2022 Legislative Update: Week 7

Advocacy , Olympia Update ,


Week Overview

General Update

The past week was packed with every type of session activity. The flurry started on Senate when the Senate released their proposed supplemental transportation budget. On Monday the Senate released their proposed supplemental operating budget, and the House released their proposed operating, capital and transportation budgets. The Senate had already released their proposed capital budget last week. All budget proposals had hearings and executive sessions throughout the week with some committee meetings running late into the night. Links and updates on other budgets are provided in the budget section below.

In addition to the activity around budgets, it was also a packed week of committee hearings. With opposite house policy cutoff on Thursday, February 24th, the week was full of policy hearings and executive sessions to move bills out of committee by that cutoff. There were 438 bills that made it past house of origin cutoff, and of those 400 bills that made it past opposite house policy cutoff.

After Thursday’s policy cutoff, attention quickly shifted to fiscal committees. Opposite house fiscal cutoff is on Monday, February 28th, which means there were just four days to hear and move bills referred from a policy committee to a fiscal committee. The House Appropriations committee had their marathon of bill hearings on Friday and the Senate Ways & Means had theirs on Saturday. No committees met on Sunday, so both fiscal committees will hold lengthy meetings on Monday focused on executive sessions to move bills out by fiscal cutoff.

Once we get past Monday’s fiscal cutoff, focus for the rest of the week will turn to floor action where both chambers will work to pass bills off the floor by Friday March 4th by 5pm, which is opposite house floor cutoff. There are just four days to debate, potentially amend, and pass bills off the floor by Friday’s cutoff, so it is anticipated that there will be long days on the floor, potentially running late into the night.

With less than two weeks left in session, budget writers from both chambers will also be doing a lot of work behind the scenes as the House and Senate work towards a final compromise budget.

Click here to watch this week’s TVW Week in Review, which provides a good wrap-up of the past week in Olympia.

Electeds & Elections

Rep. Bob McCaslin (R-4th LD) announced on the House floor Saturday that he will be retiring. The open seat will be filled in the upcoming November election.

Budget Proposals

There was a lot of activity around all of the budgets this week. Below is a summary of the status of each budget and links to relevant documents.

  • Operating Budget:
    • The House operating budget (HB 1816) passed out of House Appropriations on February 23rd and passed off the House floor on February 26th with a vote of 56 to Documents related to the House operating budget can be found here.
    • The Senate operating budget (SB 5693) passed out of Senate Ways & Means on February 23rd and passed off the Senate floor on February 25th with a vote of 29 to Documents related to the Senate operating budget can be found here.
  • Capital Budget:
    • The House capital budget (HB 1781) passed out of the House Capital Budget committee on February 24th. It has been referred to House Rules and awaits being pulled to the floor for debate and vote. Documents related to the House capital budget can be found here.
    • The Senate capital budget (SB 5651) passed out of the Senate Ways and Means committee on February 21st and unanimously off the Senate floor on February Documents related to the Senate capital budget can be found here.
  • Transportation Budget**:
    • The House transportation budget (HB 1786) passed out of the House Transportation committee on February 24th and passed off the House floor on February 26th with a vote of 91 to 3. Documents related to the House transportation budget can be found here.
    • The Senate transportation budget (SB 5689) passed out of the Senate Transportation committee on February 23rd and passed off the Senate floor on Feb 25th with a vote of 41 to Documents related to the Senate transportation budget can be found here.

**Please note that the supplemental transportation budget proposals are different than the transportation revenue package (transportation package resources bills: HB 2119/SB 5974 and transportation package spending bills: HB 2118/SB 5975).

Priority Areas

Climate Change and the Environment

Rep Lekanoff introduced HB 1753 on behalf of the Governor. The bill requires state agencies that administer funds from certain accounts created by the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) to offer consultation to federally recognized tribes whose tribal resources may be affected by the award of funds from the accounts. It requires applicants for funding from certain CCA accounts to engage in a preapplication process with all federally recognized tribes within the project area. It was heard on February 16th and passed by the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology committee on February 22nd. It had a hearing in the Senate Ways & Means committee on Feb 26th and is scheduled for executive session on Feb 28th.

