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.
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.
|2SHB 2157||Updating the Washington tax structure to address the needs of Washingtonians.||H Rules C||Tarleton|
|Expanding equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects.||H Env & Energy||Doglio|
|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|
|Concerning the capital budget.||H Cap Budget||Tharinger|
|Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations.||H Approps||Ormsby|
|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|
|Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations.||S Ways & Means||Rolfes|
|Concerning commercial property assessed clean energy and resilience.||S Environment, E||Lovelett|
|Expanding equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects.||S Environment, E||Lovelett|
|Concerning the capital budget.||S Ways & Means||Frockt|
|Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science.||S Environment, E||Das|
|Extending the electric marine battery incentive.||S Transportation||Liias|
|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|
|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|
|Advancing electric transportation.||H Env & Energy||Slatter|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Concerning the tax treatment of renewable natural gas.||S Environment, E||King|
|Concerning appliance efficiency standards.||S Rules X||Carlyle|
|SB 5118||Concerning the right to consume self-generated electricity.||S Rules X||Palumbo|
|Concerning the capital budget.||S Rules X||Frockt|
|Making 2019-2021 biennium operating appropriations.||S Ways & Means||Rolfes|
|Concerning energy efficiency.||S Rules X||Carlyle|
|Advancing electric transportation.||S Ways & Means||Palumbo|
|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|
|Concerning commercial property assessed clean energy and resilience.||S Environment, E||Palumbo|
|Reducing emissions by making changes to the clean car standards and clean car program.||H Env & Energy||Nguyen|
|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|