Week 7: 2019 WA Legislative Session Report

March 2, 2019:  Week Seven

Week seven here in Olympia has brought us nearly to the half-way mark of session—day 48 of 105—and ushered in the second big cut-off today by which all bills with a fiscal impact had to be voted out of their fiscal committees. Between this deadline and last Friday’s policy committee cut-off, this week was spent almost entirely in the five fiscal committees—House Finance, Appropriations, and Transportation and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation—pumping out hundreds of bills well into the evening. The next week and a half will now be spent exclusively on the House and Senate floors as members work to pass hundreds of bills out of their House of Origin before the next cut-off on March 13th.

We are still in the very early stage of budget discussions and do not expect to see the first iterations released until sometime between March 15-20, pursuant on new budget forecasts that are anticipated around that time.

Senator Hobbs’ comprehensive transportation package (SB 5970/5971/5972) did receive initial public testimony this week. It brought out stakeholders from a wide variety of industries for over three hours of hearing time with generalized support expressed from local governments and the development sector for the proposed spending projects and notable opposition from the business community around the carbon fee and various other aspects of the revenue portion. It was reminded numerous times through the proceedings that a large package of this type will involve many alterations and be a multi-year effort.

Most notably this week, the latest Senate version of the Governor’s 100% Clean Energy bill, ESSSB 5116, was voted out of the Senate 28-19 on Friday morning—expertly coinciding with the Governor’s much-anticipated announcement of his presidential campaign. The bill came a hair’s breath away from including a Republican-sponsored amendment to suspend enforcement of the act for “highly impacted communities” if electric rates increased, which failed to pass by just one vote. The bill is now scheduled for public hearing in the House Environment committee next Tuesday at 8:00.

The Governor’s Clean Buildings bills continued to move forward this week. SSHB 1257 was heard and passed out of the Finance committee with three amendments, however the vote was a close one with two Democrats voting ‘no,’ based on the desire to have more conversation about public vs. private buildings and transparency in cost/recovery time. The Senate version, SSSB 5293, also passed out of fiscal committee with one Democrat voting in opposition. Both continue to face pressure from the development community.

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard legislation, SSHB 1110, passed out of fiscal committee this week on pure party lines. It will be brought to the floor for a chamber-wide vote early next week.

Upcoming Hearings

Environment & Energy (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 3/5 @ 8:00am

  • 2SSB 5116 – Public Hearing – Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future. (If measure is referred to committee.)

Bill Status

High Priority Bills

Bill # Title Status Sponsor Position
SHB 1226 Encouraging investment in and reducing the costs of transitioning to the clean energy future. H Finance 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
2SHB 1110
(SB 5412)
Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. H Rules R 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 Approps Slatter
HB 1126 Enabling electric utilities to prepare for the distributed energy future. H 2nd Reading Morris
2SHB 1211
(E2SSB 5116)
Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future. H Approps Tarleton
2SHB 1257
(2SSB 5293)
Concerning energy efficiency. H Approps Doglio
HB 1397 Encouraging the use of electric or hybrid-electric aircraft for regional air travel. H 2nd Reading Slatter
SHB 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 Rules R Doglio
SHB 1796
(SB 5730)
Concerning commercial property assessed clean energy and resilience. H Rules R Doglio
SHB 1832 Concerning the electrification of the Washington public vehicle fleet. H Trans Macri
HB 2042 Advancing green transportation adoption. H Trans Fey
SB 5108
(HB 1070)
Concerning the tax treatment of renewable natural gas. S Environment, E King
2SSB 5115
(2SHB 1444)
Concerning appliance efficiency standards. S Rules 2 Carlyle
E2SSB 5116
(2SHB 1211)
Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future. S Passed 3rd Carlyle
SB 5118 Concerning the right to consume self-generated electricity. S 2nd Reading 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
2SSB 5223
(HB 1862)
Concerning net metering. S 2nd Reading Palumbo
2SSB 5293
(2SHB 1257)
Concerning energy efficiency. S Rules 2 Carlyle
SSB 5336
(HB 1664)
Advancing electric transportation. S Transportation Palumbo
SSB 5588 Authorizing the production, distribution, and sale of renewable hydrogen. H Env & Energy Hawkins
SB 5811
(HB 1999)
Reducing emissions by making changes to the clean car standards and clean car program. S 2nd Reading Nguyen
SSB 5936
(HB 2079)
S Rules 2 Brown

Dead Bills

Bill # Title Status Sponsor Position
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 1664
(SSB 5336)
Advancing electric transportation. H Env & Energy Slatter
HB 1862
(2SSB 5223)
Concerning net metering. H Env & Energy Mead
HB 1984 Ensuring that attempts to limit greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state do not make Washington’s agricultural products and food processing businesses economically uncompetitive, thereby shifting emissions to jurisdictions without similar greenhouse gas policies. H Env & Energy Maycumber
HB 2079
(SSB 5936)
Concerning use of industrial waste through industrial symbioses. H Env & Energy Doglio
SB 5412
(2SHB 1110)
Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. S Environment, E Salda?a
SB 5629 Promoting small modular reactors in Washington. S Environment, E Brown
SB 5730
(SHB 1796)
Concerning commercial property assessed clean energy and resilience. S Environment, E Palumbo

 

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