m also proud that we were able to pass capital construction and transportation budgets that make substantial infrastructure investments in the 36th Legislative District over the next two years.

36th District Investments

The budgets passed this year include $1.5 million for infrastructure to clean polluted storm-water runoff at both ends of the Aurora Bridge before it flows into Puget Sound, and another $700,000 to install variable, digital speed signs on both approaches to the bridge to reduce speeds and increase safety.

They also allocate $700,000 for planning on how to maintain current and future capacities of the Magnolia and Ballard bridges, including possible replacements, and $1 million to restore the site of the proposed North Elliot Bay Public Dock and Marine Transit Terminal. Other appropriations include upgrades to local schools, grants supporting the arts and public access to history, and funding for programs serving the less-fortunate, like the Ballard Food Bank, the Chief Seattle Club and Farestart.

I’m pleased that the Legislature approved my amendment adding $2.7 million in funding each biennium, starting in 2021, to the operating budget to make capital improvements to the Pacific Science Center, which has not received any meaningful public investment since it was built in the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.

Contact Me

State government is more important than ever. As the federal government avoids many of the most profound and pressing issues of our time, your Legislature is elevating our civic dialogue and standing up for everyone across Washington on the environment, economy and education.

The legislative process requires ongoing input, advocacy and involvement by real people living real lives. As a husband, father, entrepreneur and citizen legislator, it’s an honor and a privilege to listen and learn from constituents in the 36th District. Every day I’m grateful for the chance to be your voice in Olympia.

I welcome the chance to continue this conversation. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at reuven.carlyle@leg.wa.gov or (360) 786-7670, or at the postal addresses listed below, with further thoughts, comments or questions.

Your partner in service,

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    State budgets invest substantially in 36th District infrastructure

State budgets invest substantially in 36th District infrastructure

May 22nd, 2019|

SEATTLE – Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle), Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard) and Rep. Noel Frame (D-Seattle) today welcomed the governor’s signature on budgets that invest substantially in infrastructure in the 36th Legislative District over the next two years.

Gov. Jay Inslee yesterday in Olympia signed a $52.4 billion operating budget and a $4.9 billion capital construction budget making investments across the state in behavioral health, affordable housing, education and the environment.

He also signed a $9.8 billion transportation budget that includes new projects as well as continued delivery of projects first adopted as part of the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation package.

“I’m thrilled that our 36th district team was able to secure high-value, targeted public investments in safety and storm-water on the Aurora Bridge, in the Magnolia/Ballard corridor, in the Pacific Science Center and more,” said Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle), chair of the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee. “As our city continues to grow, it’s vital that we prioritize public infrastructure that benefits our long-term quality of life.” 

Both the capital and operating budgets invest in bridges in the 36th District.

The construction budget allocates $1.5 million for infrastructure to clean polluted storm-water runoff at both ends of the Aurora Bridge. Storm-water runoff is the greatest source of pollution to Puget Sound, killing salmon, harming the food web that sustains our orcas and posing a significant hazard to public health.

The transportation budget awards $700,000 to install variable, digital speed signs on both approaches to the bridge to reduce speeds and increase safety. The displays – overhead structures capable of displaying dynamic messages – would be similar to others on Seattle-area freeways.

“We’ve seen success with electronic speed limit signs in other areas of Seattle,” Rep. Noel Frame (D-Seattle) said “Putting them on the Aurora Bridge will help traffic flow more smoothly and give drivers more time to react. Adjusting these signs according to the road, weather and traffic conditions will help prevent accidents and reduce congestion, making the bridge and our community safer.”

The transportation budget also allocates another $700,000 for planning on how to maintain current and future capacities of the Magnolia and Ballard bridges. That includes an examination of how to replace the Magnolia Bridge and recommendations on a timeline for constructing new Magnolia and Ballard bridges.

Other infrastructure investments in the 36th District include $1 million to restore the public dock structure at Pier 86, site of the proposed North Elliot Bay Public Dock and Marine Transit Terminal, and $750,000 to help the Ballard Food Bank purchase land to build a new permanent home and community resource hub.

“As so many of our neighbors have struggled with food insecurity, the Ballard Food Bank has stepped up in a big way, becoming a crucial part of the social services fabric of our community,” said Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard), chair of the House Finance Committee.

“The new site will be more accessible to the surrounding neighborhoods. The Ballard Food Bank will be able to grow their home delivery program and the Weekend Food for Kids program, and serve as a conduit to connect people with needed services in the areas of mental health, substance use, health care and housing. I am so happy to help secure this funding along with my fellow seatmates and cannot wait to see an expanded Ballard Food Bank.”

The capital budget invests $3.1 million for Seattle Public Schools to upgrade heating and ventilation systems at North Beach Elementary and for classroom additions and modernizations at other schools. It further allocates $382,000 for renovations to the Ballard Locks Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery and $30,000 for the Phinney Neighborhood Association under a grant program supporting public access to history.

