Week 12: 2019 WA Legislative Session Report

April 6, 2019:  Week Twelve

Week 12 in Olympia is now behind us and with it the first of the opposite-house cutoffs: Wednesday deadline for bills to be passed out of their non-origin house policy committee. Bills with a fiscal impact now have until next Tuesday to be passed out of their opposite-house fiscal committee, following which floor action will resume. This short timeline as well as expedited budget action required fiscal committees to run late into the night throughout the week and into the weekend.

Notably, the Senate Ways and Means Committee took executive action on the operating budget (HB 1109) on Tuesday for nearly 12 hours, considering what amounted to 116 amendments. The budget then moved to the Senate floor for an additional several hours of debate and consideration of another 50 amendments, ultimately passing with a bipartisan vote of 31-17. The capital (HB 1102) and transportation (HB 1160) budgets were also shuttled through this week with a handful of amendments each. We can now expect cross-chamber budget negotiations on all three proposals to begin in earnest next week.

Both houses also continue to consider the various revenue bills that have been proposed, however these negotiations tend to develop more slowly than expenditure conversations and will likely take us into the final days of session. It is still very unclear which of the proposals will ultimately prevail, although both chambers’ inclusion of an general B&O tax increase, capital gains tax, and graduated REET suggest that these may be the primary vessels.

The Clean Energy legislation, HB 5116, continues to move slowly toward the finish line. It was voted out of the House Finance committee on party lines on Tuesday with several new amendments including a sales tax exemption for residential solar equipment. It was also heard in the House Appropriations committee on Saturday morning. The only remaining opposition is from the builders and contractors. The rural electric utilities also expressed efforts to make some small remaining changes.

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard legislation, HB 1110, was heard in the Senate Transportation committee this week. Senator Hobbs took testimony on the existing version of the bill (which Waste Management signed in support of) as well as a striking amendment he introduced shortly before the hearing that allows those required to comply with a clean fuel standard to instead pay an alternative assessment on carbon emissions of transportation fuels. The assessment is $6 per ton of CO2 through 2028 then adjusted by the legislature “based on further evaluation of low carbon fuels policy.” It also redirects collections to fund transportation projects. Testimony was primarily focused on continued concerns around increased fuel prices and uncertainty over the effects of the striker. This legislation continues to face a very uncertain future, especially in light of this newly proposed language.

We also met with utility stakeholders and Battelle to coordinate efforts around getting the $42M included in the House budget into the final version that passes the legislature. We will keep you apprised as this conversation develops.

Bill Status

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
SHB 1102
(SSB 5134)
Concerning the capital budget. S 2nd Reading Tharinger
ESHB 1109
(SB 5153)
Making 2019-2021 biennium operating appropriations and 2017-2019 biennium second supplemental operating appropriations. S Passed 3rd Ormsby
E2SHB 1110
(SB 5412)
Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. S Transportation 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 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
E3SHB 1257
(2SSB 5293)
Concerning energy efficiency. S Ways & Means Doglio
HB 1397 Encouraging the use of electric or hybrid-electric aircraft for regional air travel. S Rules 2 Slatter
SHB 1832 Concerning the electrification of the Washington public vehicle fleet. H Trans Macri
SHB 2042 Advancing green transportation adoption. H Finance Fey
HB 2156 Investing in quality prekindergarten, K-12, and postsecondary opportunities throughout Washington with excise taxes on sales and extraordinary profits of high valued assets. H Finance Jinkins
HB 2157 Updating the Washington tax structure to address the needs of Washingtonians. H Finance Tarleton
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 Approps Carlyle
SSB 5134
(SHB 1102)
Concerning the capital budget. S Rules 2 Frockt
SB 5153
(ESHB 1109)
Making 2019-2021 biennium operating appropriations. S Ways & Means Rolfes
E2SSB 5223
(HB 1862)
Concerning net metering. H Rules R Palumbo
2SSB 5293
(E3SHB 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 2nd Reading 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 Approps 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
SB 6000 Relating to state general obligation bonds and related accounts. S Ways & Means Frockt
SB 6001 Relating to the capital budget. S Ways & Means Frockt
SB 6002 Relating to the capital budget. S Ways & Means Frockt
SB 6003 Relating to state government. S Ways & Means Rolfes
SB 6004 Relating to fiscal matters. S Ways & Means Rolfes
SB 6005 Relating to revenue. S Ways & Means Rolfes
SB 6006 Relating to education. S Ways & Means Rolfes

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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