Washington State Legislative Session: Week 5 Update

Guest Contributor Brad Boswell of Boswell Consulting

We are now five weeks into the 2018 Legislative Session and it is shaping up to be one of the busiest in the history of short sessions. The first two deadlines—for bills to pass out of their policy and financial committees—are behind us, meaning many bills that were not voted out in time are now effectively dead. However, due to the extremely fast pace and Democratic control of both chambers, an unprecedented number of bills are alive and moving. Already, almost 300 bills have passed off the House and Senate floors combined, with many more to come before the next cutoff date, February 14th.

As far as content right now, we are seeing a high volume of labor policy, education, cannabis, and healthcare related bills. Notably, this week saw the passage of legislation that would allow out of state investment in marijuana businesses, increase transparency around prescription costs, and increase behavioral heath funding for institutions of higher education.

It will be interesting to see if the current trends and pace continue into next week as policymakers must now split their time between floor votes and public hearings on bills that have moved over from the other chamber.

A variety of distributed energy legislation is making its way through the process including HB 1233 related to distributed generation, and HB 2510 and SB 6081 concerning electrical net metering. HB 2580 and SB 6449 dealing with renewable natural gas are also continuing to move along. We expect a Senate Ways & Means hearing on SB 6203, the Gov. Inslee/Sen. Carlyle carbon tax, sometime next week.

Upcoming Hearings 

Technology & Economic Development (House) – HHR C, JLOB – 2/15 @ 1:30pm

  • SB 6563 – Public Hearing – Reestablishing the sustainable aviation biofuels work group.

High Priority Bill Status 

Bill # Title Status Sponsor Position
HB 1497 Providing sales and use tax exemptions, in the form of a remittance of tax paid, to encourage coal-fired electric generation plants to convert to natural gas-fired plants or biomass energy facilities. H Finance Walsh  
SHB 1894
(SB 5630)
Reinstating tax preferences for certain high-technology research and development. H Finance Sullivan  
SHB 2280
(SB 6130)
Concerning community solar gardens. H 2nd Reading Morris  
SHB 2283 Encouraging investment in and reducing the costs of transitioning to the clean energy future. H Finance DeBolt  
HB 2299
(SB 6032)
Making supplemental operating appropriations. H Approps Ormsby  
SHB 2319 Concerning energy conservation programs under the energy independence act. H 2nd Reading Doglio  
HB 2328 Reducing emissions by making changes to the clean car standards and clean car program. H Rules R Morris  
2SHB 2338 Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. H Rules R Fitzgibbon  
HB 2339 Encouraging the purchase of all electric truck tractor vehicles. H Finance Condotta  
HB 2340 Extending the sales and use tax exemption for certain alternative fuel vehicles. H Trans Condotta  
SHB 2510 Concerning net metering. H 2nd Reading Morris  
SHB 2580
(SSB 6449)
Promoting renewable natural gas. H Rules R Morris  
HB 2653 Modifying the alternative fuel vehicle sales and use tax exemptions for the purposes of expanding the exemptions and amending related provisions. H Finance Fey  
SHJM 4008 Requesting that the Bonneville Power Administration consider a rate design for the Eastern Intertie that eliminates or reduces the transmission rate associated with that part of the Eastern Intertie known as the Montana Intertie. H Rules 3C Morris  
SB 5630
(SHB 1894)
Reinstating tax preferences for certain high-technology research and development. S Ways & Means Braun  
SB 5716 Addressing electric vehicle charging infrastructure. S Transportation Chase  
SSB 6080 Concerning the electrification of transportation. S Ways & Means Palumbo  
SSB 6081 Concerning distributed generation. S 2nd Reading Palumbo