2021 Washington State Legislative Session Report- Week 8

Week Eight

Week eight is now complete and we are 57 days into the 105 day 2021 legislative session. This week was filled with floor action in both chambers. The House and Senate have until Tuesday March 9th, to vote bills out of their House of Origin. At this point there have been a total of 1,371 bills introduced; the House has passed a total of 187 house bills and the Senate has passed 151 bills, 11 bills have passed both chambers. 

The priority of the legislature continues to be covid-19 relief/recovery, on Sunday February 28th Governor Jay Inslee signed SB 5272 into law, which temporarily waives certain liquor and cannabis board annual licensing fees for businesses impacted by the pandemic. For a full list of bills that have been signed by the Governor click here. 

Some of the most notable floor deliberations this week include Rep. Drew Hansen’s qui tam bill, HB 1076, Rep. Nicole Macri’s ‘just cause’ bill HB 1236, Rep. Jesse Johnson’s use of force by officers bill HB 1310, and Senator Claire Wilson’s Fair Start Act SB 5237. On Saturday the Senate spent the entire day on the floor debating Senator June Robinson’s Capital Gains tax bill, SB 5096. By definition capital gains would tax transactions, sale of a capital asset.  After several hours on the floor capital gains ultimately passed the Senate 25-24. 

This week there was a public hearing in the Senate Environment Energy and Technology Committee on a proposal that proponents are calling Washington STRONG. The legislation sponsored by Senator Lovelett, SB 5373, imposes a carbon pollution tax equal to $25 per metric ton of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the sale or use of all fossil fuel within the state of Washington. This bill is being framed as an alternative to Senator Carlyle’s Cap and Invest proposal. 

Following the cutoff on Tuesday, the legislature will go back to committee hearings until the opposite house policy cutoff on March 26th. The revenue forecast will be released on March 17th and many  expect that it will be a positive outlook. Following the release of the forecast the House is expected to release their proposed budget on March 22nd. The Senate will release their own version soon after and then negotiations will begin. As a reminder all bills deemed necessary to implement the budget are not subject to cutoff.

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

The low carbon fuel standard legislation from Representative Fitzgibbon, HB 1091, will now be heard in the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology committee on Wednesday, March 10th.  We expect  Senator Carlyle’s Cap & Invest bill, SB 5126, to be heard in the Senate Ways & Means committee within the next two weeks.  This bill is considered necessary to implement the budget and therefore exempt from cutoffs.

Decarbonization of buildings legislation brought forth by Representative Ramel (HB 1084) remains in the House Appropriations committee.  We also continue to monitor the HEAL Act legislation from Senator Saldana concerning implementing recommendations from the environmental justice task force.  This legislation passed the Senate on March 1 28-21 with public hearing scheduled in the House Environment & Energy committee for Friday March 12th.

Legislation brought forward by Senator Lovelett SB 5373 was heard this week in the Senate Environment Energy and Technology Committee. This is the carbon fee proposal that was always expected to come forward as an alternative to the Inslee-Carlyle cap-and-trade bill. On Thursday, Thursday, March 4th, SB 5373 had its first public hearing. Senator Lovelett was given the gavel by Sen. Carlyle to Chair the hearing, and she invited four members of the House to provide testimony in support: Rep. Lekanoff, Rep. Shewmake, Rep. Hackney, and Rep. Harris-Talley. The bill sponsor and her House supporters spoke extensively about the impact that the revenue raised by this proposal could have, not just on investments intended to reduce carbon but also by investing in communities. You can watch the public hearing here. 

Representatives Lekanoff and Shewmake introduced the House’s proposed carbon tax and bond legislative package. HB 1513 establishes a carbon pollution tax similar to that which is created by SB 5373, and  calls for a ten-year finance program supported by bonding of the carbon tax revenue; and HB 1534 would begin the carbon tax on energy intensive and trade exposed industries immediately but has detailed provisions regarding credits based on 2019 emission levels and protection against leakage. Neither HB 1513 or HB 1534 are yet scheduled for public hearings.

Following executive action in the House Capital Budget committee, HB 1280 remains in the House Rules committee where it can be pulled at any time to the floor for a vote. This legislation sponsored by Representative Ramel would set requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in public facilities design. 

Last week the House passed HB 1393 93-2.  The bill has now referred to the Senate Environment, Energy, & Technology committee with a public hearing scheduled for Thursday, March 11th.  HB 1393 is related to delaying the stewardship plan and annual report for solar panel manufacturers.

Clean Tech Alliance Bill Status & Upcoming Events Report

Upcoming Events

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/10 @ 8:00am

  1. E3SHB 1091 – Public Hearing – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel. (Remote testimony.)

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/11 @ 10:30am

  • HB 1393 – Public Hearing – Delaying certain implementation dates for the photovoltaic module stewardship and takeback program. (Remote testimony.)

Bill #Abbrev. TitleShort DescriptionStatusSponsor
HB 1036 (Dead)Transportation fuel/carbonReducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.H Env & EnergyFitzgibbon
HB 1046 (Dead)Community solar programsConcerning community solar programs.H Env & EnergyBateman
E2SHB 1050Fluorinated gasesReducing greenhouse gas emissions from fluorinated gases.S Environment, EnFitzgibbon
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
SHB 1084 (SB 5093)Building decarbonizationReducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions by achieving greater decarbonization of residential and commercial buildings.H AppropsRamel
E3SHB 1091 (SB 5231)Transportation fuel/carbonReducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.S Environment, EnFitzgibbon
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
SHB 1103 (SB 5366)Building materialsImproving environmental and social outcomes with the production of building materials.H AppropsDuerr
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
SHB 1204 (SB 5256)Transp. electrificationConcerning the electrification of transportation.H Rules RMacri
HB 1393Photovoltaic module programDelaying certain implementation dates for the photovoltaic module stewardship and takeback program.S Environment, EnShewmake
HB 1406 (SB 5426)Wealth taxImproving the equity of Washington state’s tax code by creating the Washington state wealth tax and taxing extraordinary financial intangible assets.H FinanceFrame
HB 1513Carbon emissionsImproving environmental health by reducing carbon emissions through increasing climate resilience and mitigating the effects of climate change by levying a carbon pollution tax, authorizing a climate finance bond program, and investing in clean economic growth.H Env & EnergyLekanoff
HB 1534Carbon pollution taxEstablishing a carbon pollution tax that recognizes the nature of energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries.H Env & EnergyShewmake
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 (SHB 1084)Building decarbonizationReducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions by achieving greater decarbonization of residential and commercial buildings.S Environment, ELiias
SSB 5126Climate commitment actConcerning the Washington climate commitment act.S Ways & MeansCarlyle
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, EShort
SSB 5174Wind turbine blade recyclingProviding for the recycling of wind turbine blades.S 2nd ReadingWilson
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 (E3SHB 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
SB 5256 (SHB 1204)Transp. electrificationConcerning the electrification of transportation.S Environment, ELiias
SB 5308Hybrid vehicle feesReducing certain transportation electrification fees on hybrid vehicles.S TransportationShort
SB 5373Carbon pollutionConcerning carbon pollution.S Environment, ELovelett
SB 5415Energy facil site eval cnclConcerning the energy facility site evaluation council.S Environment, ELovelett

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