Boehnke’s first Senate bill receives unanimous approval, heads to state House

On Monday the first bill by Sen. Matt Boehnke to come to a vote by the full Senate since he became senator for the 8th Legislative District won unanimous approval.

Senate Bill 5166 would reauthorize the business and occupation (B&O) tax deduction for cooperative finance organizations. The Legislature reauthorized the tax deduction in 2020, but the legislation was vetoed by Governor Inslee due to COVID-19 budgetary concerns.

Under Boehnke’s bill, the B&O tax deduction for loan repayments received by cooperative finance organizations from rural electric cooperatives or other utility nonprofit or governmental utility providers would be reauthorized, with the tax preference expiring January 1, 2034.

“This is another bill to help rural communities,” said Boehnke, R-Kennewick. “It would allow our rural electric cooperatives to get the funds they need to bring clean energy and broadband to rural communities where it is needed most.”

Following the vote Boehnke took part in the tradition that calls for new senators, upon the passage of their first bill in the Senate chamber, to distribute small gifts that are reflective of their legislative districts.

“It is truly an honor and privilege to move across the [Capitol] Rotunda, from the other chamber to the Senate,” Boehnke told his colleagues, to whom he gave boxes of Chukar Cherries, which are produced in Benton County.

“This gift comes from the heart. The cherry is very meaningful to me. When I was in the dating process with the woman who would later become my wife, her father allowed me to pick some cherries from their tree. That tree still exists at our home today, and represents the love I have and have shared, and is so special to me. So it means a lot to me to be able to share this gift with you today.”

SB 5166 will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration. Boehnke is serving his first term in the state Senate after two terms in the House.