Washington Legislative Session: Week 8

Guest Contributor Brad Boswell of Boswell Consulting

It is officially the home stretch in Olympia with the 2018 legislative session scheduled to adjourn on Thursday, March 8th and every indication is that they will adjourn on time.  The end of this eighth week marked the crucial opposite house cutoff and accompanying death of hundreds of bills in both the House and Senate. The compact time frame and sheer volume of proposed legislation characterizing this short session meant that many bills died awaiting their turn on the floor for a vote before 5:00 pm on Friday. Those pieces of legislation that did pass out will now, if altered since leaving their house of origin, move back to that the originating Chamber for concurrence next week. If not, they will head to the governor’s desk for his final signature or veto. Legislators will spend the last few days of session next week negotiating amended legislation, voting on fiscally impactful bills that were not subject to the Friday cutoff, and rolling out final versions of all the operating, capitol and transportation budgets.

Surviving this week’s chaos was legislation relating to gender pay equity, high-capacity firearms, body-worn cameras, mental health, net neutrality and campaign finance. The Governor’s carbon tax bill was not amongst those lucky few. Also of note, the public disclosure bill that was controversially fast-tracked through the legislature last week received a veto by Gov. Inslee on Thursday. The legislation is considered dead for right now; it is unclear what next steps will occur. All in all, just under 300 bills—from the original several thousand—are still standing.

As noted, Governor Inslee’s carbon tax legislation did not make it to the floor this week and is effectively dead for the remainder of session. Unfortunately, a number of other energy-related bills also died this week on the floor calendar including the alternative fuel regulation, net metering, and electric vehicle infrastructure bills. The electric vehicle incentive bill, HB 2653 passed out of the House on Monday 86-12 and had a public hearing in the Senate Transportation committee today.

Bill Status

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  
HB 2653 Modifying the alternative fuel vehicle sales and use tax exemptions for the purposes of expanding the exemptions and amending related provisions. S Transportation Fey  
SB 5630
(SHB 1894)
Reinstating tax preferences for certain high-technology research and development. S Ways & Means Braun