Legislative Update: Week 6

Bellevue Chamber Weekly Legislative Report: Week 6

Week Overview

General Update

Last Monday, February 15th was house of origin policy cutoff where all bills referred to a policy committee had to be passed out of committee by that date. Those that didn’t get out of committee are now considered dead. The exception are bills deemed necessary to implement the budget (NTIB). Between both chambers, 463 bills passed out of policy committees before last Monday’s cutoff. House policy committees passed 216 total bills and Senate committees passed 247 total bills.

Following policy cutoff, last week was largely focused on fiscal committee hearings and executive sessions as we work towards fiscal cutoff on Monday, February 22nd. Fiscal committees include the House fiscal committees (Appropriations, Capital Budget, and Finance), Senate Ways and Means, and the House or Senate Transportation Committee. All bills referred to these committees need to get voted out by the fiscal cutoff deadline. Most days the hearings started in the early afternoon and went into the evening. An interesting trend we saw this year is that bills had a fiscal hearing one day and were then were scheduled for executive session the next day rather than waiting until the end of fiscal week to do most of the executive sessions. This is likely due to the slow nature of virtual session and wanting to make sure bills are moving along as we go rather than holding too many bills for cutoff day.

We now shift to the focus to floor action. Beginning on February 23rd, legislators will be spending most of the day on the virtual House and Senate floors deliberating and taking action on bills. Before a bill is brought to the floor it must first get ‘pulled’ out of the Rules committee (see primer section below for more information on the Rules committee). Bills have until March 9th to pass off the floor in their house of origin. Very few committee hearings happen during these floor action weeks, so sign-ins will trickle down to very few. This period where the legislature is ‘on the floor’ will be another big adjustment on how to operate in virtual session. Legislators are well versed in how to debate and vote through zoom at this point. But so much of floor activity in normal times involves legislators working with each other on the floor to address issues, discuss amendments, etc. And lobbyists typically stand at the doors of the House and Senate chambers for long hours sending in notes or waiting to grab legislators to work on bills in the hallways. There will be a lot of creativity in the coming weeks in navigating how to accomplish this same work in a virtual environment.

The number of bills being dropped slowed even more this week but there are still new ones being introduced every day. At this point 1,329 bills have been introduced this session. This is significantly fewer than two years ago when about 2,300 bills had been introduced at this point.

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

Session Primers

As we go through session, I will periodically do brief primers on things related to session and the legislative process. We often use jargon and things move very quickly, so my goal with these primers is to help you better understand what is going on in Olympia as we go along. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

A Primer on the Rules Committee

Check out this short and interesting video from House Speaker Laurie Jinkins that explains the role of the Rules Committee.

Before a bill can make it to the chamber floor for debate and vote it must first make it out of the Rules Committee. This can be a fairly confusing process, especially since the House and Senate use different terminology for parts of the Rules Committee process. To help better understand this process I wanted to provide a primer on the Rules Committee.

The Rules committee is a powerful committee and is often referred to as "The Gatekeeper". Some people also say that the Rules committee is where bills go to die. This is because it is a big hurdle to get pulled out of the Rules committee and brought to the floor and many bills don't make it through. The process for getting pulled from Rules can seem complicated and can also be difficult to influence.

The simplified explanation of the Rules committee is that it is a two-step process to determine which bills will be placed on the floor calendar for amendment, debate, and ultimately for a vote by the full chamber (House or Senate). The following is a brief summary of each chamber’s process for the Rules Committee. The processes are very similar but given the use of different terminology and some nuances I am explaining them separately. You can also get more details on the Rules Committee here.

Senate Rules Committee Process

In Senate Rules there are two calendars – the white sheet and the green sheet. The white sheet is where bills are sent immediately after passing out of a standing committee. The green sheet is a consideration calendar made up of bills that have been “pulled” by Rules committee members from the white sheet and is essentially the list of bills eligible to go to the floor. Bills can be pulled from the white to green sheet without debate or vote. Senate Rules Committee members get a predetermined number of pulls. Once on the green sheet they are eligible to pull to the floor at the next Rules meeting, but to make it to the floor they are first debated and voted on by Rules committee members. Bills can also be pulled in “packages” where groups of bills may be voted out of Rules at one time. Senate Rules also allows what is known as a “leadership pull”, which is where a package of bills can be pulled by leadership from the Review and/or Consideration calendars to the floor. If a bill is voted out of the Rules committee it is added to the floor calendar for second and third reading.

House Rules Committee Process

There are also two calendars in House Rules – the “Rules Review” calendar and the “Rules Consideration” calendar. Bills referred from a standing committee are placed on the Rules Review calendar. Rules Committee members can then pull a bill from the Rules Review calendar to the Rules Consideration calendar. This is the first pull. House Rules Committee members get a predetermined number of pulls. At a later meeting a member can do a second pull to move the bill from the Rules Consideration calendar to the floor calendar.

Rules members vote on every motion to pull a bill. If a bill is voted out of the Rules committee it is added to the floor calendar for second and third reading. House Rules also allows what is known as a “leadership pull”, which is where a package of bills can be pulled from the Review and/or Consideration calendars to the floor.

Priority Areas

Business Impacts

Paid Family Medical Leave

Rep. Berry introduced SHB 1073, and was amended by the House Labor & Workplace Standards committee to modify the definition of “family member” for Paid Family and Medical Leave. It also provides temporary alternative eligibility for claims through June 30, 2022. The bill was heard on February 17th in the House Appropriations committee and is scheduled for executive session on February 22nd.

Sen Robinson introduced a similar bill, SSB 5097, and was amended by the Senate Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs committee to modify the definition of “family member”, modifies the requirements for certain employment protection upon return from leave, and modifies which employees are eligible for continuation of health benefits during leave. The bill has been placed on 2nd Reading by the Senate Rules committee for further consideration.

Safely opening Washington

Sen Braun and Rep MacEwen sponsored SB 5114/HB 1321 and it allows businesses, facilities, institutions, and all other places or organizations to immediately and safely reopen or resume under Phase 2 of the Health Washington Roadmap to Recovery plan. It also states the intent of the Legislature to regularly review the best available public health data to determine whether additional actions should be taken until January 10, 2022. SB 5114 was heard on January 20th in the Senate State Government & Elections committee. HB 1321 has not been scheduled for a hearing. The bills did not move out of committee before policy cutoff on February 15th and is considered dead.

Step One for Washington’s Community and Economic Recovery

On Friday, January 22nd the House and Senate Democrats announced a plan for community and economic recovery, starting with $2.2 billion in federal funds to provide assistance to families and businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal provides funding in critical areas, starting with $240 million in small business grants; $668 million to school districts to address learning loss; $618 million for the Department of Heath to use for vaccine distribution, contract tracing, and testing; $325 million for direct rental and utility payments; $5 million for rental and foreclosure assistance; $4.7 million for food assistance programs with an additional $26.3 million in block grants for hunger relief organizations; $50 million for child care grants and incentives, prioritizing providers in child care deserts and supporting racial equity across the state; $65 million for Immigrant Relief Fund for those people left out of federal stimulus payments; $9 million for TANF and $12 million in Disaster Cash Assistance. The bills reflecting the changes and appropriations are HB 1367 and HB 1368 and their companion bills are SB 5343 and SB 5344. All four bills were expedited thru the legislative process, but the House bills ultimately became the vehicles. HB 1367 was passed by the House with a 97-0 vote count and ESHB 1368 passed with a 61-36 vote count on February 1st. The bills were heard in the Senate Ways & Means committee on February 4th and moved out of committee on February 5th. HB 1367 was passed unanimously by the Senate and ESHB 1368 passed with 47-2 vote count on February 10th. The bills were signed by the Governor on February 19th. The legislation takes effect immediately and agencies will now start the work of moving those dollars out

Taxation of governmental financial assistance programs during an emergency proclamation

Rep. Walen introduced SHB 1095, which provides a B&O tax, a public utilities tax, and a retail sales tax exemption for a qualifying grant received on or after February 29, 2020, that is related to a national or state emergency proclamation. "Qualifying grant" is defined as an amount received, or relief from debt or other legal obligation received that is received under a government-funded program to address the impacts of conditions giving rise to an official proclamation of a state of emergency by the President or by the Governor. This bill is a priority for both chambers and was expedited. On January 22nd the House unanimously passed the bill. The bill was heard on February 2nd and passed out of the Senate Ways & Means committee on February 4th. On February 10th the Senate unanimously passed the bill. The bill has been delivered to the Governor for signature.

Climate Change and the Environment

Climate Commitment Act

Sen Carlyle sponsored SB 5126 on behalf of the Governor and it requires the Governor to establish a comprehensive program to implement the state’s commitment and convene a Climate Commitment task force. It established a cap and invest program for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to be implemented by the Department of Ecology and directs distribution of auction revenues to clean transportation, natural climate resiliency, clean energy transition and assistance, and energy efficiency projects. The bill was heard on January 19th in the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology committee. This bill is a critical component in Sen. Hobbs’ transportation package and will be changing and in play till the end of session. On February 19th, the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology committee held a work session on the Proposed Substitute bill. A presentation by staff on the proposed substitute can be found here and the proposed substitute here. It is scheduled for executive session in the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee on February 25th.

Greenhouse gas emissions

Rep. Fitzgibbon introduced 2SHB 1091 on behalf of the Governor, which directs the Department of Ecology to establish a Clean Fuels program to limit the aggregate, overall greenhouse gas emissions per unit of transportation fuel energy. HB 1091 was amended in the House Environment & Energy committee and referred to the House Appropriations committee where it was further amended. A summary of the changes made in the House Appropriations committee can be found here. HB 1091 was referred to the House Transportation, heard on February 16th, amended and passed by the committee on February 19th. The amendment requires the Department of Ecology to improve internal processes to expedite the processing of environmental reviews under SEPA and for permit applications for projects related to the production of low- carbon transportation fuels. It will now be referred to House Rules for further consideration.

Housing

Condominium construction

Sen. Padden introduced ESSB 5024, which exempts condominiums with 10 or fewer units and no more than two stories from the requirement to submit building enclosure design documents and obtain periodic inspections throughout the course of construction. It also allows deposit funds for purchase of a unit to be used for construction costs. The bill passed the Senate on January 27th with a 37-12 vote count. The bill has been referred to the House Civil Rights & Judiciary committee for further consideration.

Housing benefit districts

Rep Ryu introduced SHB 1128, which authorizes counties and cities to establish a housing benefit district for the purpose of acquiring, land banking, predevelopment contracting, selling, improving, funding, and leasing land for the creation of affordable low-and middle-income housing and community development projects. To carry out the objectives of a housing benefit district, a housing benefit district may impose a sales and use tax. The bill was amended and passed on January 29th by the House Local Government committee. The bill has been referred to the House Finance committee for further consideration.

Housing supply through the GMA and housing density tax incentives

Rep Bateman and Sen Liias sponsored SHB 1157/SSB 5390 to increase housing supply. SHB 1157 was amended by the House Local Government committee to authorize counties and cities to establish a real estate excise tax density incentive zone within urban growth areas and provides for the distribution of real estate excise tax revenue with such incentive zones. The bill was referred to the House Finance committee, heard on February 18th, and scheduled for executive session on February 19th but no action was taken. SSB 5390 was amended by the Senate Housing & Local Government committee and it amends the elements of a comprehensive plan to ensure consideration of multifamily housing units and housing targets. It also creates a real estate excise tax density incentive zones within urban growth areas in buildable land areas. The bill has been referred to the Senate Ways & Means committee and has not been scheduled for a hearing at this time.

Housing unit inventory

Sen Liias introduced SSB 5235, which prohibits counties planning under the GMA and cities within such counties from prohibiting primarily renter occupied housing units on the same lot as an accessory dwelling unit and prohibits local governments from limiting the number of unrelated persons occupying a home, with exceptions. The amended bill as passed by the Senate Housing & Local Government committee clarifies that lawful limits on occupant load per square foot as established by applicable building code or ordinance are exceptions to the prohibition on regulating or limiting the number of unrelated persons occupying a household. The bill has been placed on 2nd Reading by the Senate Rules for further consideration.

Increased residential building capacity

Sen Das introduced SB 5269, which requires all GMA planning jurisdictions to allow for multifamily housing units in areas zoned for single-family residential use with urban growth areas (UGA) and requires certain parking units per lot size or dwelling unit within a UGA. Additionally, it includes the general value increase of property conversions to multifamily housing units in the calculation of the property tax revenue limit. The bill was heard on January 27th, amended and passed on February 10th out of the Senate Housing & Local Government committee. A summary of the changes to the bill can be found here. It has been referred to Senate Ways & Means and has not been scheduled for a hearing at this time.

Just cause evictions

Rep Macri introduced SHB 1236, which specifies exclusive causes for eviction, refusal to renew, and termination of tenancy under the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA) and makes other changes to rights and remedies. The bill was heard on January 26th, amended and passed out of the House Housing, Human Services & Veterans committee on February 5th. A summary of the changes to the bill can be found here. The bill has been referred to the House Rules committee for further consideration.

Landlord-tenant relations

Sen Kuderer introduced SSB 5160, and it was amended by the Senate Housing & Local Government committee to prohibit landlords from terminating or refusing to renew a rental lease that expires at the end of the lease term or is subject to a 20-day termination notice until 2 years after expiration of any public health emergency. It allows tenants impacted by COVID-19 to terminate their tenancy with a 20-day written notice. Additionally, it requires landlords to first offer tenants a repayment plan schedule equal to or greater than payment of the rent debt in monthly payments of at least one-sixth of the rent debt owed. The bill was heard on February 16th, amended and passed by the Senate Ways & Means committee on February 19th. A summary of the changes to the bill can be found here. It will now be referred to Senate Rules for further consideration.

Rep Barkis introduced HB 1228, which suspends any eviction moratorium currently in effect and requires landlords to provide tenants with unpaid rent an affidavit of COVID hardship, notice of early resolution program, and option of payment plan. It creates the Emergency Rental Assistance Grant Program to assist tenants and landlords with past due rental payments and establishes the early resolution program to facilitate resolution of nonpayment of rent cases. Additionally, it requires landlords to notify tenants of the early resolution program before filing any unlawful detainer action. The bill was heard on January 28th in the House Housing, Human Services & Veterans committee and scheduled for executive session on February 15th, but no action was taken and is considered dead.

Limiting rent increases

Sen Das introduced SB 5139, which prohibits any increases in rent or other charges for residential tenancies for the first 6 months after expiration of the eviction moratorium. It also limits rent increased for a 6-month period after the initial 6-month prohibition period to 3% points above the consumer price index and based on monthly rent as of March 1, 2020. The bill did not move out of committee before policy cutoff on February 15th and is considered dead.

Local Government option for funding essential housing programs

Sen. Lovelett introduced SSB 5012, and was amended in the Senate Housing & Local Government to allow local government to levy a special excise tax up to 10% on short-term rentals and use those revenues for operating and capital cost of affordable housing programs including homeless housing assistance, temporary shelters, and other related services. The bill has been referred to the Senate Ways & Means committee for further consideration.

Rep Ryu introduced SHB 1070, and was amended by the House Finance committee to expand the allowable portions of revenues from the 1/10 of 1% sales tax funding option for affordable housing to include acquiring affordable housing, facilities providing housing-related services, behavioral health-related facilities, or land for these purposes. It also clarifies that affordable housing includes emergency, transitional, and supportive housing. Additionally, it requires a county that seeks to acquire a facility using funds from the local sales and use tax to consult with the city in which the facility is located prior to acquisition and to ensure that at least 15% of the services provided in an acquired facility are provided for residents of that city. The bill has been referred to the House Rules committee for further consideration.

Rep Kloba has introduced HB 1035, which allows cities and counties to establish an affordable housing incentive program (AHIP) to preserve affordable housing within the city or within the unincorporated areas of the county. An AHIP may grant property tax exemptions to single-family, multifamily dwellings and manufactured or mobile homes lots for a period of 6 years with one 6-year renewal. The bill was heard on February 8th in the House Finance committee and scheduled for executive session, but no action was taken.

Multifamily tax exemption

Sen Das sponsored SB 5287 and was amended by the Senate Housing & Local Government committee to 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 12-year MFTE and the 20-year exemption for permanently affordable homes to all cities until December 31, 2024 if they meet certain density requirements. The bill was heard on February 19th and is scheduled for executive session on February 22nd in the Senate Ways & Means committee.

