As a reminder, last Friday, February 24th, was the cut-off for bills to get out of the house of origin fiscal committees. Click here to see a list of bill statistics from the House and Senate.
The past week has been dominated by floor action. Several days at least one chamber continued floor activity well into the evening in an effort to move as many bills as possible. Legislators have until March 8th at 5pm to get bills passed off the floor in their house of origin or they will be considered dead. The exception as always is if a bill is deemed Necessary to Implement the Budget (NTIB).
A significant number of bills have moved off the floor this week with many of them having very strong bipartisan votes. This weekend and coming week will be a final push for bills to pass out of their House or Origin. The House worked Saturday and into the early morning hours of Sunday. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday will be the final floor days ahead of cutoff.
After that, bills will flip sides, which means House bills will go to Senate committees for hearings and committee votes and Senate bills will go to House committees. Friday, the Senate passed SB 5536, which addresses the Blake decision. The bill passed with a vote count of 28-21 and an unusual split of Senators voting in support and against. 15 Democrats and 6 Republicans voted against the bill. The House passed HB 1181, which would update the state’s planning framework to include climate change.
With the remaining days of floor action we are expecting votes on housing, updating the state’s recycling system, and vehicular pursuits.
Budget Proposal Timing
While the focus of session has been mostly on bills so far, the time is quickly approaching when draft budgets will start to be released.
The House and Senate alternate each year which chamber releases their proposed budget first, and this year the House is schedule to go first. The proposals usually come shortly after the spring revenue forecast is released by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, which is currently scheduled to be released on March 20th. We are increasingly hearing that the budgets are expected to be released a bit later than typical this year.
Upcoming Events Report
Housing (House) - HHR B and Virtual JLOB - 3/9 @ 8:00am
E2SSB 5045 - Public Hearing - Incentivizing rental of accessory dwelling units to low-income households. (Remote Testimony Available).
SB 5058 - Public Hearing - Exempting buildings with 12 or fewer units that are no more than two stories from the definition of multiunit residential building. (Remote Testimony Available).
SSB 5235 - Public Hearing - Concerning accessory dwelling units. (Remote Testimony Available).
Law & Justice (Senate) - SHR 4 and Virtual JACB - 3/9 @ 8:00am
HB 1054 - Public Hearing - Addressing the authority of owners' associations in common interest communities to regulate or limit occupancy by unrelated persons. (Remote Testimony Available).
Local Government, Land Use & Tribal Affairs (Senate) - SHR 3 and Virtual JACB - 3/9 @ 10:30am
SHB 1326 - Public Hearing - Waiving municipal utility connection charges for certain properties. (Remote Testimony Available).
Transportation (House) - HHR B and Virtual JLOB - 3/9 @ 4:00pm
SB 5023 - Public Hearing - Concerning roadside safety measures. (Remote Testimony Available).
Ways & Means (Senate) - SHR 4 and Virtual JACB - 3/9 @ 4:00pm
SSB 5258 - Public Hearing - Increasing the supply and affordability of condominium units and townhouses as an option for homeownership. (Remote Testimony Available).
SSB 5259 - Public Hearing - Ensuring commerce and workplaces are safe from product theft. (Remote Testimony Available).
SB 5279 - Public Hearing - Expanding a sales and use tax deferral program for affordable housing to include structures initially used as temporary employee housing for employees constructing warehouses, distribution centers, and other large facilities. (Remote Testimony Available).
SB 5486 - Public Hearing - Investing in Washington families and creating a more fair tax system by enacting a narrowly tailored property tax on extreme wealth derived from the ownership of stocks, bonds, and other financial intangible property. (Remote Testimony Available).
Housing (Senate) - SHR 4 and Virtual JACB - 3/10 @ 10:30am
SHB 1250 - Public Hearing - Modifying the low-income home rehabilitation program. (Remote Testimony Available).
HB 1695 - Public Hearing - Defining affordable housing for purposes of using surplus public property for public benefit. (Remote Testimony Available).