Source: Brad Boswell, January 31, 2021
The legislature has now completed three weeks of the scheduled fifteen week 2021 session. This week was filled with virtual committee hearings, executive sessions, and floor action. All bills that are not necessary to implement the budget must be out of their policy committee by February 15th in order to stay alive this session.
The Democrat’s COVID-19 relief package, HB 1368, that was introduced at the end of last week is quickly moving through the legislative process. The bill was passed out of the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday and is now in Rules where it can be pulled to the floor at any time for a vote. In anticipation of passage out of the House it has been scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Ways & Means committee on Tuesday, February 2nd as well as executive session on Thursday, February 4th. As mentioned last week, this bill is funded largely from federal relief dollars.
Another bill moving quickly through the legislative process is the Governor’s Unemployment Insurance bill, SB 5061, which has passed through the Senate and the House with bipartisan support. The bill contains an emergency clause and will take effect as soon as Governor Inslee signs it into law.
On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced several changes to the state’s Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery. Changes include the evaluation criteria for regions to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2, and the timeframe in which regions can progress. On Monday the Puget Sound Region and the West Region will move to phase two. You can read the full story here.
On Wednesday, the state Redistricting Commission held their first official meeting. The Commission convenes every ten years in order to redraw congressional and legislative district boundaries. Each caucus appoints one member to the Commission, and this year’s representative are; Joe Fain (Senate Republican Caucus Appointee), Paul Graves (House Republican Caucus Appointee), April Sims (House Democratic Caucus Appointee), and Brady Walkinshaw (Senate Democratic Caucus Appointee). The next meeting will be on Saturday January 30th.
On Wednesday Senate Transportation Chair Steve Hobbs introduced the latest version of his Forward Washington transportation package. He did not release legislative language, but instead posted a summary of the revenue pieces, the “balance sheet” that compared revenues and project categories, and a more detailed project list. Notable is the fact that rather than relying on a carbon fee or revenue from a cap-and-trade bill, he included both options in his balance sheet. The plan spends between $17 and $19 billion over sixteen years, making it considerably smaller than Chair Fey’s $26 billion package on the House side. Hobbs held a public hearing on Thursday and invited public comment on the revenue options, the projects, and any other aspects of the program.
Finally this week there were two new revenue proposals introduced. On Thursday, Senator June Robinson and Senator Reuven Carlyle introduced SB 5371, a statewide tax on sweetened beverages to fund public health. On Wednesday, Representative Noel Frame introduced HB 1406, a state wealth tax and taxing extraordinary financial intangible assets. These are in addition to the list of other revenue proposals that have been introduced including a capital gains tax, tax on insurance premiums, tax on short term rentals, tax on the sale of data, and various carbon taxing proposals.
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
The House Capital Budget committee heard HB 1103 (regarding improving environmental and social outcomes with the production of building materials) on Tuesday, January 26th (hearing linked here). This bill would require large construction or building renovation contracts to provide an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and labor data for at least 90% of the weight of materials. Alternative reporting requirements are included for firms unable to comply. This bill would also establish a public database to report the collected data. While those in support agree with the desire of carbon reduction, opponents stress the burden both government agencies and companies will experience due to reporting requirements.
Concerning greenhouse gas emissions reduction in public facilities design, HB 1280 was heard in the House Environment & Energy committee on Friday, January 29th. This bill is scheduled to move out of committee on Thursday, February 4th at 1:30pm.
HB 1287 concerning preparedness for a zero emissions transportation future was heard in the House Committee on Environment & Energy on Thursday, January 28th, and is scheduled to move out of committee on Thursday, February 4th. This bill focuses on the creation of a public mapping and forecasting tool for charging and refueling infrastructure for electric vehicles. Electric utilities providers would also be required to analyze how they will support and account for anticipated zero-emission vehicle use levels, and the State Building Code Council would need to adopt rules exceeding requirements set forth previously for electric vehicle infrastructure within buildings.
This week HB 1393 was introduced to the House Committee on Environment & Energy. This bill delays the product stewardship and takeback program for photovoltaic modules until 2025. The initial hearing will be Friday, February 5th at 10am.
Legislation sponsored by Rep. Fitzgibbon establishing a statewide low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), HB 1901, has been scheduled for a public hearing in the House Appropriations committee on Thursday, February 4th. Senator Carlyle’s Cap & Invest bill, SB 5126, and the Governor’s decarbonization of buildings proposal, HB 1084, have yet to be scheduled for executive action.
There was a new carbon fee proposal introduced this week, SB 5373, being championed by Senator Lovelett and Representatives Lekanoff and Shewmake. While the short title is technically “reducing carbon pollution,” the bill’s proponents are referring to it as “Washington STRONG.” The bill imposes a $25/ton carbon fee and would be used to issue “green bonds.”
Clean Tech Alliance Bill Status & Upcoming Events Report
Transportation (House) – Virtual, – 2/1 @ 3:30pm
- HB 1204 – Public Hearing – Concerning the electrification of transportation. (Remote testimony.)
