2020 WA Legislative Session Weekly Report 1

Boswell Consulting

January 18, 2020: Week One

Analysis by CleanTech Alliance lobbyist Brad Boswell

Today marks the end of the first week of the 2020 Legislative Session here in Washington. Starting Monday, legislators returned to the capitol campus in Olympia from their home districts to begin this short 60-day session, the second half of the biennial budget cycle also known as a supplemental budget year. The supplemental budget year has historically been intended primarily for budget corrections, not for funding significant new projects, a point that was emphasized by budget writers this week.   

Governor Inslee gave his annual State of the State on Tuesday of this week, laying out his legislative agenda for 2020. This included legislation to address homelessness and the passage of a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The Governor’s proposed budget was also presented to the financial committees this week; it proposed pulling over $300 million out of the state’s rainy day fund to go toward additional shelters to alleviate homelessness. 

Another notable event was the swearing in of new Speaker of the House, Laurie Jinkins, the first new speak in over twenty years. She has indicated her intention to open the policy making process to include more of her caucus members, including no longer requiring each committee’s agenda to be approved by the Speaker. 

This week was full of policy committee hearings featuring several notable unresolved issues that are back from the first half of the biennium including data privacy and facial recognition, sex education, and LCFS. There was a slate of new legislation introduced affecting the tech industry including proposals on digitally altered photos and voice recognition technology. Policies addressing labor and workplace standards will also be in play again including new legislation addressing independent contractors and legislation from last session concerning restrictive scheduling. 

Transportation committee meetings included discussions on the impacts of the passage of I-976 and how it will affect transportation budgets going forward. Two robust proposals addressing early childhood learning funded in part by a capital gains tax have also been introduced. Leadership has indicated that although a record number of bills have been introduced already this session, these bills are largely meant to be conversation starters for policies they intend to pass in 2021. The primary focus will instead be on the implementation of policies passed in 2019.

The Senate version of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard legislation, SB 5412, was heard in the Senate Environment committee on Thursday. This was, again, a lengthy hearing that brought out dozens of stakeholders to testify in both support and opposition. The agriculture and business communities offered their continued concerns about increasing fuel prices while the environmental and health communities gave testimony regarding the positive climate and air quality impacts it would have. You can watch the full hearing here. The House bill, HB 1110, is still expected to be the version that moves forward.

Legislation that would implement a Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy and Resilience (C-PACER) program in Washington was introduced and scheduled for hearings in both the House and Senate next week. This program would allow counties to work with local lenders, similar to local improvement districts, to finance clean energy improvements, with the obligation to pay tied to the property rather than the individual. The Association of County Treasurers and potentially the County Officials are expected to oppose.

Also this week, the Washington State Supreme Court released its ruling on Governor Inslee’s Clean Air Rule, which would have capped greenhouse-gas emissions by fuel distributors, natural-gas companies and other industries. The court upheld by a vote of 5-4 the 2017 lower-court decision that the Department of Ecology does not have the authority to apply clean air standards to emitters that do not directly burn fossil fuels, only the Legislature. The rule did, however, uphold the piece of the carbon cap that applies to fuel burned on site at refineries and other facilities. Read more details from the Seattle Times here.

Upcoming Hearings

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – SHR 1, JACB – 1/21 @ 10:00am

  • SB 6135 – Public Hearing – Concerning system reliability under the clean energy transformation act.
  • SB 6272 – Public Hearing – Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science.

Environment & Energy (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 1/21 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 2311 – Exec Session – Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science.

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – SHR 1, JACB – 1/22 @ 8:00am

  • SB 6222 – Public Hearing – Concerning commercial property assessed clean energy and resilience.
  • SB 6223 – Public Hearing – Expanding equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects.

Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 1/24 @ 10:00am

  • HB 2652 – Public Hearing – Concerning renewable ammonia.

Bill Status

Bill # Title Status Sponsor Position
2SHB 2157 Updating the Washington tax structure to address the needs of Washingtonians. H Rules C Tarleton  
HB 2248
(SB 6223)
Expanding equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects. H Env & Energy Doglio  
HB 2311
(SB 6272)
Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science. H Env & Energy Slatter  
HB 2322 Making supplemental transportation appropriations for the 2019-2021 fiscal biennium. H Trans Fey  
HB 2324
(SB 6248)
Concerning the capital budget. H Cap Budget Tharinger  
HB 2325
(SB 6168)
Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations. H Approps Ormsby  
HB 2486
(SB 6318)
Extending the electric marine battery incentive. H Finance Lekanoff  
HB 2495 Concerning the use of electricity from energy recovery facilities using municipal solid waste under the Washington clean energy transformation act. H Env & Energy Shewmake  
HB 2515 Concerning the electrification of transportation. H Trans Macri  
HB 2586 Concerning the electrification of homes and buildings. H Env & Energy    
HB 2652 Concerning renewable ammonia. H RDev, Ag&NR Doglio  
SB 6135 Concerning system reliability under the clean energy transformation act. S Environment, E Sheldon  
SB 6168
(HB 2325)
Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations. S Ways & Means Rolfes  
SB 6222
(HB 2405)
Concerning commercial property assessed clean energy and resilience. S Environment, E Lovelett  
SB 6223
(HB 2248)
Expanding equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects. S Environment, E Lovelett  
SB 6248
(HB 2324)
Concerning the capital budget. S Ways & Means Frockt  
SB 6272
(HB 2311)
Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science. S Environment, E Das  
SB 6318
(HB 2486)
Extending the electric marine battery incentive. S Transportation Liias  

Dead Bills

Bill # Title Status Sponsor Position
E2SHB 1110
(SB 5412)
Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. H Rules 3C 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 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  
2SHB 1211
(E2SSB 5116)
Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future. H Approps Tarleton  
SHB 1226 Encouraging investment in and reducing the costs of transitioning to the clean energy future. H Finance DeBolt  
HB 1397 Encouraging the use of electric or hybrid-electric aircraft for regional air travel. H Rules 3C 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 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 Local Govt Doglio  
SHB 1832 Concerning the electrification of the Washington public vehicle fleet. H Trans Macri  
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  
SHB 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 Rules R Jinkins  
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  
SB 5118 Concerning the right to consume self-generated electricity. S Rules X Palumbo  
SSB 5134
(SHB 1102)
Concerning the capital budget. S Rules X Frockt  
SB 5153
(ESHB 1109)
Making 2019-2021 biennium operating appropriations. S Ways & Means Rolfes  
2SSB 5293
(E3SHB 1257)
Concerning energy efficiency. S Rules X Carlyle  
2SSB 5336
(HB 1664)
Advancing electric transportation. S Ways & Means 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  
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. S Rules 3 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 6005 Relating to revenue. S Ways & Means Rolfes  
SB 6006 Relating to education. S Ways & Means Rolfes  

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