Bill passage sets stage for local silicon manufacturing

MOSES LAKE — A tax break for solar manufacturers championed by Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, passed nearly unanimously during the recent legislative session and is sitting on Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk awaiting his signature.

“I don’t see where he is scheduled to sign it,” said Warnick about Senate Bill 5849, which would extend tax breaks for manufacturers of solar panels and components. “He has 30 days to sign it or it becomes law. I assume he’s going to sign it.”

The bill is one of several put forward this year intended to help promote local investment and possibly encourage the restart of silicon production at REC Silicon. The local plant halted production several years ago following a lengthy tariff and trade dispute with the People’s Republic of China over access to Chinese markets.

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