350 WA Network’s Civic Action Team 2021 Legislative Priorities

Now is the time for bold action. Now is the time to invest in the recovery and long-term resilience of at-risk workers, low-income communities, communities of color, and tribal communities. Now is the time to begin a just transition off fossil fuels.
Advocating for sound and just climate policies is an important way to take action and the Civic Action Team provides a collective way to do that.
To participate in our advocacy campaign, sign up here. Our recap of the 2020 legislative session has moved here.

These are the policy issues we’re tracking for the 2021 legislative session.

     Recovery budget

  The need for bold investments is critical. To truly be balanced, the budget must increase equity. True equity is anti-racist and promotes         economic security for the least advantaged. We support progressive revenue options such as a capital gains tax, extending the state’s estate     tax, an excise tax, and redirecting resources from public spending on policing and prisons to investments that support community health     and well-being.

   Equity criteria for carbon pricing

  Two proposals to put a price on carbon pollution are expected this session, a cap and invest program and a green bond backed by a carbon     tax. Both are intended to reduce pollution and, perhaps to differing degrees, support the just transition of workers and communities away     from the fossil fuel economy that is destroying our climate. Since both approaches have equity concerns (cap and trade in California has not    reduced pollution at the source; carbon taxes are regressive), we are tracking them closely while urging legislators to incorporate equity     criteria into any carbon pricing legislation.

   Justice

  Racial justice and climate justice are inextricably linked, and we are following the development of policies by WA for Black Lives and other     Black-led coalitions to address racial justice issues in our state. We will be supporting racial justice policy during the 2021 session as part of   our intersectional approach to climate advocacy.

 HEAL Act

 It is time to center environmental justice in the work of our state agencies by adopting the recommendations of the Environmental Justice   Task Force: define environmental justice in state law; require its use in state agency planning; ensure the sovereignty and rights of Tribal   Communities; create and fund a community-interagency environmental justice work group; and establish environmental justice staff and     training at state agencies. Environmental bills, rule-makings and budgets should be evaluated with an environmental justice lens to identify   how cumulative impacts burden communities.

  Update the Growth Management Act

 This is the year to modernize the Growth Management Act, before Washington’s cities and counties begin their next round of     comprehensive  plans, locking in policy for the next decade. These updates incorporate climate planning for disasters like extreme weather,     floods, droughts   and wildfires, require local participation in state emission reduction goals; add affordable housing options and eliminate   discriminatory and   exclusionary housing/land-use policies; and incorporate environmental justice and equitable engagement of impacted   communities.

  Transportation For All

   We support policies to generate transportation revenue in a progressive way that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution,     improves multimodal transportation choices, and ensures fair and equitable outcomes. We seek to reduce vehicle miles traveled and     transition to clean transportation while prioritizing investments in the highly impacted communities that experience the greatest burden of   climate and air pollution. And we support allowing local jurisdictions to take the stable, progressive funding decisions they need.

  Clean Fuels

  Will 2021 be the year to finally pass Clean Fuels and join the other west coast states by reducing the carbon intensity of our vehicle fuels?       The resulting drop in particulate emissions would benefit the health of all communities living near heavy traffic. This bill incentivizes the        transition to electric vehicles of all types. Let’s finally break free from fossil fuels!

  Clean Cars 2030

  All new cars must be electric beginning in 2030. This bill does that, while allowing gasoline vehicles from 2029 and earlier to be kept, sold     or purchased used. Emergency response vehicles and vehicles over 10,000 pounds, such as farm equipment, would be exempt. How’s that     for a clear signal that the gasoline era is ending?

  Healthy Homes, Clean Buildings

  Requires new buildings to be carbon free by 2030 and eliminates fossil fuels from existing buildings by 2050. Residential and commercial   buildings account for one-fifth of Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions and is the fastest-growing sector in terms of emissions. We also     support allowing public utilities to help their customers switch to electricity, which may be a separate bill.

Weatherization

 The Governor’s climate package includes weatherizing a small fraction of state homes, a necessary but modest step toward energy equity and  efficiency. We support a more aggressive approach that includes apprenticeship training.

 Buy Clean, Buy Fair

 By establishing reporting on the carbon intensity of building materials in state projects and labor conditions at production facilities, this bill   promotes competitiveness for responsible Washington manufacturers and grows demand for fairly-produced low-carbon materials. Learn   more in this two-pager.

   Product Stewardship

              Let’s fix our state’s broken recycling system! This bill establishes outcomes-based recycling guidelines for packaging and paper     products, and includes environmental and social equity principles. It also phases out single-use Styrofoam, hooray! Here’s the bill, SB 5022,    and a summary with the highlights.

 Fossil Gas Reforms

 There’s no place for fossil gas in a carbon-free future. We support closing fossil gas tax loopholes, removing outdated statutory preferences     for fossil gas, and ending LNG manufacturing tax incentives.

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 Are these priorities you can support? To participate, sign up here.

 To dive into the weeds of an even larger list of climate-related bills, check out the invaluable Climate at the Legislature.

 RESILIENT FUTURE PLATFORM

  The 350 Washington Network is a member of the Climate Alliance and supports the Resilient Future Platform.

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