Washington Legislative Session: Week 7 Update

Guest Contributor Brad Boswell of Boswell Consulting

Week seven here in Olympia has now come to a close, putting the legislature only 12 days from the last day of session. It is looking likely that session will end on March 8th as scheduled, as many legislators are eager to resume campaigning for the 2018 elections and all are disinclined to extend into extra innings after doing so for the past few years.

With yesterday marking the deadline for bills to be passed out of their opposite house policy committee and Monday’s upcoming fiscal committee cutoff, only a couple hundred will remain alive heading into next week’s chamber floor action. Legislators will have just until next Friday, March 2nd, to hear and vote out opposite house bills. As you might expect under these circumstances, things are moving extremely fast.

The House and Senate also released the first versions of their respective operating, transportation, and capital budgets early this week. Amendments were made to the proposed budgets in committee and floor action throughout the week. Key leadership and fiscal committee members will spend these last two weeks of session negotiating and passing final versions of the budgets.

The carbon tax legislation is also still alive and moving. It passed out of committee on Thursday with a number of amendments. The newest version of the bill including these changes can be found here. The capital budget for both the House and Senate also came out this week; negotiations will occur over the next two weeks until a final version is passed. At this point we do not foresee any changes being made to the Clean Energy Fund.


High Priority Bills

Bill # Title Status Sponsor Position
SHB 1894
(SB 5630)
Reinstating tax preferences for certain high-technology research and development. H Finance Sullivan
ESHB 2299
(ESSB 6032)
Making 2018 supplemental operating appropriations. H 3rd Reading Ormsby
HB 2340 Extending the sales and use tax exemption for certain alternative fuel vehicles. H Trans Condotta
SHB 2580
(SSB 6449)
Promoting renewable natural gas. H Rules R Morris Support
HB 2653 Modifying the alternative fuel vehicle sales and use tax exemptions for the purposes of expanding the exemptions and amending related provisions. H 2nd Reading Fey
SB 5630
(SHB 1894)
Reinstating tax preferences for certain high-technology research and development. S Ways & Means Braun
ESSB 6081 Concerning distributed generation. (REVISED FOR ENGROSSED: Concerning net metering. ) H Rules R Palumbo