Washington State Legislative Update – Week 7

Olympia,WAUPDATE March 13, 2014 – The legislative bodies are finalizing the supplemental budget and are working on other final outstanding issues.  The budget negotiators released their proposed supplemental budget but did not include renewal of the technology sector Research and Development (R&D) incentive program.  They did, however, end on a positive note with the Governor’s Clean Tech fund remaining funded at the current levels.

In spite of enormous efforts by a variety of stakeholders the legislature was unable to move forward on proposals to extend the solar incentive program or leased energy systems such as roof-top solar.  Additional work through the interim is expected in this area.

Compressed National Gas/Liquefied Natural Gas (CNG/LNG):  The legislature passed SB 6440, which would clarify tax policy around CNG and LNG infrastructure development, specifically for transportation purposes.

March 9, 2014 – The Legislature is rapidly heading towards the end of session, scheduled for Thursday March 13th. The House and Senate have both signaled that they will finish on time and adjourn Sine Die on Thursday. Both Chambers have passed Supplemental Budgets and final negotiations are under way. Friday also marked the final Chamber cutoff with all bills, that are not budget related, needing to be passed out of the opposite chamber or they are considered dead for this session. Next week will be spent reconciling any differences between the House and Senate on both budget and policy bills that are in dispute between the Chambers.

The only issues still in play are the RD tax credit legislation. At this point it appears that the Senate will pass a 9-month extension and create a study to assess the impact of this tax preference and make recommendations for next session. This is obviously not ideal but it does allow the issue to stay alive and continue the discussion in to next session.

Another issue that has come forward is SB 6440, concerning compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas used for transportation purposes. This Legislation could impact how LNG and CNG are taxed for transportation purposes. This will probably tee up the discussion for next session as well.

Bill Tracking Report – Week 7

Report prepared by Boswell Consulting