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Monthly Archives: February 2020

Takko wins Senate earmark to aid virus-impacted businesses

February 29th, 2020|

From the Chinook Observer

A last minute amendment to the Senate Democratic Caucus supplemental operating budget earmarks $5 million to help businesses negatively impacted by international responses to the coronavirus outbreak overseas.

Businesses like Cosmo Specialty Fibers, a textile producer that does 97 percent of its business with companies in Asia, have been disrupted by port closures intended to stop the spread of the disease.

“This is a local business that has thrived despite disruptive tariff and trade wars, pays its employees strong wages, and has robust potential to expand, but it’s been thrown for a loop,” said Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview, in a written statement. Takko sponsored the amendment.

“The shipment of crab to China has dropped to practically nothing, we can’t get oysters from my district there,” Takko said. “And it’s not just my district.”

Companies will be able request assistance funds from the state’s strategic reserve account to promote economic development, which is funded by a third of all unclaimed lottery money, according to a release from the Senate Democrats.

The operating budget had already provided $2 million for the account, much of which was already spoken for. Budget writers added $2 million in new funds on top of that, and the $3 million in Takko’s amendment means a total of $5 million in new funds.

The budget was approved by the Senate after a 33-16 vote on Thursday.

“Hopefully this is all we need,” Takko added later. “But I am very fearful this isn’t going to be enough.”

By Cameron Sheppard

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    Washington state will begin testing for COVID-19, lawmakers allocate $10 million to virus preparations

Washington state will begin testing for COVID-19, lawmakers allocate $10 million to virus preparations

February 28th, 2020|

From the Spokesman-Review

Testing for the novel coronavirus is now available in Washington state at the public health lab in Shoreline, shortening the turnaround time for results.

Previously, tests had to be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratories in Atlanta. Turnaround times varied from three days to a week. Now, results will be as soon as same-day.

“The goal is if it’s in here in the morning, we will have the result at 5 p.m.,” state epidemiologist Scott Lindquist said Thursday at a news conference.

Fewer than a dozen Washington patients are waiting for test results for COVID-19, as the novel coronavirus is officially known, and by the week’s end, those should be completed, he said. The lab will be able to run two cycles of testing daily, six days a week, or 26 samples a day, Lindquist said.

“We are working hard to keep the virus out of Washington and keep the virus from spreading here,” Dr. Kathy Lofy, state health officer, said at a news conference Thursday. “We have requested that health care providers ask patients with fever or respiratory symptoms if they’ve recently traveled, and if we identify someone who is sick who may be at risk for COVID-19 that we immediately separate them from others’ symptoms and get them tested.”

There has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Washington state so far, and that patient was treated with an experimental drug and has fully recovered. There are 31 Washington residents who have been tested for COVID-19, with the majority of tests coming up negative. A few tests are pending.

Another 322 people are under public health supervision for COVID-19 in Washington. They are being monitored by public health officials due to their risk of having been exposed to novel coronavirus. These people either came into close contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 or have returned from China in the last two weeks, including those in quarantine.

The CDC has opened up the eligibility for who can be tested nationwide to include people who are hospitalized with severe respiratory symptoms and no direct cause, Lofy said. This follows the news in California this week of a patient whom the CDC confirmed had not traveled to China recently or been in contact with anyone with COVID-19, yet tested positive for the virus.

If a person shows symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and has traveled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea in the last two weeks or has been in close contact to a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they are considered a person under investigation by CDC standards.

State health officials advised people who meet these criteria and have developed symptoms to stay home, avoid contact with others and contact their local health district and health care provider for guidance about how to get tested.

So far, however, person-to-person spread of the virus in the United States remains low, with only 15 cases reported in-country, and 45 confirmed cases of Americans who have been repatriated after contracting the virus abroad.

“We still consider the risk of COVID-19 to the general public is low, but given that the virus is now spreading in several countries, we do believe it’s very likely that we will see spread of the virus here in Washington at some time in the future,” Lofy said.

Washington state lawmakers have prioritized funding for keeping COVID-19 at bay in recent days, too.

The state Senate voted to set aside even more money to respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak, raising to $13 million the amount connected to some aspects of the outbreak, up from the $5 million announced earlier this week in its proposed 2019-21 supplemental budget.

