“This is an astonishing epidemic of addiction. Just when we thought we had reduced the addiction to cigarettes, we have a new generation becoming addicted to e-cigarettes and nicotine.”
– Rep. Gerry Pollet, D-Seattle, speaking in support of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to impose a 95 percent tax on vapor products and enact policies to reduce youth access to electronic cigarettes. Pollet is the legislative sponsor of the proposal in the House.
Hundreds of people showed up for a public hearing Monday on Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal to tax and regulate vapor products, such as electronic cigarettes. Several overflow rooms were needed to hold the crowd wanting to watch the hearing on House Bill 1645, Inslee’s vapor product tax bill. Also Monday, the House Commerce & Gaming Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 5477, which would restrict minors’ access to vapor products but not tax them.
Senate Ways and Means Committee chairman Andy Hill, R-Redmond, warned in a statement Monday that budget negotiations must wait until both the House and Senate have passed full budget proposals. Hill said a full budget must address class-size Initiative 1351 and include any proposals assumed in the budget, such as tax increases or withdrawals from the state's rainy day fund.
TUESDAY IN THE LEGISLATURE
The Senate Committee on Human Services and Mental Health & Housing has scheduled a 10 a.m. hearing on House Bill 1668, which would require judges to consider sending Special Commitment Center detainees back to their counties of origin when releasing them to a less restrictive alternative. The committee meets in Hearing Room 1 of the J.A. Cherberg Building.
House Concurrent Resolution 4401, which would rename Office Building 2 to Human Services Building, will be heard at 10 a.m. before the House Committee on State Government at 10 a.m. The committee meets in Hearing Room E of the John L. O'Brien Building.
WEDNESDAY IN THE LEGISLATURE
A proposal aimed at improving oil train safety in Washington state will receive a public hearing before the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee. The hearing on House Bill 1449 will take place at 1:30 p.m. in Hearing Room 4 of the John A. Cherberg Building.
The House Public Safety Committee will hold a work session on building public trust in law enforcement, which will include a discussion of the use of force by police officers. The work session will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Hearing Room D of the John L. O’Brien Building.
ELSEWHERE ON CAMPUS
Tuesday is Film Day at the state Capitol, where members of the filmmaking industry will gather to demonstrate different aspects of film production while promoting policies that encourage filmmakers to locate projects in Washington. The event will include an apocalyptic set inspired by the Syfy show “Z Nation,” which is produced in Spokane, as well as zombies to round out the spectacle.
As many as 300 people are expected to participate in the Film Day activities, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Capitol campus.