2021 Washington State Legislative Report- Week 10

Week Ten

As week 10 comes to a close, we now have less than 40 days remaining in this legislative session. This week was full of committee hearings which will continue through next week until the policy committee cutoff for the opposite house on Friday, March 26th. After that the next big date will be the opposite house fiscal cutoff on April 2nd, and then both chambers will head back to the floor. 

On Wednesday the House held a floor session to pass HB 1477 sponsored by Tina Orwall (D-33) implementing the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act which designated 988 as the new national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline number. The bill imposes a tax on radio access lines, voice over Internet protocol service lines, and switched access lines to fund activities related to an enhanced crisis response.

On Thursday Gov. Inslee announced that the statewide eviction moratorium will be extended through June 30 and vaccine eligibility expansion. Beginning on March 31st restaurant, manufacturing, and construction workers as well as Washingtonians 60 and older will be eligible to get the vaccine. You can read the governor’s full announcement here and for information on eligibility, visit the Phase Finder tool on the Department of Health’s website.

On Wednesday the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council held a meeting where they released the most recent revenue forecast. You can watch the full briefing here. As expected, the forecast indicated stronger revenue collections and a stronger economy than what was forecasted in November. The council projected total state revenues to be up by $1.34 billion in the 2019-21 biennium, $1.949 billion in the 2021-23 biennium, and $1.899 billion in the 2023-25 biennium. 

This increase is for a couple of reasons, first the November 2020 forecast assumed that there would be no additional federal pandemic relief funds. Instead, a relief package was passed in December that included extended unemployment benefits, direct checks to individuals and other aid. As a result,  General Fund-State (GF-S) collections from November 11, 2020 through March 10, 2021 came in $764 million above the November forecast. Additionally, there have been strong residential real estate transactions resulting in real estate excise tax (REET) collections up $182 million higher than forecasted in November.

Although the forecast is positive and shows a quicker pandemic recovery than what was originally anticipated, the forecast showed that employment growth is slower than expected. Additionally the hospitality and travel industry continue to suffer and we are seeing rising oil and gas prices. You can view the full presentation here.

Overall members noted that this forecast puts Washington in a strong position for recovery. Although projections are good it remains to be seen if budget writers will continue to pursue new revenue sources like the controversial capital gains tax. Budget writers are currently digesting the federal stimulus dollars and we expect the House and Senate to release their respective budgets sometime late next week.

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 voted out of the Senate EET committee on Tuesday, March 16th, on a party line vote with Senator Hobbs signing without recommendation. The bill will now be referred to the Senate Ways & Means committee.  Senator Carlyle’s Cap & Invest bill, SB 5126, continues to sit in the Senate Ways & Means committee.  Public hearing took place on Monday, March 15th, but no executive action has been taken.  This bill is considered necessary to implement the budget and therefore exempt from cutoffs.

Decarbonization of buildings legislation brought forward 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 this week, with executive action scheduled for Tuesday, March 23rd. 

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 Thursday, March 18th the Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee held a public hearing on HB 1280. This legislation sponsored by Representative Ramel would set requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in public facilities design. The bill has been scheduled for executive action on Tuesday, March 23rd

The Senate Environment, Energy, & Technology committee gave a do pass recommendation on HB 1393 on Tuesday, March 16th. HB 1393 is related to delaying the stewardship plan and annual report for solar panel manufacturers.  This legislation will now pass to the Senate Rules committee.

We expect the first look at the House and Senate capital budget possibly as early as the end of next week, and we are currently working with legislators and stakeholders on securing as much funding as possible for the Clean Energy Fund.

Clean Tech Alliance Bill Status & Upcoming Events Report

Upcoming Events

Ways & Means (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/22 @ 4:00pm

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

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/23 @ 10:30am

  • E2SHB 1050 – Exec Session – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fluorinated gases.
  • HB 1280 – Exec Session – Concerning greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the design of public facilities.

Transportation (House) – Virtual, – 3/23 @ 3:30pm

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

Transportation (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/23 @ 4:00pm

  • SB 5165 – Public Hearing – Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium. (Remote testimony.)

Transportation (House) – Virtual, – 3/25 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 1135 – Exec Session – Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium.

Transportation (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/25 @ 4:00pm

  • SB 5165 – Exec Session – Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium.

Ways & Means (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/25 @ 4:00pm

  • SB 5083 – Public Hearing – Concerning the capital budget. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.)
  • SB 5084 – Public Hearing – Concerning state general obligation bonds and related accounts. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.) (Remote testimony.)

Ways & Means (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/26 @ 1:00pm

  1. SB 5092 – Public Hearing – Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.)

Ways & Means (Senate) – Virtual, – 3/27 @ 10:00am

  1. SB 5083 – Exec Session – Concerning the capital budget.
  2. SB 5084 – Exec Session – Concerning state general obligation bonds and related accounts.

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 Ways & MeansFitzgibbon
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 2nd ReadingShewmake
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 Rules XWilson
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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