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First Cutoff Deadline Today

February 15, 2021

Hey hey hey – today is the first major deadline in the 2021 legislative session…which indicates that time still indeed exists. Policy Committee Cutoff means policy bills or any bills not considered “necessary to implement the budget (NTIB)” need to pass out of policy committees in their house of origin by today.

Fiscal Committee Cutoff is next Monday, Feb. 22 – and means generally the same thing. Bills that don’t clear these hurdles are considered dead – buuuut, dead is all relative and nearly any bill or policy can become NTIB, especially if necessary to PASS the budget. Nonetheless, today’s cutoff serves to cull the field.

Bad bills still alive

A few bills we continue to work and oppose that have made it out of their policy committees:

HB 1084: This bill would allow local governments to adopt a stretch or reach energy code with higher requirements than that of the already expensive and impractical Washington State Energy Code. HB 1084 also requires a transition from utilizing natural gas to electrification. This bill has yet to be scheduled for a hearing in a fiscal committee, but we anticipate that it will be heard.

SHB 1099: This bill adds climate change as a goal of GMA and incorporates climate change, vehicle miles traveled, and greenhouse gas reduction targets into GMA elements like transportation and capital facilities planning. This bill would serve to further limit rural development. This bill will be heard in House Appropriations on Tuesday at 1:30 pm.  Sign in OPPOSED here

SHB 1117: This bill adds salmon recovery to the goals of GMA and adds a net ecological gain standard into GMA planning goals. While it attempts not to have this standard applied to individual projects by applying this standard to planning, development regulations, and public projects (which would include public infrastructure), it will absolutely raise costs, increase project timelines, and lead to more permit denials. This bill will be heard in House Appropriations on Tuesday at 1:30 pm. Sign in OPPOSED here

A few good news notes:

HB 1233, SB 5268, and SB 5275 – all dealing with rural development – have made it out of their policy committees and are what is known as “works in progress.” BIAW is encouraged that the House and Senate committees are acknowledging that work around limited areas of more intensive rural development (LAMIRD) need some flexibility for rural communities.

At the time of publication, we still don’t know all the bills “dead or alive,” as the day is not over yet, we will continue to keep you updated and informed throughout the session.

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