2022 Washington State Legislative Session Preview

Pre-Session Preview

 

Monday, January 10th, marks the first day of the 2022 legislative session. Biennial budget cycles last two years, and 2022 is the second half of the current cycle. This means the legislature will go into a short 60-day session that is scheduled to end on March 10th, 2022. Given that many members are up for reelection in 2022, and campaigning cannot commence until the session is over, the legislature is expected to finish on time.

The Olympia campus has been empty since the end of the 2020 session due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Last session was the first ever fully remote session. For the 2022 session, both the House and the Senate have released protocols for a hybrid session that is part virtual and part in-person. Although there has been guidance released, many of the mechanics on how the session will work are still unknown. As Covid-19 cases continue to rise across the state, guidelines could change for the legislature and beyond. Due to the recent increase in Omicron cases, both the House and the Senate recently stated that they will operate remotely for the first 2 weeks of session. They plan to reevaluate every two weeks. 

This year, the volume of bills considered by committees continues to be limited due to the realities of conducting a hybrid session. Legislators in both chambers have been encouraged to limit the number of bills they introduce, allowing the legislature to focus on the critical and urgent needs of the state. Priority areas include Covid-19 response and recovery, social justice and racial equity, transportation, and climate change. Additionally, the legislature has voiced spending time cleaning up legislation passed in 2021, specifically police reform legislation. Due to this session being the second half of the two-year budget cycle, all bills that were not signed into law by the Governor in 2021 are still considered alive. Any bills introduced in the 2021-2022 biennium that do not pass into law this session will die.

The Washington Cares Fund gained significant attention over the interim and is another issue for legislators to address during the upcoming short session.  Initially passed in 2019, the Long-Term Services and Supports Act created the WA Cares Fund, which imposes a 0.58% payroll deduction on employees, and was set to begin on January 1st, 2022. As the implementation date approached this interim, concerns about the program grew. There has been at least one lawsuit filed against the program. Opponents have several concerns including that currently residents in border states like Oregon, Canada and Idaho are required to pay into the program but cannot access benefits.  In December, Senate D Leadership sent a letter to Governor Inslee requesting that he delay implementation to January 2023. Later that month Inslee, Jinkins, and Billig released a joint statement announcing their intention to delay the program through legislation in the upcoming session. Rep. Sullivan (D-47) has prefiled legislation, HB 1732, delaying the implementation date by 18 months.

The upcoming session will also see many changes to the legislative makeup. Senator Jeannie Darnielle (D-27) announced her retirement earlier this year, and Yasmin Trudeau from the Attorney General’s office was appointed to fill her seat. Senator Steve Hobbs (D-40) was appointed to be the Secretary of State, and Rep. John Lovick (D-40) was appointed to fill his seat. Hobbs was the Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, and Senator Marko Liias (D-21) has been selected as the new chair. Finally, Senator Doug Ericksen (R-42) has passed away, and a replacement has yet to be appointed.

We expect ongoing focus from the legislature on building electrification and building decarbonization.  There will also be follow-up legislation from the Climate Commitment Act that was passed last year, specifically dealing with tribal involvement as well as Energy Intensive Trade Exposed (EITE) industrial companies. The House capital budget bill (HB 1781) is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, January 11th at 1:30pm, and the Senate’s version (SB 5651) will be heard on Thursday, January 13th at 4:00pm.

Important Dates:

 Feb 3 – House of Origin Policy Cutoff

Feb 7 – House of Origin Fiscal Cutoff

Feb 15 – House of Origin Floor Cutoff

Feb 24 – Opposite House Policy Cutoff

Feb 28 – Opposite House Fiscal Cutoff

March 4 – Opposite House Floor Cutoff

Clean Tech Alliance Bill Status & Upcoming Events Report

Past Events

Capital Budget (House) – Virtual – 1/11 @ 1:30pm

  1. HB 1781 – Public Hearing – Concerning the capital budget. (Remote testimony.) (If measure is referred to committee.)

Appropriations (House) – Virtual – 1/11 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 1732 – Public Hearing – Delaying the implementation of the long-term services and supports trust program by 18 months. (Remote testimony.) (If measure is referred to committee.)
  • HB 1733 – Public Hearing – Establishing voluntary exemptions to the long-term services and supports trust program for certain populations. (Remote testimony.) (If measure is referred to committee.)

Environment, Energy & Technology (Senate) – Virtual – 1/13 @ 10:30am

  • SB 5678 – Public Hearing – Concerning energy transformation, nonemitting electric generation, and renewable resource project analysis and declaratory orders. (Remote testimony.) (If measure is referred to committee.)
  • SB 5722 – Public Hearing – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in buildings. (Remote testimony.) (If measure is referred to committee.)

