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2024 Legislative Update: Week 4

Contract Lobbyist, Bellevue Chamber

Wednesday, January 31st marked the first cutoff of session where all bills had to move out of the policy committee in the chamber in which they were originally introduced – called the house of origin – or they are now considered dead. The exception for this is bills that are deemed ‘necessary to implement the budget’ (NTIB).

The next cutoff date – house of origin fiscal cutoff – is coming up very quickly on Monday, February 5th. By this date all bills referred to fiscal committees (Appropriations, Finance and Capital Budget Committees in the House and Ways & Means in the Senate, and both Transportation Committees) must pass out of committee or they will be considered dead. Because of the short turnaround between these two cutoffs, the House Appropriations and Senate Ways & Means Committees both convened for marathon of hearings all day on Saturday February 3rd. The House Appropriations Committee also held executive session to move some bills out of committee on Saturday. Both committees will hold long meetings on Monday where they will be focused on moving bills out of committee by end of day.

Once we get past Monday’s fiscal cutoff, the focus quickly shifts to floor action. Starting Tuesday, both chambers will convene for floor sessions where they will debate, potentially amend, and vote on bills that are pulled from rules. This will continue until house of origin floor cutoff on February 13th at 5pm.

In addition to all the flurry around committee cutoffs, this past week was also very intense on budget efforts. Normally a short session is focused on small budget tweaks, adjusting for changes in caseloads, and addressing emergent and urgent issues. The Senate deadline for turning in budget requests was last Friday and the House was on Monday. This meant the budget deadlines were hitting at the same time as policy cutoff. It was a very busy week forstaff, legislators, and lobbyists.

Next steps regarding the budget are that the economic revenue & forecast council releases the quarterly revenue forecast on February 14th. After that comes out, the House and Senate will knit up their budget proposals based on those numbers. We anticipate likely seeing the respective budget proposals the week of February 19th, but we don’t know that for sure until they are released. The legislature will then spend the remainder of session negotiating a final budget.

Upcoming Events Report

Finance (House) – HHR A and Virtual JLOB – 2/5 @ 8:00am
SHB 2308 – Exec Session – Concerning housing affordability tax incentives for existing structures.
SHB 2354 – Exec Session – Creating an option for impacted taxing districts to provide a portion of their new revenue to support any tax increment area proposed within their jurisdiction and clarifying that a tax increment area must be dissolved when all bond obligations are paid.

Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4 and Virtual JACB – 2/5 @ 10:00am
SB 6296 – Exec Session – Establishing a retail industry work group.
SSB 5838 – Exec Session – Establishing an artificial intelligence task force.
SB 6308 – Exec Session – Extending timelines for implementation of the 988 system.
SB 6242 – Exec Session – Concerning law enforcement training.
SB 6301 – Exec Session – Concerning basic law enforcement academy.
SB 5770 – Exec Session – Providing state and local property tax reform.
SSB 5118 – Exec Session – Modifying the multifamily property tax exemption to promote development of long-term affordable housing.
SSB 6175 – Exec Session – Concerning housing affordability tax incentives for existing structures.
SSB 6058 – Exec Session – Facilitating linkage of Washington’s carbon market with the California- Quebec carbon market.

Appropriations (House) – HHR A and Virtual JLOB – 2/5 @ 10:30am
SHB 2201 – Exec Session – Facilitating linkage of Washington’s carbon market with the California-Quebec carbon market.
HB 1877 – Exec Session – Improving the Washington state behavioral health system for better coordination and recognition with the Indian behavioral health system.
HB 1934 – Exec Session – Establishing an artificial intelligence task force.
HB 2270 – Exec Session – Creating a Washington state department of housing.
HB 2329 – Exec Session – Conducting a study of the insurance market for housing providers receiving housing trust fund resources.
HB 2474 – Exec Session – Concerning compliance with siting requirements for transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, indoor emergency shelters, and indoor emergency housing.
HB 1870 – Exec Session – Promoting economic development by increasing opportunities for local communities to secure federal funding.
HB 1956 – Exec Session – Addressing fentanyl and other substance use prevention education.
HB 2271 – Exec Session – Promoting access to information regarding the long-term services and supports trust program.
HB 1062 – Exec Session – Concerning deception by law enforcement officers during custodial interrogations.

Transportation (Senate) – SHR 1 and Virtual J.A. Cherberg – 2/5 @ 1:30pm
SB 6304 – Exec Session – Implementing certain recommendations of the transportation electrification strategy.
SB 6115 – Exec Session – Concerning speed safety camera systems.
SB 6277 – Exec Session – Creating a new statutory framework for the use of public-private partnerships for transportation projects.
SB 5383 – Exec Session – Concerning pedestrians crossing and moving along roadways.
SB 5959 – Exec Session – Concerning automated traffic safety cameras.