The following article was compiled by the Lens staff.
Each week, the Lens staff puts together a compilation of bills important to the business community and their movement through the legislature. Tuesday, April 4 marked the fiscal cutoff date for legislation to pass committee in the opposite chamber.
SB 5239 (Warnick) would allow counties and cities to once again rely on Department of Ecology guidelines for satisfying Growth Management Act water quality requirements. Read More. Although the bill did not receive a committee vote before the March 29 deadline, lawmakers are continuing negotiations to pull it to the House floor before session ends.
Streamlining Physician Licensing
HB 1337 (Riccelli) would require Washington to join 18 other states in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. Read More. Under the agreement, physicians moving from one member state to another could apply for expedited licensing. On Wednesday, April 5, the amended bill passed the Senate floor and now must be approved by the House before being sent to Governor Jay Inslee’s desk for approval.
HB 1489 (Kretz) which seeks to increase the number of private contractors the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can enlist during wildfire season. Read More. As of Thursday, April 6, the bill has received unanimous support in both the state House and Senate and is now awaiting Governor Inslee’s signature.
HB 1711 (Kretz) would have DNR prioritize forestland for treatment within a six and 20-year period, then create restoration plan. The bill would create an account for money derived from the sales of timber from those treatments to recuperate costs. Read More. It passed out of the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Tuesday, April 4 and placed on second reading by the Rules Committee.
SB 5546 (Hawkins) calls for the creation of a forest health treatment plan; DNR would set up a Forest Health Advisory Committee to assist them in prioritizing forestland and a restoration plan. Read More. It passed out of the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday, April 4 and has been referred to the Rules Committee.
New Tax Proposals
HB 2186 (Lytton) would restructure the state’s business and occupation tax system, enact a capital gains income tax, and remove certain employer tax incentives. Read More. It received a “do pass” recommendation from the House Finance Committee Tuesday, April 4 after a public hearing the day prior, and has been referred to Rules.
Extending Tax Incentives
SB 5916 (Rivers) would extend business and occupation tax and sales and use tax incentives for semiconductor manufacturers. Read More. It passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee Tuesday, April 4 after a public hearing that day and has been placed on second reading by the Rules Committee.
Attracting Manufacturers To Washington
SB 5642 (Brown) would make permanent a Washington tax deferral program for two manufacturing projects per year. Read More. The money gathered would then be reinvested into job training programs and apprenticeships in related fields. The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved the measure on Monday, April 3, and sent it to Rules.
Snake River Dams
SJM 8004 (Sheldon) calls on President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Congress, the federal Bureau of Reclamation, and the Army Corps of Engineers to “take any and all action within your authority to prevent the breaching of any dam in the Columbia River system.” Read More. It has passed in the Senate but is not expected to receive a House floor vote.
This article is part of a weekly series. Read last week’s update here.