In a series of votes on amendments, senators approved doubling, to $10 million, the money set aside to help the state and local health districts with costs of testing, treating and quarantining suspected COVID-19 patients. Of that total, $8.6 million is set aside for local health districts to support “incident management activities” and the rest for the state Health Department to cover any agency costs that are not picked up by the federal government.

At the beginning of the week it seemed like $5 million would be “more than enough” to handle potential health agency costs, Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, said.

“We need to get after this and sooner is better,” said Sen. John Braun, of Centralia, the top Republican on the committee.

In a separate vote, the Senate added $3 million to an economic development account to help exporters in rural Washington who are hurt by foreign markets being closed because of the outbreak in China and other countries.

Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview, said one textile producer in Cosmopolis, Washington, that does 97% of its business with Asian companies hasn’t received an order in seven weeks and has vessels stranded at sea with products that can’t be delivered.

“There are a lot of economic questions about how we’re going to weather this storm,” he said.

Unlike many proposed changes to the budget in Thursday’s debate, the two amendments passed with bipartisan support.

By Jim Camden and Arielle Dreher

E-News: Leading the league in bills passed

February 27th, 2020|

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Halfway through the legislative session, we hit our first big milestone deadline. The results are in, and I’ve passed 15 bills through the Senate this year – the most of any senator. You can see the full list on my new Facebook page here.

These bills do things like make government more transparent, more efficient, and more responsive on the local level. Here are a few highlights.

The Senate unanimously passed my bill to improve the senior citizen property tax exemption. SB 6319 will make it easier for seniors to stay in their homes by reducing their property taxes. Check here for more information about whether you qualify for a reduction or deferral of your property taxes.

The Senate also passed my bill SB 6324, which increases transparency in government. It gives teeth to the requirement that special purpose taxing districts make their finances public. Taxpayers should know what it is they’re paying for. You can read more about it here.

I was the original sponsor of the 811 Call Before You Dig program, and this year we passed SB 6420 to improve it in several ways, including by increasing safety. We also passed SB 6084 to make it easier for construction trucks and other large vehicles to get around roundabouts, and SB 6574, which makes the board that administers the Growth Management Act more efficient.

Another bill you may be interested in is SB 5005, which allows auto collectors to get personalized collector license plates for classic cars. Right now, you can get a collector plate, or you can get a personalized plate, but you can’t get a personalized collector plate. This bill makes that possible.

There has been some misunderstanding about this bill. It allows collectors to get a personalized collector plate license plate with a one-time fee of $52, and that plate is good for the life of the vehicle. There is no need to renew the plate or pay a recurring fee. And cars that already have a collector plate are not required to get a new one. This simply gives people who have classic cars more options.

If you’d like to follow what I’m working on in Olympia, you can like my official legislative Facebook page here. If you’d like to unsubscribe from these emails, you can do that here.

Please don’t hesitate to stay in touch.

Sincerely,

Senator Dean Takko

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    Senate budget adds $5 million to help rural exporters hurt by coronavirus

Senate budget adds $5 million to help rural exporters hurt by coronavirus

February 27th, 2020|

The operating budget passed today by the Senate would add $5 million in assistance for local businesses whose trade has been decimated by international reactions to the coronavirus pandemic, at the request of state lawmakers representing the 19th and 24th legislative districts.

Though the funds may be requested by a number of disrupted businesses, the urgent need for help was highlighted by the example of Cosmo Specialty Fibers, a Cosmopolis textile producer that does more than 97 percent of its business with companies in Asia. With ports there closed for fear of spreading coronavirus, and with much of the countries’ workforces under quarantine, businesses there are unable to accept products or operate plants that would use the products.

“This is a local business that has thrived despite disruptive tariff and trade wars, pays its employees strong wages, and has robust potential to expand, but it’s been thrown for a loop,” said Sen. Dean Takko (D-Longview), who sponsored an amendment to increase the funding pot by $3 million. “They’ve done all the right things, but through no fault of their own they haven’t received a single order in more than seven weeks, and their vessels are stranded at sea loaded with products they cannot deliver.”

The assistance will come from the state’s strategic reserve account to promote economic development, which is funded by a third of all unclaimed lottery money. The account is allocated through the state’s 39 county associate development organizations.

“Local businesses like Cosmo are the lifeblood and future in rural communities in regions like ours,” said Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim), who cosponsored Takko’s amendment. “Cosmo is a very well-run company that makes environmentally friendly products and is considering a major expansion in the area of biofuel — but the stoppage of trade could mean the end of all of that.”

The operating budget had already provided $2 million for the account, much of which was already spoken for. Budget writers added $2 million in new funds on top of that, and the $3 million in Takko’s amendment means a total of $5 million in new funds.

Takko and Van De Wege and the four other area lawmakers in the Coastal Caucus plan to seek additional assistance, beyond the operating budget funds, and are in discussions with the governor’s office and the state Commerce Department to explore grants and low-interest loans.

Making Pacific razor clams a state symbol clears House

February 20th, 2020|

From the Chinook Observer

Washington is on track to name America’s first official “state clam.”

A bill to designate a Washington State Clam passed the House Feb. 19 about midway through the 2020 legislative session. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, and Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, and honors the Pacific razor clam. A similar bill was introduced in the State Senate by Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview.

While the legislation might seem frivolous to some degree, the importance of the razor clam to the state’s outer coast communities makes it deserving of special recognition, Takko said.

“It is so important you can easily track when we have clam tides by the way the hotel and motel taxes go up and down,” Takko said.

The bill was voted out of the house during the 2019 legislative session, but never made it to the floor for a vote. Takko hopes that if he can quickly get it through the Senate Local Government Committee, which he chairs, there might be enough time at the end of the session to get a floor vote on the bill.

In a bid to keep the bill top of mind, Takko left some razor clam shells on the desks of his fellow members.

‘The people’s clam’

David Berger wrote the book “Razor Clams: Buried Treasure of the Pacific Northwest” and testified in Olympia in 2019 in favor of recognizing the shellfish as the state clam. He called the Pacific razor clam a “little marvel of complexity.”

“They’re sort of like a steampunk animal,” Berger said. “Its body is all valves and pumps and spurts.”

The ease with which people in the Northwest can dig for the clams is also part of the appeal for Berger. There isn’t a lot of gear involved. Most people just need a bucket and a shovel, he said. This is what makes it the people’s clam, he said.

Recognizing a popular activity

In a single day, as many as 30,000 people may descend on Washington’s coastal beaches to search out these clams. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates clam digging seasons and harvest limits. Long Beach is one of five Pacific Razor clam harvest areas designated by the department. The harvests generate at least $40 million in tourist-related revenue for the state each year.

State Fish and Wildlife Capt. Dan Chadwick said making the razor clam the state clam will be “something to talk about at the family dinner table.”

“When you think of the razor clam, most people are thinking about the coastal beaches and their favorite getaways with their families,” Chadwick said.

Harvesting the olive-green and olive-brown critters is an activity unique to the Washington coast, said Andi Day, executive director of the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau. Making the razor clam a symbol of Washington would give it a little extra attention and encourage newcomers to the state to come down and experience the tradition. Plus, students who study Washington state in school would learn about the clam along with other state symbols. This would help to promote clam digging in areas farther from the coast, Day said.

State symbols

There are 22 Washington state symbols, including its seal and flag. In 2014, Washington recognized the native Olympia or Shoalwater Ostrea lurida as the state oyster. That same year, Washington designated Palouse Falls as the state waterfall. These were the most recent two state symbols created, although a bill was introduced in 2017 proposing Washington make the pine mushroom the state fungi and in 2018 proposing Bigfoot be celebrated as the state’s cryptid or legendary creature.

Although geoducks, butter clams and other bivalve species all have passionate fans in the state, there’s little indication that any can mount a serious challenge to the initiative to single out razors as “the one clam to rule them all.”

By Ashley Nerbovig

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    Local lawmakers sponsor bill to restructure education funding

Local lawmakers sponsor bill to restructure education funding

February 20th, 2020|

From the Aberdeen Daily World

Local legislators Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, and Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, have sponsored a House bill that addresses the inequity of the current school district levy and Local Effort Assistance (LEA) structure designed to provide additional levy support to property poor school districts.

Under the bill, local school districts that would likely receive additional LEA funding under the proposal include Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, Elma, Hoquiam, McCleary, Montesano, Oakville, Satsop, Taholah, Willapa Valley and Wishkah Valley.

For tax year 2020, 61 districts that have relatively high property values will generate $2,570 per student, compared to less than $2,000 per student in 130 districts that have relatively low property values, according to the Aberdeen school district.

“LEA is a calculation of a district’s ability to generate $1,500 per student at a tax rate of $1.50/1,000. Districts falling below the $1,500 level per student are eligible for LEA,” the district said.

House Bill 2237 and its companion Senate Bill 6075 sponsored by Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview, would make the following changes to the state LEA thresholds:

  • • Over a 4-year period, it increases LEA to a $2.50/1,000 levy and a $2,500 threshold per student. For qualifying LEA districts with a levy that fails to reach the $2.50/1,000 levy level, their LEA is reduced. The reduced LEA is calculated based upon the ratio of their actual rate/$2.50 rate
  • • Provides a hold harmless for districts that would receive less LEA due to the formula change

The change would affect the 2021 local tax year and the 2020-21 state budget year.

“I have been pushing dang hard. It’s interesting how education dollars are so political. It’s like learning how sausage is made. I’m not ready to give up, I’m still pushing, but we are looking at the home stretch here to try to get something in there,” said Aberdeen Superintendent Alicia Henderson.

“The original proposal would have given our district about $1 million next year,” she said.

The revised proposal would provide about $200,000 for Aberdeen schools, she added.

The proposal calls for a four-year implementation plan. In 2020-21, with a LEA threshold of $1,700, a projection based on the OSPI projected 2021 levies would increase the state’s LEA cost to approximately $7 million, according to the district.

With the four-year plan, districts would have the assurance to be able to budget for it, said Henderson.

Henderson said she discussed the legislation with the governor during his visit to the Harbor.

“I did get some time to talk to him about it, and he was very positive. He told me he’s aware of the impact in districts like ours that have a high levy and how we’re hurting right now,” she said.

“I guess what we all need to wait for is this Thursday when the state revenues come out to see what kind of discretionary money is out there that we can keep pushing for,” said Henderson.

If approved, the bill would cost the state approximately $39.7 million in 2019-21, $174.7 million in 2021-23 and $169 million in 2023-25, according to the bill’s fiscal note.

“Dean Takko called me last Friday night and he is hearing from his colleagues that they all have “McCleary fatigue,” Henderson said.

“It’s not over until it’s over,” she added.

By Thorin Sprandel

Capitol Dispatch: Local lawmakers trash plastic bag ban

February 10th, 2020|

From The Daily News

Three local state legislators this week said they oppose a proposed plastic bag ban that passed out of the Senate last month and was referred to the House Environment and Energy Committee.

State Sen. Dean Takko, however, said he voted for the legislation as a way to reduce plastic waste.

Aberdeen Democrat Rep. Brian Blake said he doesn’t support the bill “in its current configuration” because it also requires retailers to charge 8 cents for other bags made of recycled content.

“Why would we put in statute what a business can sell a product for? It’s nonsensical to me. A business can sell a product for whatever price they want to sell it for,” Blake said Tuesday.

Rep. Ed Orcutt, a Kalama Republican, added that the 8 cents would then be taxable.

“During any given trip to a grocery store, you may have a few bags and pay a few cents in sales tax (on those bags), but you’re carrying groceries that are nontaxable items. So now the means with which you carry home nontaxable items will be taxable,” Orcutt said.

As a “timber guy,” Orcutt, a forestry consultant, said he supports moving away from plastic bags, but “the way they’re going about doing this is wrong.”

“I don’t believe the role of government is to put a thumb on the scale to tilt it one way or another,” Walsh said Friday.

The measure passed out of the Senate on a 30-19 vote on Jan. 15. Centralia Republican Sen. John Braun voted against the proposed ban, but state Sen. Takko, a Longview Democrat, supported it.

“It’s just something that’s gotten out of hand. You see plastic bags blowing up and down the freeway,” Takko said Friday. “I just think moving ourselves away from so many plastic bags is a good idea.”