Sen Nguyen sponsored SB 5722 on behalf of the Governor. It requires the Department of Commerce to adopt state energy management and benchmarking requirements for building between 20,000 and 50,000 square feet and to multifamily residential building larger than 50,000 square feet by December 1, 2023. Also requires Commerce to evaluate benchmarking data to determine energy use and greenhouse gas emissions averages by building type July 1, 2029. It was heard on February 17th and passed by the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology committee on February 22nd. The bill was heard on February 25th in the House Appropriations committee and is scheduled for executive session on Feb 28th.

Rep Duerr sponsored HB 1770 on behalf of the Governor and it updates the minimum State Energy Code requirements for residential and nonresidential construction. It requires new buildings to be net-zero ready and the State Building Code Council to adopt statewide residential reach code. The bill requires each city, town, and county to enforce the Washington State energy code for residential buildings or adopt the statewide residential reach code. A home affordability cost analysis must be conducted for any change to the Washington State energy code for residential buildings. The bill was heard on February 17th, amended and passed by the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology committee on February 23rd. It was amended to eliminate the net-zero readiness requirement by 2034, the requirement for an 80% reduction in annual net energy consumption from the 2006 Washington state energy codes, and the home affordability cost analysis. The bill has been placed on second reading and awaits further action.

Housing & Homelessness

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Rep Shemake introduced HB 1660, which deals with ADU regulations. The bill requires cities and counties to allow for the construction of ADUs within urban growth areas and requires the removal of barriers to such construction, including certain identified regulations, by the time of the city of county’s next comp plan update. It removes exemptions in current law that would allow cities to require off-street parking for ADUs within a ¼ mile of a transit center and prohibits homeowners’ associations, condo associations, associations of apartment owners, common interest communities, and restrictive covenants from prohibiting ADUs within an urban growth area. It was heard on February 23rd, amended and passed by the Senate Housing & Local Government committee on February 24th. The amended bill clarifies that a city or county issuing a permit for ADU construction may not be held liable if the construction would violate any existing restrictive covenant or deed restriction, or governing documents of a homeowners’ association, condominium association, association of apartment owners, or common interest community. It has been referred to the Senate Rules committee for further consideration.

Rep Walen introduced HB 1841, which allows counties to provide a property tax exemption for an ADU for as long as it is rented to a low-income household. It was heard on February 22nd, passed by the Senate Housing & Local Government committee on February 24th, and referred to the Senate Ways & Means committee for further consideration. The bill was heard on February 26th and is scheduled for executive session on February 28th in the Senate Ways & Means committee.

Condos

Sen Gildon introduced SB 5758 and it deals with condo conversions. The bill requires the Housing Finance Commission to implement a condo conversion tenant-to-homeowner program focused on opportunities from first-time homeownership and assist tenant in multifamily building that are being converted to condo ownership. It requires the Affordable Housing Advisory Board (AHAB) to review and report on certain issues associated with the conversion of multifamily building to condo ownership. Additionally, it expands membership of AHAP to include a representative of a condo association of community interest community association. The bill was heard on February 22nd and passed by the House Housing, Human Services & Veterans committee on February 24th. It has been placed on second reading and awaits further action.

Homelessness

Rep Chopp sponsored HB 1866, which establishes the Apple Health and Homes Program (Program) to provide a permanent supportive housing benefit and a community support services benefit to persons who meet eligibility criteria related to income, medical risk factors and barriers to finding stable housing. It establishes the Office of Apple Health and Homes (Office) within the Department of Commerce to acquire sufficient supportive housing units to fulfill the needs of persons enrolled in the Program. Additionally, it establishes the Health and Homes Account to be used for permanent supportive housing programs administered by the Office. The bill was heard on February 21st, amended and passed by the Senate Health & Long Term Care committee on February 23rd. It was significantly amended and a summary of the changes can be found here. It was referred to the Senate Ways & Means committee, heard on February 26th, and scheduled for executive session on February 28th.