Prohibiting discrimination against prospective tenants for unpaid rent or eviction

Rep Morgan introduced HB 1441, which prohibits a landlord from discriminating against a prospective tenant based on unpaid rent or eviction that resulted from unpaid rent that accrued during an eviction moratorium. The bill was heard on February 9th and passed by the House Housing, Human Services & Veterans committee on February 11th. It has been referred to the House Rules committee for further consideration.

Reporting from the eviction resolution pilot program

Sen Kuderer sponsored SSB 5260 and it requires participating superior courts and dispute resolution centers in the eviction resolution pilot (ERP) program to report data on an annual basis to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and to report that data annually to the Legislature. The bill was heard on January 21st, amended and passed on February 3rd out of the Senate House & Local Government committee. The amended bill modifies reporting dates for both superior courts and the AOC under the ERP to align within the next fiscal biennium. It has been referred to Senate Rules for further consideration.

Revenue source for eviction prevention

Rep Ormsby and Sen Robinson introduced SHB 1277/SB 5279, 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. A summary of the changes made to HB 1277 by the House Housing, Human Services & Veterans committee can be found here. It has been referred to House Appropriations for further consideration. The bill is considered necessary to implement the budget (NTIB) so is not subject to the cutoff calendar. SB 5279 has not been scheduled for a hearing.

Transit-oriented development

Sen Mullet sponsored SB 5312 and it provides that appropriations to the Growth Management Planning and Environmental Review Fund for the purpose of grants to cities to facilitate transit-oriented development may be used to pay for the costs associated with the preparation of SEPA environmental impact statements, planned action ordinances, subarea plans, costs associated with the utilization of other tools under SEPA, and the costs of local code adoption and implementation of such efforts. It requires the Department of Commerce to prioritize applications for grants to facilitate transit-oriented development that maximize density and transit access related policy objectives. The Senate passed the bill with a 44-3 vote count on February 16th and has been referred to the House Environment & Energy committee for further consideration.

Land Use

Climate response through updates to the comprehensive plans

Rep Duerr sponsored SHB 1099 and was amended by the House Environment & Energy committee to add a goal of climate change mitigation to the listed goals of the Growth Management Act. It adds climate change and resiliency element to the list of elements that certain counties and cities must adopt under the GMA. Additionally, the Department of Commerce in consultation with other state agencies to publish guidelines that specify a set of actions counties and cities have available to them to take related to greenhouse gas emissions reductions and vehicle miles traveled reductions. The bill was heard on February 16th in the House Appropriations committee. It is scheduled for executive session on February 22nd.

Efficiency in housing by streamlining approval of engineered plans

Sen Gildon introduced SB 5243, which provides that any building permit applications submitted with plans or specification signed by a professional engineer or architect must be deemed complete by the city or county building department. It allows the building department to review the application for general compliance with the zoning or other land use control ordinances in effect, but it may not impose substantial modifications or conditions on such submittals. The bill was heard in the Senate Housing & Local Government committee on January 26th. The bill did not move out of committee before policy cutoff on February 15th and is considered dead.

Emergency shelters and housing through local planning and development regulations

Rep Peterson sponsored SHB 1220 and was amended by the House Local Government committee. The bill 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, and racial disparate impacts in the housing element of the comprehensive plan. The was heard on February 17th, amended and passed by the House Appropriations committee on February 18th. The amended bill states cities are not precluded from implementing provisions to mitigate neighborhood or community impacts of specific facility types and specifies that emergency shelters are indoor emergency shelters. It will now be referred to House Rules for further consideration.

Planning under the GMA

Rep Duerr sponsored SHB 1241 and was amended by the House Local Government committee to increase the review and revision cycle for comprehensive plans and Shoreline Master Plan from 8 to 10 years. It requires cities and counties with a population of 7,500 or more, that have not experienced a specified recent population decline, to produce an annual work program for implementing the comprehensive plan.

Additionally, 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. The bill has been referred to the House Rules committee for further consideration.

Salmon recovery through revisions to the comprehensive plans

Rep Lekanoff introduced SHB 1117, and was amended by the House Environment & Energy committee to add 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. 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. The bill was heard on February 16th in the House Appropriations committee and is scheduled for executive session on February 22nd.

Revenue

Capital gains

Sen. Robinson introduced SSB 5096 was amended by the Senate Ways & Means committee to apply a 7% tax to profits from the sale of stocks and bonds, personal property and the sale of a business but only if those profits are in excess of $250,000 for both individuals and those who file jointly. Exemptions have been broadened to include the sale of a house, a family-owned small business, commercial real estate, retirement accounts, or agricultural and timber land. Any profits from stocks and bonds under $250,000 are also excluded, and the exemption for the sale of a family-owned small business was expanded to exempt the sale of any family-owned small business that grosses less than $6 million per year. The first $350 million of revenues received each year are deposited into the state Education Legacy Trust Account. The remainder is deposited into a new Taxpayer Relief Account. The capital gains tax would not take effect until the second year of the next biennium. The bill has been referred to the Senate Rules committee for further consideration.

Rep Senn sponsored a similar bill, HB 1496, and it imposes a 7% capital gains tax on the sale of real property and 9.9% rate on the sale of corporate stocks, bonds, and other high-end financial assets to fund the expansion and affordability of childcare. The bill exempts the first $200,000 in profit for single taxpayers and $400,000 for joint filers. It also exempts primary residences sold for $5 million or less; retirement accounts, including IRA and 401K retirement plans; livestock; and the sale of agricultural land and timber. Qualifying family-owned businesses grossing under $10 million annually are also exempt. The capital gains tax proposal also includes a credit for taxes paid through the Real Estate Excise Tax. For the first two years, 50% of the revenue is directed to the Fair Start for Kids Account created under HB 1213 and the balance goes to the State General Fund. After two years, the amount going to the Fair Start for Kids Account increases to 60%. The bill was heard on February 11th in the House Finance committee.

