Boehnke introduces series of bills seeking to position Washington as a leader in the new space economy

Rep. Matt Boehnke, R-Kennewick, has introduced a series of bills seeking to bolster Washington's space industry and position the state as a leader in the new space economy for both civilian and military populations.

House Joint Memorial 4015 requests Congress to establish a U.S. Space Academy in Washington to support the mission of Space Force, the nation's newest military branch.

“A devoted space academy located in Washington and funded by federal dollars would benefit the nation and grow our state's space economy,” said Boehnke. “As Space Force grows, we can and should expect Congress to authorize the creation of a specialized academy to train and equip an American workforce for the civilian opportunities and military missions of the future in space. This House Joint Memorial, if adopted, would send a powerful signal of unified political support in Washington for such an academy.”

Space Force was established in December as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by President Trump.

Boehnke's House Bill 2665 would create a business and occupation tax credit for qualified research and development (R&D) expenditures in advanced spacecraft manufacturing. It would also defer state and local sales tax on the construction or expansion of eligible R&D or pilot scale manufacturing facilities, as well as on qualified machinery and equipment purchases related to R&D.

Finally, House Bill 2596 would direct the state's Department of Commerce to complete a study of public policies that would help develop the new space economy in Washington. The study would also look at the geographic distribution of potential employment and training opportunities. Results would be required to be submitted to the Legislature by October 31, 2021.

“The global space sector, currently worth $350 billion, is expected to grow to $2.7 trillion by 2045,” added Boehnke. “Washington state is home to some of the brightest minds and most influential visionaries, and we have a tremendous opportunity to establish ourselves as a national and global leader in the future of commercial space exploration and development. Each of these bills would help get us started on that journey.”

Boehnke's three bills are scheduled to be heard next week in the House Innovation, Technology and Economic Development Committee.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov