2021 Washington State Legislative Session Report: Week 1

Source: Brad Boswell, January 16, 2021

Week One

Today marks the end of the first week of the 2021 Legislative Session in Washington. On Monday several legislators came to a largely empty Capitol Campus to take an in-person vote to adopt rules to allow for a virtual session. Both the House and the Senate engaged in floor debates related to COVID-19 emergency rules, public access, and the legislative process in a virtual format. Ultimately both the House and the Senate passed rules to facilitate a virtual session. After Monday’s floor action the legislature adjourned to work remotely for the remainder of the session. On Tuesday virtual committee hearings in both the House and the Senate started.

Governor Jay Inslee delivered his third inaugural address on Wednesday January 13th via a pre-recorded video. Within that speech he talked about big ideas to move the state through the COVID-19 pandemic and stated that 2021 was time for “relief, recovery, and resilience.”  Governor Inslee’s proposed Operating Budget was heard this week in the Senate Ways & Means Committee. Inslee’s budget priorities include continuing the covid-19 response, rebuilding the economy for those most impacted, protecting previous investments in key areas like education and homelessness and using an equity lens for all budget requests.

Democratic and Republican leaders held virtual press conferences this week to discuss their legislative goals for 2021. Democratic leaders in the house and the senate said that the first bill brought to the floor will be related to pandemic relief including bills that expand unemployment insurance and concern the allocation of federal relief funds. Republican leaders focused their press conference on their ideas to use the state’s rainy day fund, investing in foundational public health and the governor’s emergency powers.

Finally, newly elected statewide officials and members of the legislature were sworn in this week, including sixteen new representatives and five new senators. Despite the virtual format for committee hearings the legislature considered a myriad of important pieces of legislation in the first week including the governor’s UI bill, low carbon fuel standard, several police reform bills, data privacy, and more. As a reminder all bills without a fiscal impact need to be voted out of their policy committee by February 15th in order to stay alive this session.

Important Dates:

 Feb 15 – House of Origin Policy Cutoff

 Feb 22 – House of Origin Fiscal Cutoff

 March 9 – House of Origin Floor Cutoff

 March 26 – Opposite House Policy Cutoff

 April 2 – Opposite House Fiscal Cutoff April 11 – Opposite House Floor Cutoff April 25 – Sine Die

Clean Tech Alliance Bill Status & Upcoming Events Report

Upcoming Events

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – Virtual, – 1/19 @ 10:30am

  1. SB 5126 – Public Hearing – Concerning the Washington climate commitment act. (Remote testimony.)

Environment & Energy (House) – Virtual, – 1/21 @ 1:30pm

  • HB 1091 – Exec Session – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.
  • HB 1125 – Public Hearing – Incentivizing investment in energy conservation and efficiency measures and expanding opportunities for energy rate discounts to, among other objectives, reduce the energy burden of low-income customers and vulnerable populations. (Remote testimony.)

Transportation (House) – Virtual, – 1/21 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 1135 – Public Hearing – Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium. (Remote testimony.)

Environment & Energy (House) – Virtual, – 1/22 @ 10:00am

  • HB 1084 – Public Hearing – Reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions by achieving greater decarbonization of residential and commercial buildings. (Remote testimony.)
  • HB 1130 – Public Hearing – Concerning consumer affordability and reliability in energy supply. (Remote testimony.)

Bill #Abbrev. TitleShort DescriptionStatusSponsorPriority
HB 1036Transportation fuel/carbonReducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.H Env & EnergyFitzgibbon 
HB 1046Community solar programsConcerning community solar programs.H Env & EnergyBateman 
HB 1050Fluorinated gasesReducing greenhouse gas emissions from fluorinated gases.H Env & EnergyFitzgibbon 
HB 1080 (SB 5083)Capital budget 2021-2023Concerning the capital budget.H Cap BudgetTharinger 
HB 1081 (SB 5084)State gen. obligation bondsConcerning state general obligation bonds and related accounts.H Cap BudgetTharinger 
HB 1084 (SB 5093)Building decarbonizationReducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions by achieving greater decarbonization of residential and commercial buildings.H Env & EnergyRamel 
HB 1091 (SB 5231)Transportation fuel/carbonReducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.H Env & EnergyFitzgibbon 
HB 1093 (SB 5091)Operating budget, 2nd supp.Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium second supplemental operating appropriations.H AppropsOrmsby 
HB 1094 (SB 5092)Operating budget 2021-2023Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations.H AppropsOrmsby 
HB 1103Building materialsImproving environmental and social outcomes with the production of building materials.H Cap BudgetDuerr 
HB 1125Energy investmentsIncentivizing investment in energy conservation and efficiency measures and expanding opportunities for energy rate discounts to, among other objectives, reduce the energy burden of low-income customers and vulnerable populations.H Env & EnergyShewmake 
HB 1130Energy supply/consumersConcerning consumer affordability and reliability in energy supply.H Env & EnergyDye 
HB 1135 (SB 5165)Transp. budget 2021-2023Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium.H TransportationFey 
HB 1204Transp. electrificationConcerning the electrification of transportation.H TransportationMacri 
SB 5083 (HB 1080)Capital budget 2021-2023Concerning the capital budget.S Ways & MeansFrockt 
SB 5084 (HB 1081)State gen. obligation bondsConcerning state general obligation bonds and related accounts.S Ways & MeansFrockt 
SB 5091 (HB 1093)Operating budget, 2nd supp.Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium second supplemental operating appropriations.S Ways & MeansRolfes 
SB 5092 (HB 1094)Operating budget 2021-2023Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations.S Ways & MeansRolfes 
SB 5093 (HB 1084)Building decarbonizationReducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions by achieving greater decarbonization of residential and commercial buildings.S Environment, ELiias 
SB 5126Climate commitment actConcerning the Washington climate commitment act.S Environment, ECarlyle 
SB 5165 (HB 1135)Transp. budget 2021-2023Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium.S TransportationHobbs 
SB 5168Electric utility advisoryConcerning renewable and nonemitting resources analysis and advisory opinions.S Environment, EnShort 
SB 5174Wind turbine blade recyclingProviding for the recycling of wind turbine blades.S Environment, EWilson 
SB 5206Energy facility evaluationEliminating expedited processing of an alternative energy resource facility fueled by solar energy on certain designated lands before the energy facility site evaluation council.S Environment, EWarnick 
SB 5231 (HB 1091)Transportation fuel/carbonReducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.S Environment, EStanford 
SB 5244Nuclear reactor productionEncouraging the production of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, and components through the invest in Washington act.S Environment, EBrown 

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