Takko said he likes that the legislation allows plastic bags for meats and vegetables. He also was concerned about the imposed fee on recycled content bags, but he said he can live with 8 cents.

Vaping ban

Also this week, the Senate dramatically changed legislation initially intended to make permanent the temporary ban on flavored vape products. Senators changed the legislation to allow sale of flavored vapor products to people 21 and older.

The legislation was still in the Senate Ways and Means Committee Friday afternoon, with the cutoff deadline looming for policy legislation to be passed out of one House.

“It’s a muddled policy point. They probably need to go back to square one and figure out what they want to do. They’re trying to do everything and effectively doing nothing,” Walsh said.

From a window on the state Capital Campus, Takko said he was watching two people vaping and a third person smoking while he was talking to The Daily News by phone.

“Boy, that thing is really up in the air,” he said of the legislation. “I don’t know where this thing is going because it’s starting to get pulled in different directions. As soon as you get people mucking things up with a lot of different issues, I don’t think it will go anywhere.”

The temporary ban expires on March 19, which is why lawmakers feel the need to find a quick solution, Takko said. He said he supports banning flavors because young adults may be more tempted to try vaping if they know it tastes good.
Rep. Orcutt, however, had a different perspective. He’s heard from former smokers that flavored vapor products help them stop smoking cigarettes, which have tar and nicotine and other chemicals.

“Whether you think vaping is good or not — and I don’t do it. I don’t want to suck that stuff into my lungs — I’ve got to think it’s at least not as bad as traditional cigarettes. Flavors help get people off traditional cigarettes and help prevent them from going back,” he said.

B&O Tax

Thursday night, the House passed legislation amending a business and occupation tax on services approved last year.

The new legislation clarifies how the Department of Revenue should collect the tax and creates a more level playing field for smaller businesses, Takko said last week. He voted for the new bill.
Under the new measure, fewer professional service businesses will pay the surcharge because it would only apply to companies that have yearly gross income of more than $1 million, according to the Associated Press. But business above that threshold would pay a 1.8% surcharge, rather than the 1.5% in the current law.

The legislation is estimated to raise about $500 million through mid-2021.

The House voted 52 to 45 in favor of the tax, which will fund higher education. Blake voted in favor but Orcutt, Walsh and Chehalis Republican Rep. Richard DeBolt voted against it.

The bill passed out of the Senate on Jan. 30. It was delivered to Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday to be signed into law.

By Rose Lundy

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    Capitol Dispatch: Local lawmakers oppose clean fuel standard

Capitol Dispatch: Local lawmakers oppose clean fuel standard

February 3rd, 2020|

From The Daily News

A clean fuel standard intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars, trucks and other vehicles passed out of the state House on Wednesday and was sent to the Senate, where the same bill stalled last session.

All four representatives from the 19th and 20th Legislative Districts voted against the measure, saying it could increase gas prices by as much as 57 cents per gallon.

State Sen. John Braun, a Centralia Republican, said he will vote against the measure if it makes it to the Senate floor. Sen. Dean Takko, a Longview Democrat, said he has “serious concerns” and is leaning towards voting against the bill. Multiple lawmakers said there doesn’t seem to be enough support to pass the measure out of the Senate.

Environmentalist groups applauded the vote and major businesses such as Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle have supported the legislation.

The Association of Washington Business, however, opposed the measure.

The fuel standard would mandate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from transportation sources to 10% below 2017 levels by 2028. By 2035, emissions would have to drop 20% below 2017 levels. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change, according to scientists.

Exemptions would include electricity, transportation fuel that is not used in Washington, military tactical vehicles, and fuel for the propulsion of all aircraft, railroad locomotives or vessels. Special fuel for off-road log vehicles, dyed special fuel for construction work and timber harvesting vehicles and dyed special fuel for agricultural purposes would be exempt until 2028. (Dyed diesel is colored red and is limited to certain uses, such as construction, farming and home heating.)

The House passed the legislation last session on a 53-43 vote. This week, 52 representatives voted for the bill and 44 opposed it.

State Rep. Richard DeBolt, a Chehalis Republican, said he voted against the bill because it will disproportionately hurt rural communities where people have to drive further for school and work. And he said it isn’t clear how the mitigation revenue would be used or invested.