Finance (House) – Virtual, – 2/2 @ 1:30pm
- HB 1406 – Public Hearing – Improving the equity of Washington state’s tax code by creating the Washington state wealth tax and taxing extraordinary financial intangible assets. (Remote testimony.)
Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – Virtual, – 2/3 @ 8:30am
- SB 5174 – Exec Session – Providing for the recycling of wind turbine blades.
Environment & Energy (House) – Virtual, – 2/4 @ 1:30pm
- HB 1046 – Exec Session – Concerning community solar programs.
Appropriations (House) – Virtual, – 2/4 @ 3:30pm
- SHB 1091 – Public Hearing – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel. (Remote testimony.)
Environment & Energy (House) – Virtual, – 2/5 @ 10:00am
- HB 1046 – Exec Session – Concerning community solar programs.
- HB 1393 – Public Hearing – Delaying certain implementation dates for the photovoltaic module stewardship and takeback program. (Remote testimony.)
|Bill #||Abbrev. Title||Short Description||Status||Sponsor|
|HB 1036||Transportation fuel/carbon||Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.||H Env & Energy||Fitzgibbon|
|HB 1046||Community solar programs||Concerning community solar programs.||H Env & Energy||Bateman|
|SHB 1050||Fluorinated gases||Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fluorinated gases.||H Approps||Fitzgibbon|
|HB 1080 (SB 5083)||Capital budget 2021-2023||Concerning the capital budget.||H Cap Budget||Tharinger|
|HB 1081 (SB 5084)||State gen. obligation bonds||Concerning state general obligation bonds and related accounts.||H Cap Budget||Tharinger|
|HB 1084 (SB 5093)||Building decarbonization||Reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions by achieving greater decarbonization of residential and commercial buildings.||H Env & Energy||Ramel|
|SHB 1091 (SB 5231)||Transportation fuel/carbon||Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.||H Approps||Fitzgibbon|
|HB 1093 (SB 5091)||Operating budget, 2nd supp.||Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium second supplemental operating appropriations.||H Approps||Ormsby|
|HB 1094 (SB 5092)||Operating budget 2021-2023||Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations.||H Approps||Ormsby|
|HB 1103 (SB 5366)||Building materials||Improving environmental and social outcomes with the production of building materials.||H Cap Budget||Duerr|
|HB 1125||Energy investments||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.||H Env & Energy||Shewmake|
|HB 1130||Energy supply/consumers||Concerning consumer affordability and reliability in energy supply.||H Env & Energy||Dye|
|HB 1135 (SB 5165)||Transp. budget 2021-2023||Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium.||H Transportation||Fey|
|HB 1204 (SB 5256)||Transp. electrification||Concerning the electrification of transportation.||H Transportation||Macri|
|HB 1393||Photovoltaic module program||Delaying certain implementation dates for the photovoltaic module stewardship and takeback program.||H Env & Energy||Shewmake|
|HB 1406||Wealth tax||Improving the equity of Washington state’s tax code by creating the Washington state wealth tax and taxing extraordinary financial intangible assets.||H Finance||Frame|
|SB 5083 (HB 1080)||Capital budget 2021-2023||Concerning the capital budget.||S Ways & Means||Frockt|
|SB 5084 (HB 1081)||State gen. obligation bonds||Concerning state general obligation bonds and related accounts.||S Ways & Means||Frockt|
|SB 5091 (HB 1093)||Operating budget, 2nd supp.||Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium second supplemental operating appropriations.||S Ways & Means||Rolfes|
|SB 5092 (HB 1094)||Operating budget 2021-2023||Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations.||S Ways & Means||Rolfes|
|SB 5093 (HB 1084)||Building decarbonization||Reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions by achieving greater decarbonization of residential and commercial buildings.||S Environment, E||Liias|
|SB 5126||Climate commitment act||Concerning the Washington climate commitment act.||S Environment, E||Carlyle|
|SB 5165 (HB 1135)||Transp. budget 2021-2023||Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium.||S Transportation||Hobbs|
|SB 5168||Electric utility advisory||Concerning renewable and nonemitting resources analysis and advisory opinions.||S Environment, E||Short|
|SB 5174||Wind turbine blade recycling||Providing for the recycling of wind turbine blades.||S Environment, E||Wilson|
|SB 5206||Energy facility evaluation||Eliminating 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, E||Warnick|
|SB 5231 (SHB 1091)||Transportation fuel/carbon||Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.||S Environment, E||Stanford|
|SB 5244||Nuclear reactor production||Encouraging the production of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, and components through the invest in Washington act.||S Environment, E||Brown|
|SB 5256 (HB 1204)||Transp. electrification||Concerning the electrification of transportation.||S Environment, E||Liias|
|SB 5308||Hybrid vehicle fees||Reducing certain transportation electrification fees on hybrid vehicles.||S Transportation||Short|
|SB 5373||Carbon pollution||Concerning carbon pollution.||S Environment, E||Lovelett|