Week 1: 2019 WA Legislative Session Report

January 19, 2019: Week 1

This Monday, January 14th, marked the start of the 2019 Legislative Session. As an odd-numbered year, this is both a budget writing session and a “long” 105-day session, barring any additional ‘special sessions’ afterwards. (The last several long sessions have gone into multiple special sessions over budgetary stalemates, however large democratic majorities this year will hopefully minimize any similar deadlock.)

This week also brought the inauguration of 28-soon to be 29 with Sen. Kevin Ranker’s resignation this week-new legislators, following the November general election. This new class of legislators is the most diverse in Washington’s history, including 14 women, 8 members of color, 6 millennials, and 1 refugee. In addition to many new faces here in Olympia, this also means new leadership, committee names and assignments.

Governor Inslee provided his State of the State address on Monday which concentrated largely on climate change initiatives, behavioral and mental health policy, and affordable housing and homelessness reformation. It also included his clearest yet indication of a 2020 presidential run, stating that he is “seriously considering running for president.”  A large focus this session will be placed on several elements of Gov. Inslee’s climate change proposals including 100% clean electricity, clean transportation, clean buildings, and a cap and trade proposal headed by Sen. Reuven Carlyle. The Governor’s proposed operating and capital budgets were both heard in committee hearing this week, which total over $3.7 billion in additional spending.

Also of note this week was a public hearing on a proposed increase to the B&O tax, a unanimous House vote to clarify parts of the police training ballot initiative (I-940), and the introduction of a number of workforce and labor-related bills.

With numerous climate-related pieces of legislation already introduced and heard in this first week of session, this is shaping up to be very active year relevant to energy, environment, and carbon issues. These included three of the governor’s request bills which were part of the December Clean Energy rollout, Low Carbon Fuel Standard (HB 1110), HFC ban (HB 1112), and his 100% Clean Energy proposal (SB 5116). Several other agency requests also received hearings, including appliance energy standards and an EFSEC streamlining bill.

In addition to the governor’s bills, Senator Carlyle also held a meeting with energy stakeholders to receive feedback on a Cap and Trade bill he plans to drop early next week.  The Senator has stated his sees this as complimentary to the Governor’s 100% Clean bill but could be a replacement for LCFS. It is unclear at this time what sort of traction this proposal will have, but Sen. Carlyle has indicated that it will have a hearing next week following stakeholder input over the weekend.

Both Transportation chairs, Senator Hobbs and Representative Fey have begun stakeholder interactions, Fey is clearly focused on “green” transportation this session. Senator Hobbs presented his Transportation revenue proposal on Friday which includes a $15/ton carbon tax and the same exemptions that were part of the carbon tax bill, SB 6203, from 2018. Sen Hobb’s will hold another work session on Thursday, January 24th to accept public comment on his Transportation funding proposal.

Upcoming Hearings

Environment & Energy (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 1/21 @ 1:30pm

  • HB 1226 – Public Hearing – Encouraging investment in and reducing the costs of transitioning to the clean energy future. (If measure is referred to committee.)
  • HB 1126 – Public Hearing – Enabling electric utilities to prepare for the distributed energy future.

Environment & Energy (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 1/22 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 1211 – Public Hearing – Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future. (If measure is referred to committee.)
  • HB 1113 – Exec Session – Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science and with the United States’ commitment under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – SHR 1, JACB – 1/23 @ 8:00am

  • SB 5108 – Public Hearing – Concerning the tax treatment of renewable natural gas.
  • SB 5293 – Public Hearing – Concerning energy efficiency.
  • SB 5115 – Public Hearing – Concerning appliance efficiency standards.

Environment & Energy (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 1/24 @ 8:00am

  • HB 1110 – Exec Session – Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels.
  • HB 1113 – Exec Session – Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science and with the United States’ commitment under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Bill Status

Monitoring Bills

Bill # Title Status Sponsor Position
HB 1226 Encouraging investment in and reducing the costs of transitioning to the clean energy future. H Env & Energy DeBolt

 

Other Bills

Bill # Title Status Sponsor Position
HB 1102
(SB 5134)
Concerning the capital budget. H Cap Budget Tharinger
HB 1109
(SB 5153)
Making 2019-2021 biennium operating appropriations. H Approps Ormsby
HB 1110 Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. H Env & Energy Fitzgibbon
HB 1113 Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science and with the United States’ commitment under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. H Env & Energy Slatter
HB 1126 Enabling electric utilities to prepare for the distributed energy future. H Env & Energy Morris
HB 1127 Concerning the electrification of transportation. H Env & Energy Morris
HB 1128 Authorizing an alternative form of regulation of electrical and natural gas companies. H Env & Energy Morris
HB 1129 Concerning customer-sited electricity generation. H Env & Energy Morris
HB 1211
(SB 5116)
Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future. H Env & Energy Tarleton
HB 1257
(SB 5293)
Concerning energy efficiency. H Env & Energy Doglio
SB 5108
(HB 1070)
Concerning the tax treatment of renewable natural gas. S Environment, E King
SB 5115 Concerning appliance efficiency standards. S Environment, E Carlyle
SB 5116
(HB 1211)
Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future. S Environment, E Carlyle
SB 5118 Concerning the right to consume self-generated electricity. S Environment, E Palumbo
SB 5134
(HB 1102)
Concerning the capital budget. S Ways & Means Frockt
SB 5153
(HB 1109)
Making 2019-2021 biennium operating appropriations. S Ways & Means Rolfes
SB 5223 Concerning net metering. S Environment, En Palumbo
SB 5293
(HB 1257)
Concerning energy efficiency. S Environment, E Carlyle
SB 5336 Advancing electric transportation. S Environment, E Palumbo

 

 

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