Washington is a “very responsible” state when it comes to reducing carbon and promoting alternative energy sources, such as hydro- and wind power, DeBolt said.

He added that when people are in better financial situations, they purchase environmentally friendly cars and appliances.

“Instead we’re trying to beat them into submission and make them poorer, and that doesn’t work for me,” he said “It’s this win-at-all-costs environmental mentality that’s pushing this bill, and they don’t think of the people they’re hurting.”

Rep. Brian Blake, an Aberdeen Democrat, called the vote “unnecessary” because he’s heard there isn’t enough support in the Senate to pass the bill into law.

He voted against the legislation, saying he’d rather focus on good forest management incentives to combat carbon emissions.

Aberdeen Republican Rep. Jim Walsh said a similar low carbon program in California reduced carbon output by less than 2%. Because Washington’s carbon footprint is already small compared to the rest of the world’s, the impact of the legislation on global carbon emissions would be almost “negligible.”

In addition, Washington voters have shot down similar proposals in the past, Walsh said. And the recent passage of Initiative 976, which eliminates and reduces taxes on vehicles, shows that Washingtonians feel like transportation is being overtaxed, he said.

“I don’t think we need to legislate this. Let people choose to shrink their carbon footprint. Our state is already way ahead of the curve on this stuff. We’re trying to legislate reducing a carbon footprint that’s already very small,” Walsh said.

If it comes to the floor of the Senate, Takko said he’s open to hearing arguments from both sides but he is concerned about the impact on gas prices.

Some senators already are saying it’s time to introduce another transportation package in next year’s session to fund road and bridge projects, which could require another gas tax, Takko said. If gas prices have already increased from the low-carbon fuel standard, it will be hard to run that package.

He said he’d rather address carbon emissions on a national level so there’s a level playing field, which is better than going about it “piecemeal” state by state.

Sen. Braun said he’d rather use voluntary programs and incentives to encourage carbon-reduction practices, such as carbon capture in forestry practices.

“Nobody’s opposed to reducing the carbon footprint. Nobody wants more carbon,” Braun said. “But we should do it in a way that’s sustainable and doesn’t penalize certain parts of our state.”

The best approach is to have everyday people make environmentally friendly decisions each day, he said. Much like the organic food movement, there will be a natural demand for products and services that have a low impact on the carbon footprint.

Proponents of the bill have argued that it would prompt investments and job creation in the renewable fuel sector and reduce air pollution, which is linked to asthma, lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.

By Rose Lundy

Senate approves fix to new business tax to fund college aid

February 1st, 2020|

From The Daily News

The state Senate on Thursday passed a bill to adjust the business and occupation tax on services to help fund higher education.

Sen. Dean Takko, a Longview Democrat, said he voted against a similar bill passed last year because there were many administrative problems with it. He said he voted for the changes this week because the legislation clarifies how the Department of Revenue should collect the tax and creates a more level playing field for smaller businesses.

Sen. John Braun, a Centralia Republican, said he voted against the bill on Thursday because the state is forecast to receive $1 billion more in tax revenue this year. The state should use that additional revenue to fund higher education, he said, not an additional tax.

When the tax passed last year, it was projected to raise about $375 million through mid-2021, but current projections show that won’t be enough to cover the demand for the programs. The new bill would raise an estimated $500 million.

The Spokesman-Review reported Friday that the bill passed on a 28-21 vote on Thursday.

It now heads to the House for consideration.The tax is to be put into a special account for higher education programs, with the largest beneficiary being the Washington College Grant program. That program guarantees aid to college students at or below the state’s median family income, based on a sliding scale that increases the grant as family income drops.

Under the new measure, fewer professional service businesses will pay the surcharge because it would only apply to companies that have yearly gross income of more than $1 million. But business above that threshold would pay a 1.8% surcharge, rather than the 1.5% in the current law.

The new bill also streamlines the surcharge on what the law calls “advanced computing businesses” that have worldwide gross revenues of more than $25 billion. Current law calls for the surcharge to double if the that revenue is more than $100 billion. The bill has a single rate of 1.22% over the standard B&O tax, and it caps the surcharge at $9 million rather than the current $7 million.