Monday, October 26, 2020
Oct. 26, 2020

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WA senators leave key budget hearing in protest

The Columbian
Published:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Democratic state Sen. Brian Hatfield of Raymond says he left a key Senate budget committee hearing on Friday in protest because one of his bills was killed in the House.

Earlier this session, Hatfield introduced and the Senate passed a bill that would change the types of biomass accepted as part of a clean energy law, grandfathering in pulp mills, including one in Hatfield’s district. The House did not act on the bill.

Hatfield says he and Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom of Medina left in protest to get leadership’s attention.

Their absence may have stalled the progress of a bill that would have extended temporary taxes on hotel stays, restaurants and car rentals to help fund economic projects in King County.

King County officials had expected to the measure to move out of committee, but fell a vote short.

Hatfield told the Aberdeen Daily World Saturday that he wanted to “rattle the cage.” He says their absence shouldn’t be blamed for the stadium taxes bill not going forward, though he says there may have been “collateral damage” from his protest.

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