Week 10: 2019 WA Legislative Session Report

March 22, 2019: Week Ten

Week ten in Olympia was back to committee hearings for further consideration of bills that have made it out of their House of Origin. The conversation turned largely to the budget this week with Wednesday’s release of the first quarterly revenue forecast of 2019. It is predicting tax collections will be $307 million more for the 2-year budget ending on June 30th this year and $554 million more for the 2019-21 biennium. This brings the projected revenue available to the state for the 2019-21 two-year budget to $50.56 billion. However, that number is still lower than what budget writer’s are signalling is needed. Entering session, the maintenance level budget was $51.07 billion. This is essentially the predicted cost of the next budget if funding is maintained for all the same things the state did in the last budget, adjusted for caseloads and inflation. Governor Inslee’s proposed budget came in at $54.36 billion and all of these numbers are much higher than the last state budget, which was $44.66 billion.

Early next week the House will release their versions of all three budgets: Operating (General Fund), Capitol (construction), and Transportation. The Operating and Capitol will receive public testimony on Monday, then likely be voted out of committee on Wednesday and off the House floor on Friday. The Transportation budget is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday and executive session on Friday. Following this, the Senate will then publish their versions of the budgets, likely the first week of April. Negotiations will begin after both chambers pass their respective budgets. Following concurrence, the conversation will then turn to revenue. We anticipate seeing proposals that include a graduated real estate excise tax and an increase in the B&O tax. There may also be an effort to pass a capital gains tax, however that could be challenged legally and is unclear how much momentum it could have. Additional revenue sources include a separate tax proposal on opioids and vape products.

The Governor’s 100% Clean bill (SB 5116), continued to shuttle through the process this week, moving out of the House Environment committee on Monday and receiving public testimony in the Finance committee on Thursday. While technical amendments will continue to be made as it moves through both fiscal committees and off the House floor, most stakeholders are supportive or neutral at this point and it is ultimately looking likely to land on the Governor’s desk relatively soon. On the other hand, his remaining Clean Building’s bill, HB 1257, was moved out of the House Appropriations committee this week on party lines with amendments that fully stripped it down to just commercial buildings. The sponsor, Rep. Doglio, is pushing for it to go to the House floor sometime next week but with budget being the primary focus it is unclear if that will happen. This bill will need to garner some more momentum if it is to ultimately pass this year.

Senator Carlyle’s Cap and Trade legislation, SB 5981, received a public hearing and substantial attention this week despite being introduced over half way through session. The hearing included testimony from a number of EITEs regarding the legislation’s current lack of a full exemption/allowance for these industries. Sen. Carlyle spoke at a luncheon following the hearing, making clear that EITEs should be prepared to support the bill if they are seeking an exemption. He also affirmed speculations that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard legislation, HB 1110, while still “Plan A, B, & C”, may offer some legs to Cap & Trade if it becomes stalled—a situation that could unfold as the bill (which was heavily debated in the Senate Environment committee this week but ultimately did pass out on party lines) now heads to the Transportation committee chaired by known LCFS-sceptic Senator Hobbs. Also of note, to a question regarding whether the legislation is ultimately a revenue or environmental proposal, Sen. Carlyle indicated “both”. Given the above-mentioned budget situation, it is unclear if this could become a desired source of revenue if legislators cannot ultimately agree on something else. That said, it is still widely accepted as unlikely that it could make the necessary progress this late in the game, but will almost certainly return next year.

Upcoming Hearings

Appropriations (House) – HHR A, JLOB – 3/25 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 1109 – Public Hearing – Making 2019-2021 biennium operating appropriations.

Capital Budget (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 3/26 @ 8:00am

  • HB 1102 – Public Hearing – Concerning the capital budget.

Finance (House) – HHR A, JLOB – 3/26 @ 8:00am

  • E2SSB 5116 – Exec Session – Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future.

Environment & Energy (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 3/26 @ 3:30pm

  • E2SSB 5223 – Exec Session – Concerning net metering.
  • SSB 5936 – Exec Session – Concerning use of industrial waste through industrial symbioses.

Appropriations (House) – HHR A, JLOB – 3/27 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 1109 – Exec Session – Making 2019-2021 biennium operating appropriations.

Capital Budget (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 3/29 @ 8:00am

  • HB 1102 – Exec Session – Concerning the capital budget.

Finance (House) – HHR A, JLOB – 3/29 @ 8:00am

  • E2SSB 5116 – Exec Session – Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future.

Bill Status

High Priority Bills

No bills.

Medium Priority Bills

No bills.

Low Priority Bills

No bills.

Monitoring 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
E2SHB 1110
(SB 5412)
Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. S RecComm 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
EHB 1126 Enabling electric utilities to prepare for the distributed energy future. S ENETDP Morris
2SHB 1211
(E2SSB 5116)
Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future. H Approps Tarleton
3SHB 1257
(2SSB 5293)
Concerning energy efficiency. H Rules R Doglio
HB 1397 Encouraging the use of electric or hybrid-electric aircraft for regional air travel. S Transportation Slatter
SHB 1832 Concerning the electrification of the Washington public vehicle fleet. H Trans Macri
SHB 2042 Advancing green transportation adoption. 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 X Carlyle
E2SSB 5116
(2SHB 1211)
Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future. H Finance Carlyle
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
E2SSB 5223
(HB 1862)
Concerning net metering. H Env & Energy Palumbo
2SSB 5293
(3SHB 1257)
Concerning energy efficiency. S Rules X Carlyle
2SSB 5336
(HB 1664)
Advancing electric transportation. S Ways & Means Palumbo
SSB 5588 Authorizing the production, distribution, and sale of renewable hydrogen. H Rules R Hawkins
SB 5811
(HB 1999)
Reducing emissions by making changes to the clean car standards and clean car program. H Env & Energy Nguyen
SSB 5936
(HB 2079)
Concerning use of industrial waste through industrial symbioses. H Env & Energy Brown
SB 5980 Relating to greenhouse gas emissions. S Environment, E Honeyford
SB 5981 Implementing a greenhouse gas emissions cap and trade program. S Environment, E Carlyle

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
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 C Doglio
HB 1664
(2SSB 5336)
Advancing electric transportation. H Env & Energy Slatter
SHB 1796
(SB 5730)
Concerning commercial property assessed clean energy and resilience. H Rules C Doglio
HB 1862
(E2SSB 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 5118 Concerning the right to consume self-generated electricity. S Rules X Palumbo
SB 5412
(E2SHB 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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