Encampments

Sen Kuderer introduced SB 5662 on behalf of the Governor. It was heard on February 22nd, amended and passed by the House Housing, Human Services & Veterans committee on Feb 22nd. The bill was significantly changed and a summary of the changes can be found here. The current bill establishes the Office of Intergovernmental Coordination on Public Right-of-Way Homeless Encampments (office) within the Department of Social and Health Services to coordinate efforts related to identifying permanent housing and services for persons encamped on public rights-of-way. It was referred to the House Appropriations committee and heard on February 25th.

Landlord Tenant Relations

Sen Trudeau sponsored SB 5749, which allows tenants to pay for rent with a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order. It requires landlords to allow tenants to submit rent payments by mail or at an accessible, on-site location, and expands the application of the bill to manufactured housing landlords and tenants. The bill was heard on February 17th and passed by the House Housing, Human Services & Veterans committee on February 24th. It has been referred to the House Rules committee for further consideration.

Land Use

Community municipal organizations

Rep Duerr sponsored HB 1769 and it provides that the terms of existence of a community municipal corporation is 4 years after its authorization, or 30 days after the effective date of the bill, whichever is sooner. It repeals provisions allowing the creation of community municipal corporation following annexation of an unincorporated area or the consolidation of two or more cities. Additionally, it repeals provisions related to the membership and power of the community councils of community municipal corporations as of January 1, 2023. The bill was passed by the Senate Housing & Local Government committee on February 23rd and has been placed on 2nd Reading by the Senate Rules committee.

Comp plan updates

Rep Duerr sponsored HB 1241 and it increases the review and revision cycle for comprehensive plans under the GMA from 8 to 10 years. It also extends the deadline for the next comprehensive plan update for King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, and for cities within those counties, from June 30, 2024, to December 31, 2024. Additionally, it requires cities to submit an implementation progress report with information to the Department of Commerce 5 years after reviewing and revising comp plan and to create a work plan to take any needed actions within two years, if any action to implement changes in the most recent comp plan update has not occurred at the time of the report. It was heard on February 22nd and passed by the Senate Housing & Local Government committee on February 23rd. The bill has been referred to the Senate Rules committee for further consideration.

Rep Duerr introduced HB 1978, which increases the review and revision cycle for Shoreline master plans from 8 to 10 years so it aligns with the new revisions to the comp plan updates under the GMA. It was heard on February 16th and passed by the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology committee on February 22nd. It has been referred to Senate Rules for further consideration.

Rep Pollet introduced HB 1717, concerning tribal participation in planning under the growth management act. The bill requires counties, cities, and other local governments to enter into negotiations on a memorandum of agreement for collaboration and coordination with the tribe for participation in the planning process under the GMA, and provides for mediation if an agreement is not reached. It requires the Department of Commerce to provide notice to tribe of a city or county’s proposed adoption of a comp plan upon request of a tribe, and to facilitate a dispute resolution process to attempt to resolve a tribe’s concerns with a city or county’s comp plan or development regulations. Additionally, it requires a tribe that has a reservation or ceded lands within a county to be invited to participate in the countywide planning process.

The bill was heard on February 22nd and passed by the Senate Housing & Local Government committee on February 23rd. It was referred to the Senate Ways & Means committee, heard on February 26th and scheduled for executive session on February 28th.

Rep Duerr sponsored HB 1099, which adds a goal of climate change mitigation to the listed goals of the GMA. It also adds a climate change and resiliency element to the list of elements that must be included within the comprehensive plans certain counties and cities must adopt under the GMA. Additionally, Commerce is required to publish guidelines that specify a set of actions counties and cities have available to take related to greenhouse gas emissions reductions and vehicle miles traveled. The bill requires the climate change and resiliency element of the comp plan to address the adverse impacts of climate change on people, property, and ecological systems. It was heard on February 24th and scheduled for executive session on February 28th in the Senate Ways & Means committee.

Salmon recovery

Rep Lekanoff introduced HB 1117, which adds the goal of salmon recovery to the listed goals of the GMAThe bill was introduced in the 2021 session but did not pass so has been reintroduced. It requires the land use element of comp plans adopted under the GMA to include a strategy that achieves net ecological gain of salmon habitat. Additionally, it requires capital facilities element and transportation element of comp plans adopted under the GMA to include a schedule for the elimination of all identified fish passage barriers. The bill also requires development regulations that protect critical areas to apply certain mitigation requirements. The bill was heard on February 16th, amended and passed by the Senate Housing & Local Government committee on February 24th. It was substantively amended and a summary of the changes can be found here. The bill was referred to the Senate Ways & Means committee, heard on February 26th, and scheduled for executive session on February 28th.

Urban Growth Areas (UGAs)

Sen Short introduced SB 5593 and was amended by the House Local Government committee to amend the current standards for jurisdictions to revise a designated urban growth area or areas to include revisions based on patterns of development. It provides that any revision to the existing boundaries of a jurisdiction’s UGA or areas may not result in an expansion of total surface area of the UGA if the revision is to accommodate patterns of development and anticipated urban growth. The bill was heard on February 22nd, amended and passed by the House Local Government committee on February 23rd. It was significantly amended and a summary of the changes can be found here. The bill was referred to the House Rules committee for further consideration.

Water

Sen Rolfes introduced SB 5585 on behalf of the Department of Ecology and it removes the existing cap on the fee charged for water quality permits administered by the Department of Ecology and creates an advisory committee to provide recommendations to Ecology for setting the water quality permit fee rate and schedule. The bill was heard on February 18th, amended and passed by the House Environment & Energy committee on February 22nd. It was substantively changed and a summary of changes can be found here. The bill has been referred to the House Rules committee for further consideration.

Prejudgment interest

Sen Kuderer introduced SB 5155 and it starts interest running on a judgment entered following trial of the matter and arbitration awards for tortious conduct, other than medical malpractice claims, from the date on which the cause of action accrues for individuals and entities, but not public agencies. It also starts interest running on a judgment for a medical malpractice claim from the date of entry of judgment. It was heard on February 18th, amended and passed by House Civil Rights & Judiciary committee on February 22nd. The amended bill applies prejudgment interest to judgements founded on the tortious conduct on public agencies. It was referred to the House Appropriations committee and heard on February 25th. It is scheduled for executive session on Feb 28th.

Paid Family & Medical Leave

Senator Robinson introduced SB 5649, which modifies the Washington state paid family and medical leave. It allows the use of family leave under Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) after the death of certain family members. The bill defaults the type of leave taken after giving birth to be medical leave, unless requested otherwise, without certification needed and expires the collective bargaining agreement exception. It requires the Employment Security Department (ESD) to publish a list of employers with approved voluntary plans. The bill also creates the Office of Actuarial Services within ESD and a legislative task force on PFML program premiums and requires a Joint Legislative Audit and Review committee report. It was heard on February 18th, amended and passed by the House Labor & Workplace Standards committee on February 22nd. The amended bill allows data to be shared with the Office of Financial Management, for the purpose of actuarial services, and the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee, for the purpose of conducting performance audits. It was heard on February 25th in the House Appropriations committee and is scheduled for executive session on Feb 28th.

Unemployment insurance

Sen Keiser introduced SB 5873 and decreased the maximum Unemployment Insurance (UI) social cost factor for 2022 and 2023. It sets a maximum UI rate class for the purposes of the percentage of the social cost factor to be paid by small businesses in 2023. The bill has been placed on second reading and awaits further action.

