Week 3: 2019 WA Legislative Session Report

February 2, 2019: Week Three

We are officially now three weeks into this long 2019 session and bill introductions, committee work sessions and public hearings, and citizen lobby days continue to consume the capitol. At this point, over 1600 bills have been introduced on an increasingly-wide range of issues, although it does appear that the frenetic pace is beginning to taper off. Many freshman legislators this year have brought with them a tidal wave of reform ideas and overall energy. With still three more weeks until the first committee cutoff, it is shaping up to be an extremely active and interesting session.

Governor Inslee’s expansive climate package and a variety of other environmental propositions continue to dominate many legislators pallets. The primary four–clean energy, clean buildings, clean transportation, and banning HFCs–are all moving along with seemingly little respite to their momentum. Also of note is Senator Carlyle’s cap and trade proposal and the anticipated introduction of freshman Representative Shewmake’s carbon tax legislation.

There was notable activity surrounding labor policy that took place this week including public hearings on a bill that would prohibit hair stylists from working as independent contractors renting booths in salons, companion independent contractor bills and non-competes. Although the broader business community, including technology companies, health care, transportation and others,  have voiced significant concerns, it has become abundantly clear through an ever-increasing number of labor-related bills and strong Democratic majorities that the unions will not be overlooked this year.

Finally, the 40th District Senate seat remains unfilled since Senator Kevin Ranker’s abrupt resignation earlier this month following allegations of misconduct. The Senate Democratic caucus is reportedly meeting on Saturday to officially select a replacement and will announce their decision by Tuesday of next week.

Most notable this week was the passage of the Governor’s 100% Clean bill (SSB 5116) out of the Senate Environment committee on primarily party lines. Sen. Sheldon, Asst. Ranking Minority Member of the committee, voted do pass on the legislation. It will now await testimony in the Ways & Means fiscal committee. As mentioned above, Sen. Carlyle and Rep. Shewmake are both expected to introduce tangential carbon-related proposals—Cap and Trade and Carbon Tax legislation, respectively—however it is unclear whether these will be able to gain any significant momentum with 100% Clean taking center stage at this time.

Also of note, several bills concerning rooftop solar are in play. SB 5223 regarding net metering is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Ways & Means committee next week and HB 1126 concerning DER planning passed out of committee with bipartisan support on Thursday.

Most of the action next week will be in the House Energy Committee where they are holding executive session on HB 1221 (100% Clean Energy), HB 1226 (Reducing the costs to 100% Clean Energy), HB 1257 (Energy Efficiency), and HB 1444 (Appliance Efficiency).  The Senate will also be hearing testimony on SB 5629, a bill that would promote small modular nuclear reactors in Washington.

Upcoming Hearings

Environment & Energy (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 2/5 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 1211 – Exec Session – Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future.
  • HB 1226 – Exec Session – Encouraging investment in and reducing the costs of transitioning to the clean energy future.
  • HB 1257 – Exec Session – Concerning energy efficiency.

Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4, JACB – 2/5 @ 3:30pm

  • SSB 5223 – Public Hearing – Concerning net metering.

Environment & Energy (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 2/7 @ 8:00am

  • HB 1211 – Exec Session – Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future.
  • HB 1226 – Exec Session – Encouraging investment in and reducing the costs of transitioning to the clean energy future.
  • HB 1257 – Exec Session – Concerning energy efficiency.

Transportation (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 2/7 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 1397 – Public Hearing – Encouraging the use of electric or hybrid-electric aircraft for regional air travel.

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  
SHB 1110
(SB 5412)
Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. H Trans Fitzgibbon  
SHB 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 ENVIDPS Slatter  
HB 1126 Enabling electric utilities to prepare for the distributed energy future. H ENVIDP 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
(SSB 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  
HB 1397 Encouraging the use of electric or hybrid-electric aircraft for regional air travel. H Trans Slatter  
HB 1642 Allowing the energy savings associated with on-bill repayment programs to count toward a qualifying utility’s energy conservation targets under the energy independence act. H Env & Energy Doglio  
HB 1664
(SB 5336)
Advancing electric transportation. H Env & Energy Slatter  
HB 1796
(SB 5730)
Concerning commercial property assessed clean energy and resilience. H Local Govt Doglio  
HB 1832 Concerning the electrification of the Washington public vehicle fleet. H State Govt & T Macri  
SB 5108
(HB 1070)
Concerning the tax treatment of renewable natural gas. S Environment, E King  
SSB 5115
(HB 1444)
Concerning appliance efficiency standards. S Ways & Means Carlyle  
SSB 5116
(HB 1211)
Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future. S Ways & Means Carlyle  
SB 5118 Concerning the right to consume self-generated electricity. S Rules 2 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  
SSB 5223 Concerning net metering. S Ways & Means Palumbo  
SB 5293
(HB 1257)
Concerning energy efficiency. S Environment, E Carlyle  
SB 5336
(HB 1664)
Advancing electric transportation. S Environment, E Palumbo  
SB 5412
(SHB 1110)
Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. S Environment, E Salda?a  
SB 5730
(HB 1796)
Concerning commercial property assessed clean energy and resilience. S Environment, E Palumbo  

 

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