Environment & Energy (House) – Virtual – 1/13 @ 1:30pm

  • HB 1768 – Public Hearing – Updating definitions applicable to energy conservation projects involving public entities. (Remote testimony.) (If measure is referred to committee.)

Appropriations (House) – Virtual – 1/13 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 1732 – Exec Session – Delaying the implementation of the long-term services and supports trust program by 18 months. (If measure is referred to committee.)
  • HB 1733 – Exec Session – Establishing voluntary exemptions to the long-term services and supports trust program for certain populations. (If measure is referred to committee.)

Ways & Means (Senate) – Virtual – 1/13 @ 4:00pm

  • SB 5651 – Public Hearing – Concerning the capital budget. (If measure is referred to committee.)

Environment & Energy (House) – Virtual – 1/14 @ 10:00am

  1. HB 1767 – Public Hearing – Concerning the authority of publicly owned electric utilities to engage in targeted electrification through the adoption of plans that establish a finding that utility outreach and investment in the conversion of its customers’ end use equipment from fossil fuels to electricity will provide net benefits to the utility. (Remote testimony.) (If measure is referred to committee.)

Bill #Abbrev. TitleShort DescriptionStatusSponsor
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
SHB 1081 (ESSB 5084)State gen. obligation bondsConcerning state general obligation bonds and related accounts.H 2nd ReadingTharinger
SHB 1084 (SB 5093)Building decarbonizationReducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions by achieving greater decarbonization of residential and commercial buildings.H AppropsRamel
HB 1093 (SB 5091)Operating budget, 2nd supp.Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium second supplemental operating appropriations.H AppropsOrmsby
SHB 1094 (ESSB 5092)Operating budgetMaking 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations.H Rules ROrmsby
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
SHB 1135 (SSB 5165)Transp. budget 2021-2023Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium.H Rules RFey
2SHB 1173State lands development authConcerning state lands development authorities.H Rules 3CBerry
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.H Rules 3CRamel
SHB 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 AppropsFrame
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
HB 1732Long-term care/delayDelaying the implementation of the long-term services and supports trust program by 18 months.H PrefiledSullivan
HB 1733Long-term care/exemptionsEstablishing voluntary exemptions to the long-term services and supports trust program for certain populations.H PrefiledPaul
HB 1766 (SB 5668)Gas companiesModifying the regulation of gas companies to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.H PrefiledRamel
HB 1767 (SB 5666)Targeted electrificationConcerning the authority of publicly owned electric utilities to engage in targeted electrification through the adoption of plans that establish a finding that utility outreach and investment in the conversion of its customers’ end use equipment from fossil fuels to electricity will provide net benefits to the utility.H PrefiledRamel
HB 1768Energy conservation projectsUpdating definitions applicable to energy conservation projects involving public entities.H PrefiledDuerr
HB 1770 (SB 5669)Energy codesStrengthening energy codes.H PrefiledDuerr
HB 1774 (SB 5722)Greenhouse gases/buildingsReducing greenhouse gas emissions in buildings.H PrefiledHackney
HB 1781 (SB 5651)Capital budget, supplementalConcerning the capital budget.H PrefiledTharinger
ESSB 5083 (SHB 1080)Capital budget 2021-2023Concerning the capital budget.S Rules 3Frockt
SB 5091 (HB 1093)Operating budget, 2nd supp.Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium second supplemental 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
SB 5168 Electric utility advisoryConcerning renewable and nonemitting resources analysis and advisory opinions.S Environment, EShort
SB 5206 Energy 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 5308 Hybrid vehicle feesReducing certain transportation electrification fees on hybrid vehicles.S TransportationShort
SB 5373 Carbon pollutionConcerning carbon pollution.S Environment, ELovelett
SB 5415 Energy facil site eval cnclConcerning the energy facility site evaluation council.S Environment, ELovelett
SB 5493Residential renewable energyReopening the renewable energy system incentive program for residential-scale systems.S PrefiledWilson
SB 5651 (HB 1781)Capital budget, supplementalConcerning the capital budget.S PrefiledFrockt
SB 5666 (HB 1767)Targeted electrificationConcerning the authority of publicly owned electric utilities to engage in targeted electrification through the adoption of plans that establish a finding that utility outreach and investment in the conversion of its customers’ end use equipment from fossil fuels to electricity will provide net benefits to the utility.S PrefiledLiias
SB 5668 (HB 1766)Gas companiesModifying the regulation of gas companies to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.S PrefiledLovelett
SB 5669 (HB 1770)Energy codesStrengthening energy codes.S PrefiledLiias
SB 5678 Concerning energy transformation, nonemitting electric generation, and renewable resource project analysis and declaratory orders.S PrefiledShort
SB 5722 (HB 1774)Greenhouse gases/buildingsReducing greenhouse gas emissions in buildings.S PrefiledNguyen

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