The flood of legislation at the start of legislative session is now a trickle as the policy cut-off date draws near. This is the last week that new bills have a high likelihood of passage. The legislative tempo is rising to its first crescendo amid the flurry of getting bills over that February 15th legislative hurdle. However, all plans are subject to change at the whim of the legislature.

Of note this week is Senate Bill 5404 Addressing the impacts of pinnipeds on populations of threatened southern resident orca prey, which is already scheduled for a public hearing and a vote next week in the Senate Ag & Water Committee despite being introduced on Tuesday. SB 5411 Establishing a programmatic safe harbor agreement on forestlands for northern spotted owls is in the same boat, on the fast track to a vote out of committee. WACD is tracking other legislation, less for their immediate impact and more for the dialogue these bills will generate. HB 1478 which would allow federally recognized tribes to sponsor fish habitat enhancement projects, falls in that category.