2020 WA Legislative Session Weekly Report 4

Boswell Consulting

February 8, 2020: Week 4

Analysis by CleanTech Alliance lobbyist Brad Boswell

The end of week four marked the 27th day out of the sixty for which this short session is scheduled, as well as the first deadline for bills moving through the legislative process. Bills that do not have a fiscal impact and did not pass out of their original policy committees by Friday will not move forward in 2020. Bills that do impact the budget have until Tuesday to pass out of their respective fiscal committee. This short turn-around kept legislators on the House Appropriations committee in Olympia on Saturday churning through dozens of bills. This first cutoff has eliminated many of the nearly 4000 bills that were introduced in the 2019 and 2020 sessions combined. The remaining bills now have until Wednesday, February 19th to pass out of their house of origin–House or Senate. 

Both the House and Senate passed legislation this week to repeal and “fix” last session’s B&O tax surcharge on a broad range of service sectors to fund higher education. The bill reduces the number of businesses affected, but ultimately raises more revenue due to increased rates on Democrats noted that they were expediting the bill because last year’s version was so complicated, there could be trouble collecting the tax, and first quarter payments are due in February. The bill is now on its way to the Governor’s desk for final passage into law. 

There was a public hearing this week on the payroll legislation introduced late in session by a Seattle Democrat Nicole Macri that would allow King County to impose a tax on employees who make over $150,000 per year. On Friday evening the bill was voted out of committee on a party line vote. There were several amendments offered by Republican members that failed. Democratic committee members stated their desire to work on these issues through the stakeholder process and not the committee process. Additionally, there was a Senate companion introduced this week sponsored by Burien Democrat Senator Karen Keiser but, it is unlikely to be heard as the House version will be the vehicle. The House bill is now in Rules, however it is unclear if it will be able to garner the necessary support and momentum to make it all the way through.

Two different bills to address, and largely reverse, the recent Clean Air Rule are now in play. Both versions, SHB 2892 and SSB 6628 were voted out of their initial policy committees this week on party lines, with changes. The House version now contains a provision that makes the act null and void if a more comprehensive carbon pricing policy is enacted. A meeting to bring together the many stakeholders on this issue is scheduled for next Monday.

In that vein, numerous carbon pricing-related proposals are still alive. The new draft of Senator Carlyle’s 2019 Cap & Invest bill, SB 5981, was heard in the Senate Energy committee this week. Watch the full hearing here. There was also a hearing this week on the recently released transportation funding proposal which includes two options, a carbon tax and cap & invest, to fund the $15 million worth of new transportation projects. This was largely a conversation starter, as a complete transportation package is not expected to pass until 2021.

The C-PACER legislation, SHB 2405, was heard in the House Appropriations committee Saturday morning and needs to be voted out by Tuesday’s cutoff to continue.

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard legislation, ESHB 1110, is appearing less and less likely to pass this year. The legislation faltered in the Senate last session due to the Transportation committee Chair, Steve Hobbs’ blatant opposition to the policy. It has not yet been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate yet.

Upcoming Events

Transportation (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 2/10 @ 1:30pm

  • HB 2515 – Public Hearing – Concerning the electrification of transportation.

Transportation (Senate) – SHR 1, JACB – 2/10 @ 1:30pm

  • SB 6318 – Public Hearing – Extending the electric marine battery incentive.

Environment & Energy (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 2/13 @ 8:00am

  • SB 5811 – Public Hearing – Reducing emissions by making changes to the clean car standards and clean car program.

Monitoring Bills

Bill # Abbrev. Title Short Description Status Sponsor Position
E2SHB 1110 (SB 5412) Greenhouse gas/transp. fuels Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels. S Environment, En Fitzgibbon  
SHB 2248 (SB 6223) Community solar projects Expanding equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects. H Approps Doglio  
SHB 2311 (SB 6272) Greenhouse gas emissions Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science. H Approps Slatter  
HB 2322 (SB 6497) Transp. budget, supplemental Making supplemental transportation appropriations for the 2019-2021 fiscal biennium. H Trans Fey  
HB 2324 (SB 6248) Capital budget, supplemental Concerning the capital budget. H Cap Budget Tharinger  
HB 2325 (SB 6168) Operating budget, supplement Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations. H Approps Ormsby  
HB 2486 (SB 6318) Electric marine batteries Extending the electric marine battery incentive. H Finance Lekanoff  
HB 2515 Transp. electrification Concerning the electrification of transportation. H Trans Macri  
SHB 2586 (SB 6496) Electrification Concerning the electrification of homes and buildings. H Rules R Ramel  
SHB 2892 Greenhouse gas emissions Authorizing the department of ecology to regulate greenhouse gas emissions associated with persons who produce or distribute fossil fuel products that emit greenhouse gases in Washington. H Approps Fitzgibbon  
SB 5811 (HB 1999) Clean car standards & prog. Reducing emissions by making changes to the clean car standards and clean car program. H Env & Energy Nguyen  
SSB 6135 System reliability/energy Concerning system reliability under the clean energy transformation act. S Rules 2 Sheldon  
SB 6168 (HB 2325) Operating budget, supplement Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations. S Ways & Means Rolfes  
SB 6248 (HB 2324) Capital budget, supplemental Concerning the capital budget. S Ways & Means Frockt  
SB 6318 (HB 2486) Electric marine batteries Extending the electric marine battery incentive. S Transportation Liias  
SSB 6628 Greenhouse gas/fossil fuels Concerning emissions of greenhouse gases. S Rules 2 Carlyle  

Dead Bills

Bill # Abbrev. Title Short Description Status Sponsor Position
SHB 1796 (SB 5730) Comm. property/clean energy Concerning commercial property assessed clean energy and resilience. H Local Govt Doglio  
HB 2495 Energy recovery facilities 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 2652 Renewable ammonia Concerning renewable ammonia. H RDev, Ag&NR Doglio  
HB 2756 Metering infrastructure Concerning advanced metering infrastructure. H Env & Energy Shea  
SSB 5134 (SHB 1102) Capital budget 2019-2021 Concerning the capital budget. S Rules X Frockt  
SB 6222 (SHB 2405) Comm. property/clean energy Concerning commercial property assessed clean energy and resilience. S Environment, E Lovelett  
SB 6223 (SHB 2248) Community solar projects Expanding equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects. S Environment, E Lovelett  
SB 6272 (SHB 2311) Greenhouse gas emissions Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science. S Environment, E Das  
SB 6496 (SHB 2586) Electrification Concerning the electrification of homes and buildings. S Environment, E Lovelett  

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