Covered Lives

Sen. Robinson introduced SB 5149, which would impose a tax on health insurance plans in Washington. Revenue collected under this proposal is deposited in the foundational public health services account. The bill is at the request of the Governor. SB 5149 was heard on January 27th, amended and passed by the Senate Health & Long-Term Care committee on February 12th. A summary of the changes to the amended bill can be found here. Among the changes made, the amendment set a maximum per member per month rate and total assessment to be collected for each fiscal year starting at $1.54 in fiscal year 2022 and increasing each year to $3.07 for fiscal year 2026 and beyond. It also removes limited health care services plans from the definition of covered lives. The bill has been referred to the Senate Ways & Means committee for further consideration.

Estate Tax

Rep Orwall sponsored HB 1465 and it changes the Washington estate tax, including increasing the exclusion amount, changing deductions, and making changes to the rates and rate structure. It creates the Equity in Housing Account to be funded by 10% of the estate tax revenues and can only be used to address homelessness, including foreclosure prevention, rental assistance, outreach engagement services, housing services, and behavioral health. The bill was heard on February 9th in the House Finance committee.

Sugary Beverage Tax

Sen Robinson introduced SB 5371, which provides funding for public health services and health equity initiatives through a statewide sweetened beverage tax. The bill imposes a tax on sugar sweetened beverages of $0.175 per fluid ounce, and then annually is adjusted to reflect the yearly increase of the consumer price index. Of the revenue collected, 60% must be deposited into a health equity account, and the remaining 40% must be deposited into the foundational public health services account. The bill establishes a community advisory board to make recommendations on the disbursement of funds in the health equity account. It is scheduled for a public hearing on February 22nd in the Senate Ways & Means committee.

Wealth Tax

Rep Frame and Sen Hunt introduced HB 1406/SB 5426, which improves the equity of Washington state's tax code by creating the Washington state wealth tax and taxing extraordinary financial intangible assets. The bill creates a state wealth tax by narrowing the existing tax preference that exempts all intangible property and assesses a modest one percent tax only on financial intangible assets, such as publicly traded options, futures contracts, and stocks and bonds. The first $1,000,000,000 of assessed value is exempt from the Washington state wealth tax. The bill uses revenue generated by the state wealth tax to offer credits against taxes paid disproportionately by low-income and middle-income families and small start-up and low-margin businesses. In addition, the bill invests the revenues generated by the tax to fund other critical services, such as education, childcare, public health, housing, and public safety. HB 1406 bill was heard on February 2nd in the House Finance committee. SB 5426 has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

Transportation

Electrification of transportation

Rep Macri and Sen Liias introduced HB 1204/SB 5256, which requires the Washington State Transportation Commission to adopt regulations on or before January 1, 2025, mandating that all model year 2030 or later passenger and light-duty vehicles registered in Washington be electric vehicles. It also prohibits the Department of Licensing from registering vehicles that are not in compliance with these regulations for model year 2030 or later passenger and light-duty vehicles. HB 1204 was heard on February 1st in the House Transportation committee. SB 5256 has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

Fare enforcement

Rep Fitzgibbon introduced HB 1301, which allows Sound Transit to establish an alternative fare enforcement system. It allows for the issuance of a notice of violation in addition to or as a replacement for the current civil infraction system. The bill was heard on February 8th, amended and passed by the House Transportation committee on February 19th. A summary of the changes made to the bill can be found here.

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 heard on January 26th in the Senate Transportation committee and is scheduled for executive session on February 22nd.

Payment plans for certain vehicle fees and taxes

Sen Nobles introduced SB 5448, which creates an optional payment plan to allow vehicle owners to make quarterly payments on their vehicle registration fees. The bill has been scheduled for a public hearing on February 18th in the Senate Transportation committee.

Transportation Revenue

Sen King unveiled an 8-year $10.1 billion revenue proposal on February 19th. It includes a $0.03 cent gas tax increase, increase in vehicle weight fees, transit and light rail surcharge, 2% increase in the bicycle sales and use tax, and shifting the motor vehicle sales and use tax from the operating budget to the transportation budget. His proposal predominately funds highway maintenance and preservation, culverts, and major highway projects such as the US 2 Trestle, Hood River Bridge, and I-5 Columbia River Bridge. Details about Sen King’s proposal can be found here.

More details about Sen Hobbs’ proposal are here:

Details about the Rep Fey’s proposal are here: http://leap.leg.wa.gov/leap/Budget/Detail/2021/htRevenueAndSpendingFramework1_19.pdf

Looking Ahead

Monday this week will include a final push to get bills passed out of their fiscal committee by the February 22nd house of origin fiscal cutoff. Focus will then shift to floor action where bills will be brought to the House and Senate floors for debate and vote. Bills have until March 9th to pass out of their house of origin.

Upcoming Dates:

  • February 22nd - House of Origin Fiscal Cutoff
  • March 9th - House of Origin Floor Cutoff
  • March 26th - Opposite House Policy Cutoff
  • April 2nd - Opposite House Fiscal Cutoff
  • April 11th - Opposite House Floor Cutoff
  • April 25th - Sine Die

Bellevue Chamber Bill Status Report

Bill # Abbrev. Title Short Description Status Sponsor
SHB 1073 Paid leave coverage Expanding coverage of the paid family and medical leave program. H Approps Berry

 

2SHB 1091 (SB 5231) Transportation fuel/carbon Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by

reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.

 

H Exec Action

 

Fitzgibbon

HB 1093 (SB 5091) Operating budget, 2nd supp. Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium second supplemental operating appropriations. H Approps Ormsby
HB 1094 (SB 5092) Operating budget 2021-

2023

Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations. H Approps Ormsby
 

 

 

 

SHB 1095

 

 

 

 

Emergency assistance/tax

Concerning the taxation of governmental financial assistance programs addressing the impacts of conditions giving rise to a gubernatorial or presidential emergency 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 for goods and services purchased by recipients of

such financial assistance.

 

 

 

 

Del to Gov

 

 

 

 

Walen

SHB 1097

(SB 5090)

Worker protections Increasing worker protections. H Exec Action Sells
HB 1098

(ESSB 5061)

Unemployment insurance  

Concerning unemployment insurance.

H Labor & Workpl  

Sells

HB 1135 (SB 5165) Transp. budget 2021-

2023

Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium. H

Transportation

Fey
HB 1136 (SB 5166) Supp. transportation budget Making 2019-2021 supplemental transportation appropriations. H

Transportation

Fey
HB 1137 Road maintenance/planning Elevating road maintenance and preservation in transportation planning. H

Transportation

McCaslin
2SHB 1151 Public assistance Bolstering economic recovery. H Rules R Leavitt
SHB 1157 (SSB 5390)  

Housing supply

Increasing housing supply through the growth

management act and housing density tax incentives for local governments.

 

H Finance

 

Bateman

 

HB 1188

 

B&O tax payment deferral

Providing a business and occupation tax payment deferral to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses in the state.  

H Finance

 

MacEwen

SHB 1189 (2SSB 5211) Tax increment financing Authorizing tax increment financing for local governments. H FINDPS Duerr
HB 1204 (SB 5256) Transp. electrification Concerning the electrification of transportation. H

Transportation

Macri
 

HB 1228

Landlord- tenant/COVID-19 Addressing residential landlord-tenant requirements in response to the COVID-19

public health emergency.

H Hous, Human Sv  

Barkis

SHB 1232 GMA/affordable

housing plans

Planning for affordable housing under the

growth management act.

H Rules R Barkis
SHB 1241 Growth management act

plans

Planning under the growth management act. H Rules R Duerr
HB 1243 Local infra. project

areas

Addressing local infrastructure project areas. H Finance Wicks
HB 1249 Transp. project tax

revenues

Concerning sales tax revenues of transportation

projects being used for transportation purposes

H Approps Orcutt

 

    with at least 70 percent being deposited into the

motor vehicle fund.

   
SHB 1277 (SB 5279)  

Housing/revenue source

Providing for an additional revenue source for

eviction prevention and housing stability services.

 

H Approps

 

Ormsby

 

HB 1300

Landlord damage claims Addressing documentation and processes governing landlords' claims for damage to residential premises.  

H Rules R

 

Thai

 

HB 1319

Washington recovery rebate Creating a Washington recovery rebate by temporarily expanding the working families' tax

exemption.

 

H Finance

 

Corry

HB 1321

(SB 5114)

Reopening/public health Concerning safely reopening Washington. H HC/Wellness MacEwen
SHB 1332

(SB 5402)

Property tax

deferral/COVID

Concerning property tax deferral during the

COVID-19 pandemic.

H FINDPS Sullivan
 

HB 1334

Appropriations/COVID- 19 Making appropriations to revive our economy

and accelerate a lasting recovery for Washington.

 

H Approps

 

Stokesbary

 

 

HB 1343

 

 

Unemployment ins./employers

Providing employer relief in unemployment insurance by relieving COVID-19-related benefit charges, providing contribution relief, making appropriations to rebuild the

unemployment trust fund and making clarifying changes.

 

 

H Labor & Workpl

 

 

Hoff

HB 1350 Limited equity coop. housing Providing a property tax exemption for limited equity cooperative housing. H Finance Bateman
 

 

 

HB 1358

 

 

 

State school levies

Providing property tax relief by reducing both parts of the state school levies based on an amount that approximates the fiscal impact of extraordinary growth in property values that exceeded the valuation growth assumptions of budget writers when part two of the state school

levy was enacted.

 

 

 

H Finance

 

 

 

Orcutt

 

 

HB 1367 (SB 5343)

 

 

 

Medicaid appropriations

Revising 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-19

pandemic.

 

 

 

Del to Gov

 

 

 

Ormsby

ESHB 1368 (SB 5344) Federal funding/COVID-19 Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through state actions supported by federal funding.  

Del to Gov

 

Ormsby

HB 1371 State property tax levies Eliminating the state property tax levies over four years. H Finance Sutherland
HB 1388 Motor vehicle sales Concerning motor vehicle sales. H

ConsPro&Bus

Kloba
HB 1389 Peer-to-peer vehicle sharing Concerning transportation. H

ConsPro&Bus

Corry
 

HB 1406 (SB 5426)

 

Wealth tax

Improving the equity of Washington state's tax code by creating the Washington state wealth tax and taxing extraordinary financial

intangible assets.

 

H Finance

 

Frame

 

HB 1433 Personal data rights

charter

Creating a charter of people's personal data

rights.

H Civil R &

Judi

Kloba
 

HB 1436

Regulations/health crises Encouraging economic recovery by reducing

regulatory burdens during declared public health crises.

H State Govt & T  

Walsh

 

HB 1441

Prospective tenants/COVID-19 Prohibiting discrimination against prospective tenants for unpaid rent or eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

H Rules R

 

Morgan

 

SHB 1460

 

Telecommunications access

Closing the digital divide by establishing excise taxes on telecommunications services to fund the expansion of the universal service programs

in Washington.

 

H Approps

 

Gregerson

 

 

HB 1465

 

 

Estate tax

Making the estate tax more progressive by exempting small estates, reducing estate taxes on medium estates, increasing the estate tax on larger estates, and addressing equity in

homeownership and homelessness.

 

 

H Finance

 

 

Orwall

HB 1482 Common

interest/foreclosure

Addressing foreclosure protections for

homeowners in common interest communities.

H 2nd Reading Walsh
SHB 1492

(SSB 5425)

Unempl. extended

benefits

Concerning extended benefits in the

unemployment insurance system.

H Rules R Sells
 

HB 1494

Antidisplacement/prop. tax Providing housing safety, security, and

protection for Washington families by creating the antidisplacement property tax exemption.

 

H Finance

 

Harris-Talley

 

HB 1496

 

High valued assets tax

Creating a more progressive tax system in Washington by enacting an excise tax on sales and extraordinary profits of high valued assets.  

H Finance

 

Senn

 

HB 1503

 

Alt. fuel vehicle tax ex.

Establishing an alternative fuel vehicle retail sales and use tax exemption for lower-income

individuals.

H

Transportation

 

Wylie

HB 1511 Surplus

property/housing

Defining affordable housing for purposes of

using surplus public property for public benefit.

H Hous,

Human Sv

Bergquist
 

 

HB 1513

 

 

Carbon emissions

Improving 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 & Energy

 

 

Lekanoff

SHB 1515 Security deposit waiver

fees

Concerning security deposit waiver fees. H Rules R Peterson
SHB 1521

(SB 5446)

Warehousing & manuf.

jobs

Supporting warehousing and manufacturing job

centers.

H FINDPS Entenman
 

HB 1522

 

Engineering services/B&O tax

Lowering the cost of state-funded transportation projects by eliminating business

and occupation tax pyramiding on engineering services.

 

H Finance

 

Barkis

HB 1523 Transp. benefit district tax Concerning renewal of the sales and use tax for transportation benefit districts. H

Transportation

Wylie
 

HB 1529

Toll revenues/debt service Modifying requirements in order to pay for debt service obligations when toll revenues are not

sufficient to cover legal obligations.

H

Transportation

 

Barkis

 

 

HB 1534

 

Carbon pollution tax

Establishing a carbon pollution tax that

recognizes the nature of energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries.

H Env & Energy  

Shewmake

HB 1535 Necessities/sales & use tax Exempting family and household necessities from the sales and use tax. H Finance Stokesbary
 

HJR 4204

 

Residential ex./property tax

Concerning a constitutional amendment providing for a residential real property exemption from property taxes levied for state

purposes.

 

H Finance

 

Harris-Talley

ESSB 5061

(HB 1098)

Unemployment

insurance

Concerning unemployment insurance. C 2 L 21 Keiser
2SSB 5062 Data Concerning the management, oversight, and use

of data.

S Rules 2 Carlyle
SB 5090

(SHB 1097)

Worker protections Increasing worker protections. S Labor,

Comm &

Keiser
SB 5091

(HB 1093)

Operating budget, 2nd

supp.

Making 2019-2021 fiscal biennium second

supplemental operating appropriations.

S Ways &

Means

Rolfes
SB 5092

(HB 1094)

Operating budget 2021-

2023

Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating

appropriations.

S Ways &

Means

Rolfes
SSB 5096 Capital gains tax Concerning an excise tax on gains from the sale

or exchange of certain capital assets.

S Rules 2 Robinson
SSB 5097 Paid leave coverage Expanding coverage of the paid family and

medical leave program.

S 2nd Reading Robinson
SB 5114

(HB 1321)

Reopening/public health Concerning safely reopening Washington. S State Govt &

E

Braun
SSB 5115 Health emergency/labor Establishing health emergency labor standards. S 2nd Reading Keiser
SB 5126 Climate commitment act Concerning the Washington climate commitment act. S Environment, E Carlyle
SSB 5130 Personnel files & discipline Concerning employee's rights concerning personnel files and disciplinary actions. S Rules 2 Kuderer
 

SB 5138

Financial instit./B&O tax Eliminating a business and occupation tax deduction for financial institutions to fund

affordable housing.

S Business, Fina  

Kuderer

SB 5139 Rent increases, limiting Limiting rent increases after expiration of the governor's eviction moratorium. S Housing & Loca Das
SSB 5141 Env. justice task force recs Implementing the recommendations of the environmental justice task force. S Ways & Means Saldaña
SSB 5152 Vehicle and driver data Enhancing data stewardship and privacy protections for vehicle and driver data. S Rules 2 Nguyen
 

 

SB 5156

 

Budget stabilization approps

Making expenditures from the budget stabilization account to address issues of homelessness, home security, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on small

businesses.

 

S Ways & Means

 

 

Rolfes

 

 

SSB 5160

 

 

Landlord-tenant relations

Addressing landlord-tenant relations by providing certain tenant protections during and after public health emergencies, providing for legal representation in eviction cases, and authorizing landlord access to state rental

assistance programs.

 

 

S Ways & Means

 

 

Kuderer

SB 5162 Unanticipated revenue Concerning unanticipated revenue. S Ways &

Means

Rolfes

 

SB 5165

(HB 1135)

Transp. budget 2021-

2023

Making transportation appropriations for the

2021-2023 fiscal biennium.

