House approves Boehnke’s first bill, which seeks to develop the new space economy in Washington

With a 93-5 vote Tuesday, the state House approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Matt Boehnke aimed at fostering economic growth by supporting emerging businesses in the new space economy.

While the old space economy relied exclusively on federal dollars flowing through NASA and the Department of Defense, the new space economy largely relies on private-sector funding. The global space sector, currently valued at $350 billion, is expected to carry at least a $1 trillion valuation by 2040.

House Bill 2596 is the first measure sponsored by Boehnke to be approved by the House. It would direct the state's Department of Commerce to complete a study of public policies that would:

  1. Foster the development of the new space economy in Washington.
  2. Look at the geographic distribution of potential employment and training opportunities across the state.

Results of the study would be required to be submitted to the Legislature by October 31, 2021.

“Sitting at my desk on the House floor and witnessing the passage of my first bill was a truly humbling experience,” said Boehnke, R-Kennewick. “My top priority in this job is to make life better for Washingtonians in the 8th District and across the state. That's the goal of House Bill 2596, which lays the groundwork for our state to become a national and global leader in the future of commercial space exploration and development. I look forward to continued bipartisan collaboration on efforts to build Washington's economy and workforce both now and in the future.”

House Bill 2596 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov