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Bellevue Chamber Weekly Legislative Report: Week 14

Week Overview

Last week was largely focused on floor action to consider bills amended by the opposite chamber. Most bills with changes were concurred (agreed) on, though some did enter dispute where the house of origin asks the opposite house to recede from their amendments. Some bills that can’t reach agreement will go into conference where members will be appointed to work through the differences between the chambers. Bills not amended by the opposite house will go straight to the Governor for signature. The Governor held two signings this week. You can check on bill signing schedules and see what bills have been signed here. To date, the Governor has signed 107 bills into law and no bills have been vetoed.

After opposite house fiscal cutoff, there were 380 bills still alive. Of these, 323 made it past opposite house floor cutoff (this does not count bills that have been deemed necessary to implement the budget (NTIB)). This means 57 bills sent to the floor of the two chambers didn’t make it past the April 11th floor cutoff.

Bills introduced:

  • 2021: Around 1,130 bills introduced at this point in session
  • 2019: Around 2,300 bills introduced

Opposite house fiscal cutoff:

  • 2021: 380 passed house of origin floor cutoff
  • 2019: 566 passed house of origin floor cutoff

Opposite house floor cutoff:

  • 2021: 323 passed opposite house floor cutoff
  • 2019: 456 passed opposite house floor cutoff

While there are clearly fewer bills that have made it this far in the 2021 session compared to the previous long session in 2019, it is still a significant number of bills that will be passing, especially when you compare to the reduced number that were introduced this year.

This weekend the budget leads in each chamber will finish the work of working through the differences in the respective budget proposals as they work towards final operating, capital, and transportation budgets before the last day of session on Sunday, April 25th. Senate Ways & Means Chair Christine Rolfes (D-23rd), Vice-Chair June Robinson (D-38th) and Senator Emily Randall (D-26th) hosted “Budget 101” last week. It was an interesting “insider conversation” about how the budget process works and how you can best impact the process for your issue.

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

Priority Areas

Business Impacts

Paid Family Medical Leave

Rep. Berry introduced E2SHB 1073, which provides a pandemic leave assistance employee grant to certain employees who are unable to access their state paid family and medical leave benefits due to COVID-19 pandemic. It also provides a pandemic leave assistance employer grant to employers with fewer than 150 employees, who have an employee taking leave and receiving a grant under the act. Additionally, it stipulates that employers and employees receiving pandemic leave assistance grants are subject to the provisions of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program. The House concurred on April 13th with a 56-42 vote count to the changes made by the Senate. The bill will now be sent to the Governor for signature.

Sen Robinson introduced ESSB 5097, which expands the definition of family member in the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program. It requires the Employment Security Department to collect and analyze data and submit reports to the Legislature with certain information relating to the PFML program and requires the general fund to cover additional leave expenses under certain circumstances. The House passed the bill on April 6th with a 55-42 vote count. Because the bill was amended by the House it will now go back to the Senate for concurrence, dispute, or conference.

Climate Change and the Environment

Climate Commitment Act

Sen Carlyle sponsored E2SSB 5126 on behalf of the Governor and it establishes a program for capping emissions for certain covered entities and investing emission allowance auction proceeds in certain programs, projects, and activities beginning January 1, 2023. The bill was heard on April 14th, amended and passed by the House Environment & Energy committee on April 16th. A summary of the changes made to the bill can be found here. It is scheduled for a hearing on April 19th and executive session on April 20th in the House Appropriations committee.

Greenhouse gas emissions

Rep. Fitzgibbon introduced E3SHB 1091 on behalf of the Governor, and directs the Department of Ecology to establish a Clean Fuels program (CFP) to limit the aggregate, overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of transportation fuel energy to 20% below 2017 levels by 2035. It excludes exported fuel, fuel used by vessels, railroad locomotives, and aircraft, and certain other categories of transportation fuel from the CFP’s GHG emission intensity reduction requirements. The bill also requires the passage of separate transportation funding act generating more than $500 million per biennium in revenue before Ecology may assign compliance obligations or allow for actual credit generation in order to coordinate and synchronize the CFP with other transportation related investments. Because the bill was amended by the Senate it will now go back to the House for concurrence, dispute, or conference.

Housing

Condominium construction

Sen. Padden introduced ESSB 5024, which specifies that a qualified building enclosure inspector under the WA Condominium Act must be the architect or engineer of record or another person with substantial training and experience. It allows deposit funds for the purchase of a unit to be withdrawn from escrow and used for construction costs if a surety bond is maintained in favor of the purchaser in the amount of the deposit to be withdrawn. The bill passed the House with a 97-0 vote count on April 8th and the Senate concurred to the amendments on April 15th with a unanimous vote count. It will now be sent to the Governor for signature.

Just cause evictions

Rep Macri introduced ESHB 1236, which specifies exclusive causes for eviction, refusal to renew a tenancy, and ending a tenancy under the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA) and clarifies penalties for inclusion of unlawful provisions in rental agreements. The House concurred on April 13th with a 54-44 vote count to the changes made in the Senate. It will now head to the Governor for his signature.

Landlord-tenant relations

Sen Kuderer introduced E2SSB 5160, and it requires landlords to offer tenants a reasonable schedule for repayment of any unpaid rent accrued during the public health emergency that does not exceed monthly payments equal to 1/3 of the monthly rental charges during the period of accrued debt. The bill expands eligibility for claim reimbursement under the landlord mitigation program to include unpaid rent accrued during the eviction moratorium and public health emergency periods and the tenant vacated or abandoned the tenancy and any remaining unpaid rent after the tenant defaults on a repayment plan. Additionally, the bill requires the Department of Commerce to authorize landlords an opportunity to apply to certain state rental assistance programs. The House passed the bill on April 8th with a 72-26 vote count and because the bill was amended by the House it will now go back to the Senate for concurrence, dispute, or conference.

Multifamily tax exemption

Sen Das sponsored E2SSB 5287 and authorize a 12-year extension of existing 8-year and 12-year Multifamily Property Tax Exemptions (MFTEs) that are set to expire if they meet certain affordability requirements. It establishes a new 20-year property tax exemption for the creation of permanently affordable homes.

Additionally, it temporarily expands the definition of a city not otherwise eligible for the 12-year MFTE and the 20-year exemption for permanently affordable homes to include all cities until December 31, 2031. The Senate concurred on April 14th with a 41-7 vote count to the changes made by the House. It will now be sent to the Governor for signature.

Revenue source for eviction prevention

Rep Ormsby introduced E2SHB 1277, which creates an additional $100 surcharge on recorded documents to fund an eviction prevention rental assistance program, landlord mitigation program, and for the operations, maintenance, and service costs for permanent supportive housing. It creates the eviction prevention rental assistance program in the Department of Commerce. Additionally, it directs the Department of Commerce to contract with the Ruckelshaus center to examine trends affecting, and policies guiding, the housing and services provided to individuals and families who are or at risk of homelessness in Washington and develop a report on a strategy to improve services and outcomes for person at risk or experiencing homelessness and develop pathways to permanent housing solutions. The bill was heard on April 5th, amended and passed by the Senate Ways & Means committee on April 12th. A summary of changes made in the adopted amendments can be found here and here. It has been placed on 2nd Reading by the Senate Rules committee and awaits further action.

Transit-oriented development

Sen Mullet sponsored SB 5312 and it authorized the use of appropriations to the Growth Management Planning and Environmental Review Fund to fund grants to cities to pay for certain planning related costs related to transit-orientated development, including subarea plans and environmental impact statements. It requires the Department of Commerce to prioritize applications for grants to facilitate transit-oriented development to maximize certain specified objectives in the area covered by the grant proposal. Additionally, it changes the date, from April 1, 2021, to April 1, 2025, by which cities must take certain actions related to increasing housing supply in order to be eligible to apply to the Department of Commerce for planning grants. The bill did not advance before opposite house cutoff on April 11th and is now considered dead.

Land Use

Emergency shelters and housing through local planning and development regulations

Rep Peterson sponsored E2SHB 1220 and it updates the housing goals of the GMA to include planning for and accommodating affordable housing. It requires jurisdiction to address moderate, low, very low, and extremely low-income housing, moderate density housing options, and racially disparate impacts and displacement in the housing element of the comprehensive plan. The bill requires the Department of Commerce to provide the inventory and analysis of existing and projected housing needs required in the housing element of the comprehensive plan. Additionally, it prohibits cities from preventing transitional housing or permanent supportive housing in zones where residential dwelling units or hotels are allowed, and from preventing indoor emergency shelters and indoor emergency housing in zones where hotels are allowed except for cities with ordinances authorizing such shelters and housing in a majority of zones within one mile of transit. The House concurred on April 14th with a 57-40 vote count to the changes made by the Senate. It will now be sent to the Governor for signature.

Planning under the GMA

Rep Duerr sponsored ESHB 1241 and it increases the review and revision cycle for comprehensive plans and Shoreline Master Plan from 8 to 10 years. It requires counties and cities to submit an implementation progress report with certain required information to the Department of Commerce 5 years after reviewing and revising a comprehensive plan. Additionally, it requires counites, cities, and other local governments to consult with federally recognized tribes during the planning process under the GMA upon receipt of notice from the tribes. It did not advance before opposite House of Origin cutoff on April 11th and is now considered dead.

Salmon recovery through revisions to the comprehensive plans

Rep Lekanoff introduced E2SHB 1117, and it adds a goal of salmon recovery to the listed goals of the of the Growth Management Act. It requires the land use element of the comprehensive plan to include a strategy that achieves net ecological gain of salmon habitat and stipulates that compliance by local governments is contingent on state funding and takes effect two years after the state funding has been appropriated.

Additionally, capital facilities element and transportation element of comprehensive plan must include a schedule for the elimination of all identified fish passage barriers. The Department of Fish and Wildlife must also adopt rules to establish criteria for net ecological gain and consistency with applicable regional salmon recovery plans. It did not advance before opposite House of Origin cutoff on April 11th and is now considered dead.

Revenue

Capital gains

Sen. Robinson introduced ESSB 5096, and was amended by the House Finance committee to apply a 7% tax on the sale or exchange of long-term capital assets if those profits are in excess of $250,000 for both individuals and those who files jointly. The bill exempts all real estate transferred by deed, retirement assets, assets condemned by the government, livestock, timber, timberlands, commercial fishing privileges, goodwill received from the sale of an auto dealership, and certain depreciable property used in a trade or business. The proceeds from the tax must be deposited into the Education Legacy Trust Account, which funds schools, access to higher education through new enrollments and financial aid, early learning and childcare programs, and other educational improvement efforts. The bill was heard on March 15th, amended and passed by the House Finance committee on April 16th. Revenue from the proposal was accounted for in both the House and Senate operating budget proposals.

Wealth Tax

Rep Frame and Sen Hunt introduced SHB 1406/SB 5426, imposes a 1% wealth tax on intangible financial assets over $1 billion and directs revenues from the wealth tax to be deposited into the general fund. HB 1406 bill was amended and passed by the House Finance committee on March 31st. A summary of the changes made to the bill can be found here. It has been referred to the House Appropriations committee for further consideration. SB 5426 has not yet been scheduled for a hearing. Both bills are considered necessary to implement the budget (NTIB) so is not subject to the cutoff calendar. This proposed new revenue source was not accounted for in either proposed budget.

Transportation

Transportation Budget

The House and Senate released their 2021-2023 biennium and 2019-2021 supplemental transportation budgets on Monday. The pandemic continues to negatively impact transportation revenues and challenge infrastructure funding.

The House proposals for the second supplemental transportation budget for the 2019-21 biennium and the new transportation budget for the 2021-23 fiscal biennium provide spending authority of $9.447 billion and $10.933 billion. The recent enactment of the federal American Rescue Plan, along with earlier federal relief packages, will provide over $1 billion to the state for transportation purposes. A portion of the funds will be used to backfill accounts that supported services affected by COVID-19 pandemic-related revenue losses, a portion will be used to address ferry operating needs, and a portion of the funding will be used to address fish passage barrier removals

The 2021-23 biennial transportation budget focuses on a couple of new and emerging areas of emphasis.

  • Diversity and equity: WSDOT office of equal opportunity is provided $6 million for efforts to increase diversity in the transportation construction workforce through the pre-apprenticeship support services The Joint Transportation Committee is directed to conduct a study on the impacts of current and historical city transportation investments on communities of color, low-income households, vulnerable populations, and displaced communities.
  • Electrification and green transportation: $152.5 million is provided to continue work on the state’s first hybrid electric Olympic Class vessel, with construction in spring 2022. It also expands previous electric vehicle charging infrastructure and green transportation

The Senate proposals for the second supplemental transportation budget for the 2019-21 biennium and the new transportation budget for the 2021-23 fiscal biennium provide spending authority of $9 billion and $11.7 billion. Federal recovery and relief bills recently passed provide new resources to the transportation budget to help offset some of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. These include:

  • $1.0billion from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, of which $600 million is being used to partially backfill revenue losses from the pandemic and $400 million is being used for water infrastructure investments to remove fish
  • $142.9 million in Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act funds are used to help fund the removal of fish barriers in order to make progress on complying with the court injunction by 2030.
  • $124 million in Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act funds are deposited into the Puget Sound Ferry Operations account to offset a shortfall of ferry fare revenue, eliminating the need to transfer funds from other state accounts to support this

The Senate passed the Senate transportation proposal (SB 5165) on March 29th with unanimous support, and the House passed their proposal on April 2nd. The chairs of the House and Senate transportation committees will meet and negotiate the differences in both transportation budget before passing a final transportation budget before the end of session.

Extending the issuance period of driver licenses and identicards

Rep Ramel sponsored SHB 1207 and it extends the renewal cycle for standard and enhanced driver’s licenses, standard and enhanced identicards, commercial driver’s licenses, and motorcycle endorsements from 6 years to 8 years and adjusts the associated fees to reflect the new terms while allowing an option for a 6-year renewal term. It allows online issuance and renewal of non-photo driver’s instruction permits and requires remote photo capture at driver’s license and identicard online renewal beginning January 2023. The House concurred on April 13th with a 90-8 vote count to the changes made by the Senate. The bill will now be sent to the Governor for signature.

Fare enforcement

Rep Fitzgibbon introduced SHB 1301 and it allows Sound Transit to establish an alternative fare enforcement system, which allows for the issuance of notices of violation, the resolution of notices of violation, and appeals. It also limits the fines associated with notices of violation to the same maximum amount allowed for civil infractions. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on April 16th.

Limiting bonding toll revenues on certain state highway facilities

Sen King sponsored SB 5232 and it repeals toll bond authorizations for I-405/SR 167 express toll lanes and the Puget Sound Gateway facility. It also requires toll facility proposals to consider a policy guideline to pledge toll revenue for debt financing only when the revenue is generated from toll bridges. The bill was amended and passed by the Senate on March 29th with a 48-1 vote count. It was amended to prohibit tolling revenue bonds being sold for either facility until January 1, 2023 and prohibits bonds being sold until quarterly toll revenues have returned to $8.5 million of the Treasurer determines toll revenues can meet financial obligations. The bill was heard on April 2nd in the House Transportation committee. This bill is considered necessary to implement the budget (NTIB) so is not subject to the cutoff calendar.

Transportation Revenue

Sen Hobbs released new details on his “Forward Washington” transportation investments proposal (SB 5481, SB 5482, SB 5483) on April 6th. The investment proposal allocates $17.8 billion over 16 years and the details on the proposal can be found below. The proposal was heard on April 12th and passed by the Senate Transportation committee on April 14th. It has been referred to the Senate Rules committee for further consideration.

Rep. Fey released details on his “Miles Ahead Washington” transportation investment proposal (HB 1564) on March 31st and was heard on April 1st. The investment proposal allocates $22 billion over 16 years and the details on the proposal can be found here:

Looking Ahead

The coming week we will be focused on wrapping up the final business of session as we head towards the last day of session (sine die) on April 25th. Bills still awaiting concurrence, dispute, or conference will be brought to the floor of the respective chambers. Bills deemed necessary to implement the budget (NTIB) will continue to be worked on. And we will see the final operating, transportation, and capital budgets.

Upcoming Dates:

  • April 25th - Sine Die

Bellevue Chamber Bill Status Report

Bill #Abbrev. TitleShort DescriptionStatusSponsor
E2SHB 1073Paid leave coverageExpanding coverage of the paid family and medical leave program.Del to GovBerry
E3SHB 1091 (SB5231)Transportation fuel/carbonReducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportationfuel. S Passed 3rd Fitzgibbon
HB 1093(SB 5091)Operating budget, 2ndsupp.Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium secondsupplemental operating appropriations.H AppropsOrmsby
SHB 1094(ESSB 5092) Operating budgetMaking 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations. H Rules R Ormsby
 SHB 1095 Emergency assistance/taxConcerning the taxation of governmental financial assistance programs addressing the impacts of conditions giving rise to agubernatorial or presidential emergency C 4 L 21 Walen

 

proclamation by creating state business and occupation tax and state public utility tax exemptions, a sales and use tax exemption for the receipt of such financial assistance, and clarifying the sales and use tax obligations forgoods and services purchased by recipients of such financial assistance.
ESHB 1097 (SB 5090)Worker protectionsIncreasing worker protections.H Spkr SignedSells
SHB 1135 (SSB 5165)Transp. budget 2021-2023Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium.H Rules RFey
HB 1136 (SB 5166)Supp. transportation budgetMaking 2019-2021 supplemental transportation appropriations.H TransportationFey
SHB 1137 (SB 5465)Road maintenance/planningElevating road maintenance and preservation in transportation planning.S Passed 3rdMcCaslin
SHB 1151Public assistanceBolstering economic recovery.C 9 L 21Leavitt
ESHB 1189 (2SSB 5211) Tax increment financingAuthorizing tax increment financing for local governments. S Passed 3rd Duerr
E2SHB 1277 (SB5279) Housing/revenue sourceProviding for an additional revenue source for eviction prevention and housing stability services. S 2nd Reading Ormsby
ESHB 1332 (SB 5402)Property tax deferral/COVIDConcerning property tax deferral during the COVID-19 pandemic.Del to GovSullivan
  HB 1367 (SB 5343)   Medicaid appropriationsRevising 2019-2021 fiscal biennium appropriations of state and federal funding for previously implemented medicaid rates and other medicaid expenditures in the developmental disabilities and long-term care programs in response to the COVID-19pandemic.   C 5 L 21   Ormsby
ESHB 1368 (SB 5344)Federal funding/COVID-19Responding to the COVID-19 pandemicthrough state actions supported by federal funding. C 3 L 21 Ormsby
EHB 1482Common interest/foreclosureAddressing foreclosure protections for homeowners in common interest communities.S Passed 3rdWalsh
ESHB 1521 (SB 5446)Warehousing & manuf. jobsSupporting warehousing and manufacturing job centers.Del to GovEntenman
 ESHB 1529Toll revenues/debt serviceModifying requirements in order to pay fordebt service obligations when toll revenues are not sufficient to cover legal obligations. S Pres Signed Barkis
ESSB 5061 (HB 1098)Unemployment insuranceConcerning unemployment insurance.C 2 L 21Keiser
SB 5091 (HB 1093)Operating budget, 2nd supp.Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium second supplemental operating appropriations.S Ways & MeansRolfes
ESSB 5092 (SHB 1094)Operating budgetMaking 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations.S Conf apptRolfes
ESSB 5096Capital gains taxConcerning an excise tax on gains from the sale or exchange of certain capital assets.H Exec ActionRobinson
ESSB 5097Paid leave coverageExpanding coverage of the paid family and medical leave program.H Passed 3rdRobinson
ESSB 5115Health emergency/laborEstablishing health emergency labor standards.S Passed FPKeiser

 

E2SSB5126Climate commitmentactConcerning the Washington climatecommitment act.H Exec ActionCarlyle
E2SSB5141Env. justice task forcerecsImplementing the recommendations of theenvironmental justice task force.H Passed 3rdSaldaña
SSB 5152Vehicle and driver dataEnhancing data stewardship and privacyprotections for vehicle and driver data.Del to GovNguyen
  E2SSB 5160  Landlord-tenant relationsAddressing landlord-tenant relations by providing certain tenant protections during and after public health emergencies, providing for legal representation in eviction cases, andauthorizing landlord access to state rental assistance programs.  H Passed 3rd  Kuderer
SB 5162Unanticipated revenueConcerning unanticipated revenue.S Ways & MeansRolfes
SSB 5165(SHB 1135)Transp. budget 2021-2023Making transportation appropriations for the2021-2023 fiscal biennium.S Conf apptHobbs
SB 5166(HB 1136)Supp. transportationbudgetMaking 2019-2021 supplementaltransportation appropriations.S TransportationHobbs
2SSB 5214Economic assistanceprogramsConcerning economic assistance programs.H Passed 3rdNguyen
ESB 5232Toll revenue bondingLimiting bonding toll revenues on certain statehighway facilities.H TransportationKing
ESSB 5235Housing options &limitsIncreasing housing unit inventory by removingarbitrary limits on housing options.S Passed FPLiias
  ESSB 5251  Tax and revenue lawsModifying tax and revenue laws in a manner that is not estimated to affect state or local tax collections, by easing compliance burdens for taxpayers, clarifying ambiguities, making technical corrections, and providingadministrative efficiencies.  H Spkr Signed  Schoesler
E2SSB5287Afford. housingincentivesConcerning affordable housing incentives.S Passed FPDas
SSB 5381Fish passage projectpermitsAddressing fish passage project permitstreamlining.S Passed FPHobbs
SSB 5425(SHB 1492)Unempl. extendedbenefitsConcerning extended benefits in theunemployment insurance system.Del to GovStanford
 SB 5426 (SHB 1406) Wealth taxImproving the equity of Washington state's tax code by creating the Washington state wealthtax and taxing extraordinary financial intangible assets. S Ways & Means Hunt
SSB 5460Autonomous vehiclesImplementing recommendations of the autonomous vehicle work group.S Pres SignedNguyen
 SCR 8402Emergency orders extensionExtending certain gubernatorial orders issued in response to the COVID-19 state ofemergency. H Spkr Signed Liias
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