2021 Washington State Legislative Report- Week 9

Week Nine

This week the legislature cleared its first major hurdle, the House of Origin cutoff, with Tuesday the deadline for bills to move out of the chamber in which they were introduced. One indicator of the difference between this virtual session and the norm is the reduction in the number of bills introduced and ultimately passed out of their house of origin. In the 2019 session there were a total of approximately 2,200 bills introduced, while there have only been 1,054 bills brought forward in the 2021 session. After Tuesday’s deadline, the House had passed a total of 216 bills and the Senate had passed 200 bills, with 12 bills passing both chambers. For a full list of bills that have been signed by the Governor click here.

The priority areas identified by legislators ahead of this session have dominated the work that has been done to date. Pandemic recovery efforts have included a multitude of proposals dealing with labor issues, the extension of some allowances that were offered on a temporary basis during pandemic, and relief proposals such as the legislation to appropriate $2b in federal aid. Policing reform and social equity issues have also received significant attention, resulting in a number of bills passing both bodies. Climate and transportation proposals have also been a focus, from the proposed low carbon fuel standard to cap-and-invest to Chair Fey’s transportation package funded in part by a carbon tax. The myriad of transportation and climate proposals are considered linked by some lawmakers, and there has been talk of a grand bargain that includes a price on carbon, the LCFS, and a transportation revenue package. 

The next revenue forecast is scheduled to be released on March 17th. All indications point to a forecast that will anticipate strong economic recovery for Washington, potentially hundreds of millions of additional revenue expected to help the state budget. In addition, the federal relief bill is expected to provide several billion in relief funds for the state, local government and schools. 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 in earnest to agree on a final budget for this biennium. As a reminder all bills deemed “necessary to implement the budget” are not subject to the usual deadline.

In addition to the anticipated new revenue and federal aid coming to Washington, no fewer than nine proposals to increase or establish new taxes have been introduced. Before the deadline Tuesday, the Senate passed the proposal that would establish a capital gains tax in Washington state. This bill as well as other revenue proposals are quite controversial. The Senate stripped a controversial emergency clause from the capital gains tax bill. This clause was in the bill to prevent a potential referendum. With the emergency clause gone, the bill will likely head to the ballot if it is passed by the legislature.

On Thursday, Governor Inslee announced that the “Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery” will be transitioning from a regional approach to a county-by-county process. The governor also announced Phase three which allows for 50% occupancy for indoor spaces that are currently operating at 25%, including restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters. It also includes a return for in-person spectators for professional and high school sports, and outdoor group gatherings like high school graduation as long as they include fewer than 400 guests. The entire state will enter phase three on March 22nd. You can read more here.

The remainder of the week following Tuesday’s cutoff was filled with committee hearings. The Senate is holding hearings on bills that passed the House and the House is hearing bills that passed the Senate. This will continue until the opposite house policy cutoff on March 26th.

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, was heard in the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology committee on Wednesday, March 10th.  Executive action is scheduled for Tuesday, March 16th.  Senator Carlyle’s Cap & Invest bill, SB 5126, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Ways & Means committee on Monday, March 15th, with executive action scheduled for Thursday, March 18th.  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.  The HEAL Act legislation from Senator Saldana, SB 5141, concerns implementing recommendations from the environmental justice task force.  This legislation was heard in the House Environment & Energy committee for Friday March 12th, and is expected to see executive action on Friday, March 19th.

Legislation brought forward by Senator Lovelett SB 5373 was heard last week in the Senate Environment Energy and Technology Committee. The bill has not yet been scheduled for executive action. 

We continue to monitor HB 1513 and HB 1534 brought forward by Representatives Lekanoff and Shewmake concerning a proposed carbon tax and bond legislative package.  Neither bill is scheduled for public hearing at this time.

On Tuesday, March 9th HB 1280  passed the House with a vote of 57-39. This legislation sponsored by Representative Ramel would set requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in public facilities design. The bill has been scheduled for a public hearing on Thursday, March 18th in the Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee. 

The Senate Environment, Energy, & Technology committee held a public hearing on HB 1393 on Thursday, March 11th. The bill has been scheduled for executive action on Tuesday, March 16th. HB 1393 is related to delaying the stewardship plan and annual report for solar panel manufacturers.

The revenue forecast will be coming out next Wednesday; the following week we expect to see budget proposals emerge from the House and Senate.  Our focus on the Clean Energy Fund will also be ramping up.

Clean Tech Alliance Bill Status & Upcoming Events Report

Upcoming Events

Ways & Means (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/15 @ 4:00pm

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

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/16 @ 10:30am

  • E2SHB 1050 – Public Hearing – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fluorinated gases. (Remote testimony.)
  • E3SHB 1091 – Exec Session – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.
  • HB 1393 – Exec Session – Delaying certain implementation dates for the photovoltaic module stewardship and takeback program.

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/18 @ 10:30am

  • HB 1280 – Public Hearing – Concerning greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the design of public facilities. (Remote testimony.)

Ways & Means (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/18 @ 4:00pm

  • SSB 5126 – Exec Session – Concerning the Washington climate commitment act.

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 1280Greenhouse gas/facilitiesConcerning greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the design of public facilities.S Environment, EnRamel
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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