Transportation

Supplemental Transportation Budget

The Senate released their proposed supplemental transportation budget on February 20th and the House released theirs the following day on February 21st. Both budgets appropriate funding for the upcoming year and for the first year of the 16-year Move Ahead WA proposal.

The Senate and House heard the supplemental budget (SB 5689/HB 1786) on Monday, February 21st. The Move Ahead Washington spending bill (SB 5975/HB 2118) was also heard the same day. SB 5689 passed the Senate Transportation committee on February 23rd and passed the Senate with a 41-8 vote count on February 25th. HB 1786 passed the House Transportation committee on February 24th and passed off the House floor on February 26th with a vote of 91-3. The Move Ahead spending bills were also heard and passed out of their respective transportation committees in conjunction with the supplemental transportation budget. SB 5975 passed the Senate with a 29-20 vote count on February 25th and HB 1786 passed the House with a 91-3 vote count on February 26th. The Chairs of the transportation committees will now head into negotiations to reconcile the differences.

A summary of the supplemental transportation budgets can be found: Senate proposal/House proposal

Transportation Revenue

The Move Ahead Washington transportation revenue proposal provides $16.8 billion over 16- year transportation proposal that makes historic investments in public transit and multimodal options to ensure transportation options are safe, accessible, and affordable for all. It also fulfills the obligation to replace fish passage barriers, invests in the ferry system, highway maintenance and preservation, and funding projects large and small across the state. SB 5974 was passed by the Senate on February 15th with a 29-20 vote count and has been referred to the House Rules committee for further consideration. The companion bill HB 2119 was heard on February 17th and passed by the House Transportation committee on February 22nd. It has been referred to the House Rules committee for further consideration.

On Saturday, February 26th, Rep Fey announced he proposed an amendment that would remove the export fuel tax from the Move Ahead Washington transportation proposal. The export fuel tax would have applied a 6-cent fee on fuel exported from Washington refineries to other states and was expected to generate $2 billion in revenue over the proposal’s 16-year lifespan. The proposed amendment will remove the export fuel tax and replace it with an annual transfer from the Public Works Assistance Account and no projects will be eliminated from the proposal.

Full list of investment and revenue sources can be found here.

Looking Ahead

Monday will be focused on moving bills out of their fiscal committee by the February 28th opposite house fiscal cutoff. Then attention will quickly shift to floor action as each chamber works to move bills off the floor by Friday’s opposite house floor cutoff.

Upcoming Dates:

  • February 28th - Opposite House Fiscal Cutoff
  • March 4th - Opposite House Floor Cutoff
  • March 10th - Sine Die

Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Upcoming Events Report 

Transportation (House) - Virtual - 2/28 @ 10:00am

SSB 5528 - Exec Session - Concerning the imposition of supplemental revenue sources within a regional transit authority area.

ESSB 5853 - Exec Session - Establishing a limited project regarding leasing certain department of transportation property in order to remedy past impacts to historically marginalized populations.

Ways & Means (Senate) - Virtual - 2/28 @ 10:00am

ESHB 1643 - Exec Session - Exempting a sale or transfer of real property for affordable housing to a nonprofit entity, housing authority, public corporation, county, or municipal corporation from the real estate excise tax.

SHB 1717 - Exec Session - Concerning tribal participation in planning under the growth management act.

ESHB 1753 - Exec Session - Concerning tribal consultation regarding the use of certain funding authorized by the climate commitment act.

ESHB 1841 - Exec Session - Incentivizing rental of accessory dwelling units to low-income households.

Appropriations (House) - Virtual - 2/28 @ 11:00am

SHB 1850 - Exec Session - Protecting and enforcing the foundational data privacy rights of Washingtonians.

2SSB 5649 - Exec Session - Modifying the Washington state paid family and medical leave act.