Last Tuesday, all bills that had not passed their own legislative body (House or Senate) and moved on to the next stage were dead based on the Legislature’s self-imposed operating rules. This compacted legislative schedule hit our representatives hard as only a few of their bills moved forward. Here is where everyone stands.
In the House
Rep. Vincent Buys (R-42nd): 1 bill moved to the Senate, 1 resolution adopted. The bill that passed to the Senate (HB2405) allows the use of hemp seeds in livestock feed. The resolution, co-written by Rep. Jason Overstreet, honors commercial fishermen who have lost their lives at sea. You can read the text here.
Rep. Jason Overstreet (R-42nd): 0 bills moved to the Senate, 1 resolution adopted. All of Rep. Overstreet’s bills died in committee, but as mentioned above, he did get a resolution adopted. This would be his third straight year without getting any of his bills passed.
Rep. Kris Lytton (D-40th): 5 bills moved to the Senate. Lytton’s active bills include: one directing the state to track the educational progress of soldiers’ children (HB2166); legislation to allow community forest trust accounts (HB2126); a bill calling for an inventory of unused state land that could be converted to farm land (HB2306); an adjustment to the date the state superintendent needs to file his “challenged schools” report (HB2167) and a bill I missed in my earlier report that punishes fishing guides who turn a blind eye to illegal fishing (HB1896).
Rep. Jeff Morris (D-40th): 8 bills moved to the Senate. As befitting his seniority and position in the majority, Morris has shepherded several pieces of legislation into the Senate. His bill regulating drone use (HB2178) is alive, as is his bill clarifying disputes over telephone poll access (HB2175), and one promoting rural access to natural gas (HB2177). He has revived a bill from last year (HB1017) that creates minimum energy efficiency standards for a number of appliances (commercial refrigerators, hot water dispensers, etc) and it is now in the Senate, as is his bill to add $5 to your car tabs to pay for a new ferry (HB1129).
His bill to eliminate the Economic Development Commission (HB2029) has been expanded to remove several other small boards and programs (Innovate Washington, Innovation Research Teams, Microenterprise Development Program, etc) and the companion bill to create a new energy jobs commission (HB2183) is still rolling forward. His work to create steady funding for our state tourism board is also moving forward (HB2229)
In the Senate
Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-42nd): 5 bills moved to the House. One of Ericksen’s top priorities is to support nuclear power in Washington. His bill requiring a study of the impacts of nuclear power (SB5991) as well as a legal boost to farmers who implement a micro-irrigation system (SB5199) are now in House committees for consideration. His bill requiring municipalities to establish a used oil recycling program (SB6501) and a joint legislative effort with Sen. Ranker to change license plate requirements (SB5785) are also now being considered by the House. Finally, a bill regulating bonds on public projects has moved forward (SB6110).
Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-40th): 1 bill moved to the House. With his expanded leadership role, Ranker’s legislative efforts have been reduced this year but he did manage to pass one bill over to the House, legislation establishing a farmer internship program (SB5123).
Given the legislative success to date of Lytton, Morris and Ericksen, the benefits of being in the majority are clear. However, given the party split between the House and Senate, the crucial test will be how many of these bills survive to see the governor’s desk. Stay tuned for more legislative coverage as the capitol slowly disintegrates into mass pandemonium in the final weeks of session.