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.
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
|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|
|Reinstating tax preferences for certain high-technology research and development.||H Finance||Sullivan|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|