In the home stretch

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Dear Friends,

There is less than one week left in the 2020 legislative session. On Friday the Senate completed its work on legislation not necessary to implement the budget that was passed and sent to us by the House of Representatives. On Saturday, the Senate was in session to begin what we call “concurrence.” That means we look at the bills passed by the Senate that were amended by the House before they came back to us.

This past week was a busy one -- filled with long nights and intense debates on important issues. You can read about some the action below. You can also follow the latest action online by watching floor debate on TVW Online

As we shift focus to the supplemental budgets, I will continue to fight for you and your family. I will also keep you up-to-date on how the battle goes. 


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Sharon Brown
State Senator
8th District

This Week's Video Update:

Citizens outraged by new fuel tax proposal


Click here to watch this week's video!

In this week's video, we discuss House Bill 1110, the so-called “low-carbon fuel standard.” It's a controversial scheme that could result in price increases of up to 57 cents per gallon for gasoline and up to 63 cents per gallon for diesel. On March 2, 2020, hundreds of hardworking truck drivers and their rigs traveled from across the state to meet at the Capitol to protest the bill. I spoke with several of the protesters to thank them for making the trip to Olympia and to hear directly from them how the proposed policy would impact their industry and consumers.

In the News:

A gas tax won’t fix climate change. State lawmakers must oppose this low-carbon plan

Tri-City Herald Editorial Board | Feb. 28, 2020


If ESSHB 1110 — the low-carbon fuel standard bill — gets through this year’s legislative session, then the price at the pump will shoot up and disposable income will go down. For those on a fixed income, this is a horrible scenario.

The cost of food and other goods shipped by truck will rise because businesses will have to pass on the extra shipping expenses to their customers.

Higher fuel costs will burden city police and fire departments. School districts — especially those with large rural routes — may have to sacrifice classroom money in order to pay for fuel for school buses.

...Washington state Sen. Sharon Brown of Kennewick is opposed to the proposal. She said that any emissions reduction from implementing ESSHB 1110 would be “a drop in the bucket” and would not be sufficient to change world climate.

She noted that Washington produces about two-tenths of 1 percent of global emissions. About 40 percent comes from transportation. If we somehow achieve the 20 percent target Inslee wants, we reduce state output by just 8 percent.

“Global impact is infinitesimal,” she said.

Brown would rather focus on other, more efficient and innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions, such as a new carbon capture project at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The method harnesses carbon before it can be emitted into the atmosphere, and then it’s used to make chemicals that can become resins and plastic materials.

Click here to read the full editorial.

Legislative Update:

House unanimously approves Kendra's Law

Bill will provide people with developmental disabilities a voluntary ID designation


Sen. Sharon Brown with Sharon Adolphson of the Benton Franklin Parent Coalition and her daughter, Kendra Olson.

Kendra’s Law is one step closer to reality, as on Friday the House passed our bill to create a voluntary designation on state licenses and identicards for those with developmental disabilities. Sharon Adolphson with the Benton Franklin Parent Coalition and her daughter, Kendra Olson, are the inspiration for the bill, which passed the Senate 97-0.

We pass a lot of ‘good little bills’ here in Olympia, but this is one that really has the potential to save lives. If a caregiver is injured and unable to speak, there could be a misunderstanding between first responders and a person who has a disability and may be noncommunicative.

This bill would give parents an extra tool in their toolbox to help their child should they find themselves in a bad situation.

Substitute Senate Bill 6429 would allow a person with a developmental disability to apply to the Department of Licensing to obtain a DD designation on a driver's license or identicard. The DD designation would be provided at no additional cost beyond regular driver's license or identicard fees. The designation is completely voluntary, and solely at the request of the individual license or identicard applicant. 

SSB 6429, which has the support of the Arc of Washington State, and the Parent Coalition of Grant, Adams, and Lincoln counties, now goes to the governor for his consideration.

Legislative Update:

Blockchain Work Group bill passes House


Arry Yu, now chair of the Washington Technology Industry Association’s Cascadia Blockchain Council, speaks at the 2018 GeekWire Summit. Arry was instrumental in gathering support for SB 6065. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)

Praising the bill as a critical step for everything from job-creation to agriculture to a tool for addressing privacy concerns, members of the House of Representatives unanimously passed our bill to establish the Washington Blockchain Work Group.

Substitute Senate Bill 6065 would create the work group with the purpose of examining various potential applications of blockchain technology, such as computing, banking and other financial services, real estate transactions, healthcare and public record keeping. 

SSB 6065, which passed the Senate 48-0 last month, will now return to the Senate for that chamber’s consideration of the changes made by the House.

Click here to read my full press release on this bill.

Legislative Update:

Industrial Symbiosis bill goes to governor


On Friday the state House approved Senate Bill 6430, which is aimed at helping Washington establish a statewide industrial-siting coordination program, based on the Danish model.

Our bill – which passed the House 96-0 and the Senate 48-0 on Feb. 17 – will create a program to bring together expertise, technical assistance and best practices to support local industrial symbiosis projects. The projects use the waste byproduct of one industrial facility to produce energy and other resources for an adjacent facility. The bill also will establish a competitive grant program for research into waste exchange ideas.

I want to thank all of you who testified in support of the bill in the House and the Senate, especially our friend Rhys Roth, executive director of the Olympia-based Center for Sustainable Infrastructure. Rhys has been a tremendous asset in helping educate lawmakers and the public about this idea.

Click here to read my full press release on this bill.

Parental Alert:

Sex-ed bill goes far beyond what people want

sex ed

This weekend, the majority Democrats pushed through final approval of Senate Bill 5395, which takes away the ability of school districts to establish their own sexual-education curriculum.

While Republicans are not opposed to providing children with medically accurate and age-appropriate information that would help them to make good choices, to have healthy relationships, to avoid or report abusive behavior, and protect their health, this legislation is not the way to get there.

Now that people are learning the full extent of what this bill would mean for their children and grandchildren, they do not support it. We are listening to them.

We have never seen a compelling reason to mandate a sex-education curriculum at the state level, These decisions should continue to be made at the local level, where parents can be heard directly.

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PLEASE NOTE: Any email or documents you provide to this office may be subject to disclosure under RCW 42.56. If you would prefer to communicate by phone, please contact Sen. Brown's office at (360) 786-7614.

March 9, 2020

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202 Newhouse Building
P.O. Box 40408
Olympia, WA 98504-0408