Posted by: sweeneyblog | February 4, 2014

Rep. Jeff Morris 2014 Legislative Agenda

Capital Beat

Weekly Legislative Coverage

If you asked Rep. Jeff Morris what his main legislative priority is this year, I would bet good money he would say green energy and infrastructure. If you asked him what he had for breakfast this morning, he would also say green energy and infrastructure. Out of the twenty-one bills he proposed this year, more than half deal with energy or infrastructure.

I’ve already covered some of his legislative efforts to extend natural gas access to rural communities (HB2177 and HB2101) in earlier articles. As with my articles on Rep. Buys’ and Rep. Overstreet’s legislative efforts, click the bill number to see the actual text of the legislation.

Electricity Infrastructure

Morris has proposed legislation to handle who has the authority over interstate power lines (HB1030) and two bills relating to the use of energy storage facilities and how they count toward annual goals of utilities (HB1289 and HB1296). He has also continued his work clarifying the procedures around how new energy facilities are sited (HB1374).

Renewable Energy

Morris has pushed a number of programs to expand access to renewable energy. He introduced a bill that would allow utilities to lease renewable energy systems (solar panels or wind turbines) to customers (HB2176). Similarly, he wants to extend the tax credits and clarify the requirements on community solar projects (HB1138).

Rep. Jeff Morris

Rep. Jeff Morris

Other Infrastructure and Energy Bills

In a bill clearly responding to a specific situation, Morris proposed a bill clarifying how energy companies can resolve disputes over access to telephone polls (HB2175). He proposed a tax on oil and gas production (HB1856) that would help fund parks, renewable energy and the cost of regulating the oil and gas industry. For our streets, he proposed a bill clarifying who maintains easements on private roads (HB1029) and for our waterways, he proposed raising your car tabs by five dollars to buy a new ferry since our current ones are falling apart (HB1129).

Privacy

Not all of Morris’ legislative efforts are related to energy or infrastructure, quite a few this year relate to privacy issues. He proposed two bills relating to the use of unmanned surveillance aircraft (aka drones). The first would severely limit the use of drones by private companies and citizens for spying on each other (HB2178) and forbid the government from spying on you on your private property without a warrant (HB2179). He also is striking back at social media sites by requiring online companies to allow you to delete your data from their site with minimal fuss (HB2180). Finally, he is sponsoring a Democratic version of the bill Rep. Buys is sponsoring about “revenge porn” (HB2250). I’ve looked at both and the main difference is Morris’ version seems to focus on online distribution while Buys’ version could apply to posters on a bathroom stall, but I’m not a legal expert so don’t start papering the inside of the state street bar men’s room yet.

Other

As always, there are a few bills that just don’t fit into other categories. Morris has proposed legislation to provide steady funding to our state tourism marketing efforts (HB2229). He wants to eliminate one state commission, the Economic Development Commission (HB2029) and set up a new one focusing on energy efficiency (HB2183). He wants to use a new method to evaluate our transportation system’s effectiveness (HB2667) and finally, he has a resolution recognizing Richard Riddell from Anacortes for winning an international town crier competition (HR4668).

Overall, an impressive spread of legislation showing Morris’ policy wonk side when it comes to energy issues. As always, you can call Rep. Morris’ office and share your thoughts about his legislation at (360) 786-7970.

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Responses

  1. Do you think these kinds of hobby quadcopters would fall under a drone bill? Some of them come with a camera but aren’t intended for spying. http://towerhobbies.com/products/promos/quadcopters.html

  2. Jeff Morris has never met a Green Energy Boondoggle that he didn’t support.

  3. An effective legislator, now made even better by the able assistance of Tara Almond.

  4. […] with my previous legislative profiles (Reps. Overstreet, Buys and Morris), click the bill number to get to the actual text of the […]

  5. […] with all my legislative agenda pieces (See Reps. Overstreet, Buys, Morris and Lytton here), remember to click the bill number to read the actual text of the […]

  6. […] a moose. As with my other legislative breakdowns (Sen. Ranker, Reps. Overstreet, Buys, Lytton and Morris), you can click on the bill number to see the actual text of the […]

  7. […] He also noted some collateral damage. One of his goals was no new tax breaks and this budget did not include a single new tax break, much to the exasperation of Rep. Jeff Morris, who sought to extend a tax break for solar companies this session. […]

  8. […] large pieces of legislation that pass both bodies. Out of the twenty-five bills proposed by Morris, covering everything from renewable energy credits to spying by corporations, eight were passed on to the Senate and four signed into […]

  9. […] Morris, the donations lean a bit more corporate, reflecting his long history of work on energy issues. Here are some of the […]

  10. […] are great. They propose a wide swath of legislation (take a look at Lytton’s record here and Morris’ here) with a deep interest in crafting effective and meaningful laws in their areas of expertise […]


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