February 26, 2014 | Vol.54 N.9

How did state lawmakers vote this week? 2-28-14

WashingtonVotes.org

"How did my state lawmakers vote in Olympia?" Readers of the Lake Stevens Journal & Granite Falls Press would like to know.

WashingtonVotes.org provides a free weekly roll call service to media outlets as long as the legislature is in session. The reports are customized to the legislative districts in your market area and feature individual legislator votes on the top issues of the week. We encourage you to publish this report in print or on-line to help keep your readers informed and engaged about how their representatives perform in Olympia. To update your information, or to let us know you will publish the report, please drop us an e-mail at wavotes@wavotes.org. This week’s legislative action focused on the 2014 Supplemental Budget, which makes adjustments to the 2013-15 two-year operating budget, and was passed in the Senate, along with the 2014 Supplemental Capital Budget, which makes adjustments to the two-year appropriations for capital construction projects.

Senate Bill 6002, 2014 Supplemental Operating Budget. Passed the Senate on February 27, 2014 by a vote of 41-8.

This is the bi-partisan Senate Majority Coalition’s version of different supplemental budget proposals by the Governor and House and Senate Democrats. The bill would add about $96 million in spending, including $38 million for technology programs and supplies for schools, to the $33.6 billion two-year operating budget approved last year. The additional expenditures would be paid for by increased revenue projections of $60 million and savings resulting from reduced needs for state services.

44 Sen. Steve Hobbs (Lake Stevens) (D) Y

Senate Bill 6402, Defining honeybee products and services as an agricultural product. Passed the Senate on February 28, 2014 by a vote of 48-1.

The supplemental budget, as passed by the Senate, continues to extend certain tax exemptions, like the sales tax exemption for bottled water. Honeybee products and services are also currently exempt from certain business and sales taxes. This exemption is set to expire July 1, 2017. Under this bill, honeybee products would be considered agricultural products. Eligible beekeepers who grow, raise, or produce honeybee products for sale, or provide bee pollination services would be considered farmers with the same tax exemptions farmers have under current law. These tax exemptions are permanent and not subject to an expiration date.

44 Sen. Steve Hobbs (Lake Stevens) (D) Y

Senate Bill 6020, 2014 Supplemental Capital Budget. Passed the Senate on February 28, 2014 by a vote of 31-18.

The supplemental capital budget is contained in three bills, SB 6020, the main supplemental capital budget, SB 6081, which provides for new grant programs for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) labs and all-day kindergarten, and SB 6516, which creates and funds a task force on financing water supply and flood and storm water control projects. The Senate passed SB 6081 and SB 6516 earlier this month. Combined, these three bills increase net spending by $121 million over the $3.6 billion 2013-15 capital budget approved last year. Major sources of revenue to support the increase include $71 million in the water pollution control revolving fund and $57 million in the model toxics control act accounts. Among the programs for which SB 6020 provides additional funding are $ 46 million for clean up of toxic waste sites, $46 million for clean water projects, and $14 million for repairs and improvements at state facilities and institutions.

44 Sen. Steve Hobbs (Lake Stevens) (D) Y

Senate Bill 6550, Providing a sales and use tax exemption for eligible server equipment and infrastructures installed in computer data centers. Passed the Senate on February 28, 2014 by a vote of 35-13.

The bill provides for a sales and use tax exemption for eligible server equipment and eligible power infrastructure located in data centers in which construction starts between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2025. Eligible server equipment affected by this act is equipment installed in a data center built after July 1, 2014, and includes original server equipment and replacement server equipment installed prior to April 1, 2025. Substations do not qualify as eligible power infrastructure. According to testimony in committee, this bill is needed to keep Washington competitive with neighboring states in locating and building computer data centers.

44 Sen. Steve Hobbs (Lake Stevens) (D) Y

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Y = Yes, N = No, E = Excused, X = Not Voting

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