The capital budget also awards Building for the Arts grants to support the Music Center of the Northwest ($300,000) and the Nordic Heritage Museum ($2 million), which Congress last month designated the “National Nordic Museum.”

The operating budget also invests in the 36th district, including $2.7 million in funding each biennium, starting in 2021, to make capital improvements to the Pacific Science Center. The facility has not received any meaningful public investment since it was built in the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.

Other notable funding just outside the 36th District under the capital budget includes:

• $1.7 million to support the Chief Seattle Club, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting American Indian and Alaska Native people both physically and spiritually.

• $1 million to support the Seattle Aquarium.

• $200,000 to allow Farestart – which provides foodservice training and job placement programs for homeless and low-income adults – to make equipment upgrades to two kitchens and a restaurant in downtown Seattle.

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    Carlyle, Tarleton welcome governor’s signature on climate bills

Carlyle, Tarleton welcome governor’s signature on climate bills

May 7th, 2019|

SEATTLE – Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) and Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard) today welcomed Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature on a sweeping package of legislation that takes meaningful action on climate change and will reduce Washington’s carbon footprint.

The bills commit Washington to 100-percent clean energy from renewable and zero-emission sources like wind, hydro and solar polar (Senate Bill 5116), a centerpiece of Inslee’s climate action agenda. They also aggressively electrify our transportation infrastructure (House Bill 2042), create incentives to build ultra-new efficient buildings (HB 1257), adopt new minimum appliance efficiency standards (HB 1444) and ban products containing super-pollutants, like hydrofluorocarbons (HB 1112).

“As a husband, father and citizen legislator, it is a personal and professional honor to have played a role in helping to pass the most substantive environmental agenda in a generation,” said Carlyle, who chairs the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee and who sponsored SB 5116. “Our work this year goes beyond traditional political clichés and embraces a bold climate action agenda that will make a meaningful difference in our grandchildren’s grandchildren’s quality of life.

“This year we hit stand-up double after stand-up double, and moved our team around the bases by working together. Our dream of reaching Paris Accord-level carbon reductions in the years to come is no longer a fantasy, but a serious aspiration that is within our reach.”

Tarleton, who chairs the House Finance Committee and who sponsored House companion legislation to the clean energy bill, commented: “Today we are celebrating a strong ground game that brought together communities from all over this state, from utility partners, industry partners, environmental champions, labor leaders, communities of color, many of you here today. When we move beyond coal and embrace clean energy sources, we get a win not only for Washington State, not only for the western states, but for the whole country and the world.”

Carlyle and Tarleton joined Inslee and others today at a bill-signing ceremony at the Rainier Vista Neighborhood House in Seattle.

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    House passes Bill committing Washington to 100-percent clean energy

House passes Bill committing Washington to 100-percent clean energy

April 11th, 2019|

OLYMPIA – A historic bill to commit Washington to 100-percent clean energy from renewable and zero-emission sources took another step forward today following passage by the Washington House of Representatives.

Representatives voted 56-42 in favor of Senate Bill 5116, a centerpiece of Gov. Jay Inslee’s 2019 agenda to take meaningful action on climate change and reduce Washington’s carbon footprint.

Sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) and in House companion legislation by Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard), the bill requires all electric utilities in Washington to transition to a 100-percent, carbon-neutral electricity supply by 2030 and to 100-percent carbon-free electricity by 2045.

“It’s time to move past the era of carbon into the next generation with modern, 21st-century energy systems using integrated wind, hydro and solar power,” said Carlyle, who chairs the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee. “At a time when the federal government has functionally imploded on addressing climate change, the states are now taking the lead and moving forward on climate action.”

“Moving away from fossil fuels has to start somewhere, so why not here?” asked Tarleton, who chairs the House Finance Committee. “Washington has the courage to build a 21st century economy beyond coal, beyond fossil fuels, to maintain and build a quality of life for generations to come. Thank you to Sen. Carlyle and my colleagues for having the courage to make this choice.”

“We are rightly proud of how clean Washington’s electricity already is,” said Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-West Seattle), chair of the House Environment & Energy Committee. “This landmark bill will take Washington the rest of the way there to 100 percent clean electricity, ensure reliability and lay the foundation for continued pollution reductions throughout our whole economy.”

Senate Bill 5116 would make Washington one of the first states in the nation to commit broadly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from electricity while adopting a precise action plan to do so. It is also the most extensive measure on climate action that Washington’s Legislature has adopted since 2008, when it committed the state to reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels.

Electricity remains the largest source of carbon emissions worldwide and is the third-highest emitting sector in Washington, after transportation and buildings.

The Senate approved the bill last month. The bill now goes back to the Senate for approval of amendments added by the House before it can go to the governor.