S

Transportation

Hobbs
SB 5166

(HB 1136)

Supp. transportation

budget

Making 2019-2021 supplemental transportation

appropriations.

S

Transportation

Hobbs
SB 5171 Unemployment

insurance

Providing unemployment insurance relief. S Ways &

Means

Wilson
2SSB 5214 Economic assistance

programs

Concerning economic assistance programs. S WMDP2S Nguyen
SB 5223 Motor vehicles sales tax

use

Dedicating the sales tax on motor vehicles to

highway uses.

S Ways &

Means

Fortunato
SB 5231

(2SHB 1091)

Transportation fuel/carbon Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by

reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.

S Environment, E  

Stanford

SB 5232 Toll revenue bonding Limiting bonding toll revenues on certain state highway facilities. S

Transportation

King
SSB 5235 Housing options & limits Increasing housing unit inventory by removing arbitrary limits on housing options. S 2nd Reading Liias
SB 5238 Creative economy work group Creating a Washington state creative economy work group. S Business, Fina Hasegawa
SB 5243 Engineered plan approval Creating efficiency in housing by streamlining approval of engineered plans. S Housing & Loca Gildon
 

 

SSB 5251

 

 

Tax and revenue laws

Modifying 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 providing

administrative efficiencies.

 

 

S 2nd Reading

 

 

Schoesler

SB 5256 (HB 1204) Transp. electrification Concerning the electrification of transportation. S Environment, E Liias
 

SSB 5269

Increased building capacity Including the value of increased residential building capacity in the property tax levy limit calculation. S Ways & Means  

Das

SB 5279 (SHB 1277)  

Housing/revenue source

Providing for an additional revenue source for eviction prevention and housing stability

services.

S Housing & Loca  

Robinson

 

SB 5282

Property value/emergency Concerning reduction in value of property as a

result of government restrictions imposed in response to a public health emergency.

S Ways & Means  

Dhingra

SSB 5287 Afford. housing incentives Concerning affordable housing incentives. S Ways & Means Das
SB 5314 GMA/standing & science Concerning standing and science under the growth management act. S Housing & Local Short
 

SSB 5333

 

Public works contracts/COVID

Concerning void and unenforceable clauses in construction contracts related to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic emergency

proclamations.

 

S Ways & Means

 

Holy

SB 5341 Local sales tax uses Increasing permissible uses of existing local

sales tax authority.

S Passed 3rd Wilson
 

SB 5343 (HB 1367)

 

 

Medicaid appropriations

Revising 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

 

S Ways & Means

 

 

Rolfes

 

    programs in response to the COVID-19

pandemic.

   
SB 5344

(ESHB 1368)

Federal funding/COVID-19 Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

through state actions supported by federal funding.

S Ways & Means  

Rolfes

SB 5351 Business interruption claims Concerning business interruption insurance claims. S Business, Fina Frockt
SB 5359 Motor vehicle sales tax Dedicating the state sales tax on motor vehicles to transportation improvements. S Ways & Means Braun
 

SB 5371

 

Sweetened beverage tax

Funding public health services and health equity initiatives through a statewide sweetened beverage tax. S Health & Long  

Robinson

SSB 5381 Fish passage project permits Addressing fish passage project permit streamlining. S TRANDPS Hobbs
SB 5387 (HB 1297) Working families tax exempt. Concerning working families tax exemption. S Human Svcs, Re Nguyen
SSB 5390 (SHB 1157)  

Housing supply

Increasing housing supply through the growth management act and housing density tax

incentives for local governments.

S Ways & Means  

Liias

 

SB 5398

Small businesses/excise tax Providing small business excise tax relief to

address the financial hardship caused by COVID-19.

S Ways & Means  

Wellman

SB 5402 (SHB 1332) Property tax deferral/COVID Concerning property tax deferral during the COVID-19 pandemic. S Ways & Means Mullet
 

SB 5422

Excise tax/aerospace, etc. Concerning excise tax reform to preserve aerospace and other manufacturing jobs in Washington. S Ways & Means  

Braun

SSB 5425 (SHB 1492) Unempl. extended benefits Concerning extended benefits in the unemployment insurance system. S Rules 2 Stanford
 

SB 5426 (HB 1406)

 

Wealth tax

Improving the equity of Washington state's tax code by creating the Washington state wealth tax and taxing extraordinary financial

intangible assets.

 

S Ways & Means

 

Hunt

SB 5444 Electric vehicles/per

mile

Implementing a per mile charge on electric and

hybrid vehicles.

S

Transportation

Saldaña
SB 5446

(SHB 1521)

Warehousing & manuf.

jobs

Supporting warehousing and manufacturing job

centers.

S Business,

Fina

Das
SB 5448 Vehicle fee/tax payment

plan

Concerning payment plans for certain vehicle

fees and taxes.

S

Transportation

Nobles
SB 5449 Motor vehicle sales tax Dedicating the state sales tax on motor vehicles

to transportation improvements.

S Ways &

Means

King
 

SB 5451

 

Operating budget

Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating

appropriations and 2019-2021 fiscal biennium second supplemental operating appropriations.

S Ways & Means  

Wilson

SB 5460 Autonomous vehicles Implementing recommendations of the autonomous vehicle work group. S

Transportation

Nguyen
SB 5463 Residential prop valuation Exempting a portion of the valuation of residential property from property taxation.   Wilson
SCR 8402 Emergency orders extension Extending certain gubernatorial orders issued in response to the COVID-19 state of emergency. H Spkr Signed Liias

 

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