The first legislative cutoff is Friday, 2/17/17, so policy bills have to be passed out of committee for further consideration. Policy bills referred to fiscal committees have another week for consideration. Many of the bills being tracked are scheduled for executive session and we’ll soon know if they are alive or dead for the session.
Infrastructure related bills were heard in the Senate last week and are scheduled for hearing this week in the House. The bills, HB 1051, HB 1324, HB 1392, HB 1677, HJR 4200, SB 5033, SB 5088, SB 5265, SB 5496, and SJR 8201, all address infrastructure financing in different ways.
HB 1324 and SB 5088 are Governor request legislation that gives the Housing Finance Authority the ability to finance local government infrastructure;
HB 1051 and SB 5033 both, in slightly different ways, set up a bond-pooling program out of the state treasurer’s office. They both require constitutional amendments (HJR 4200 and SJR 8201);
HB 1392 and SB 5265 simply approve funding for the latest Public Works Board project list;
HB 1677 and SB 5496 are AWC requested legislation that remakes the Public Works Board and makes changes to their programs, but still provides subsidized loans, along with technical assistance.
HB 1760, concerning off-site mitigation, is scheduled for hearing on 2/14 at 10 a.m. The bill makes a preference for removal of fish barriers for off-site mitigation on hydraulic projects. There are a number of bills that address hydraulic projects, and the goal is to include this bill, or something similar, as part of the final bill passage.
WSAC, along with the Association of Washington Cities, the Washington Forest Protection Association, and the Department of Fish & Wildlife hosted a work session on fish barrier removal priorities before members of the house transportation and capital budget committees. This is part of a continued effort to fund the fish barrier program request put together by the Fish Barrier Removal Board.
More information on bills being tracked can be found here. Please contact me if you have any questions on any legislation.