Sine Die 2023

The Washington State Legislature finished its business on time, with the Sine Die gavel dropping at 10:04 pm on Sunday, April 23. Democrats, emboldened by November election results and a large majority, focused their efforts on gun violence prevention, housing and homelessness, workforce issues, police pursuit, and abortion.

One significant bill that did not pass this session was SB 5536 (Robinson, D-38), the conference-negotiated compromise on drug possession. The conference bill was brought up in the House Sunday evening and failed, with many progressive Democrats joining Republicans in opposition. It remains to be seen whether Governor Inslee will call the Legislature back into a special session to deal with it or if the 2021 “Blake fix” will be allowed to expire in July, allowing local jurisdictions to put together a patchwork approach to drugs in the State of Washington.

The Legislature also passed operating, capital and transportation budgets for the 2023-25 biennium. Budget details can be found through the following links:

Below is a list of the bills that passed in the 2023 session. Other bills introduced but not passed will remain alive in 2024. Most of the bills still need the Governor’s consideration. He can veto or partially veto any of these bills. You can track his bill signings HERE.

Agriculture & Natural Resources Bills

5143 (Torres, R-15) – Changes the name of the Commission on Pesticide Registration to the Commission on Integrated Pest Management (Commission). Adds a representative of the United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 as a non voting member of the Commission.

5192 (Shewmake, D-42) – Authorizes administrative law judges employed by the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) to substitute for PCHB members in hearing certain appeals brought under the Derelict Vessel Removal Program.

5439 (Warnick, R-13) – Extends the current livestock identification fees, the Livestock Identification Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee), and the requirement that the Department of Agriculture report on the Livestock Identification Program (Program) to July 1, 2026. Requires the Advisory Committee to review the costs and operations of the Program. Eliminates the call-out fee for an inspection done by a certified veterinarian or field livestock inspector. Changes the due date for the annual report on the Program from September 1 to November 1.

1792 (Timmons, D-42) – Prescribes certain timelines in any general water rights adjudication filed in Water Resource Inventory Area 1 after June 1, 2023.

5390 (Shewmake, D-42) – Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to enter into and administer a programmatic safe harbor agreement for the northern spotted owl for any forestland owner. Authorizes the Forest Practices Board to adopt or amend rules as necessary to implement the programmatic safe harbor agreement.

5341 (Muzzall, R-10) – Requires the Department of Agriculture to convene an advisory committee to identify the appropriate scope and nature of a voluntary location-based program to promote local food and agricultural products. Repeals the From the Heart of Washington Program.

5353 (Wagoner, R-39) – Removes the date by which counties must have elected to join the Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP). Provides that a county electing to join the VSP is eligible for a share of funding made available to implement the program, subject to funding availability from the state. Establishes that a county electing to join the VSP is not required to implement the program in a participating watershed until adequate funding for the program in that watershed is provided to the county.

5433 (Muzzall, R-10) – Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to purchase or otherwise acquire lands and facilities related to derelict aquatic structures, and to remove, refurbish, or dispose of derelict aquatic structures. Requires the DNR to submit all derelict aquatic structure removal projects to a mitigation credits program in order to generate conservation credits, and requires any payments received for the sale of credits to be deposited into the Derelict Structure Removal Account created in the bill. Creates the Derelict Structure Removal Account. Directs the DNR to establish a grant program for lessees of state-owned aquatic land who need financial assistance to comply with the DNR’s habitat stewardship measures for the construction and maintenance of aquatic structures. Authorizes the DNR to acquire aquatic structures that do not meet the definition of derelict aquatic structures, but that could provide habitat benefits or amenities for the local community if the structure was refurbished or repurposed.

1019 (Dent, R-13) – Creates the Pesticide Advisory Board to advise the Washington State Department of Agriculture on certain issues relating to the use and application of pesticides.

1322 (Rude, R-16) – Requires the Walla Walla Water 2050 Plan to be used as an integrated water resource strategy through a coordinated effort between the states of Washington and Oregon, affected federally recognized tribes, affected federal, state, and local agencies, and other stakeholders. Directs the Department of Ecology (Ecology) to evaluate the development of a bistate legal regulatory framework for the allocation of developed water resources in collaboration with the State of Oregon. Exempts applications for water rights implementing the Walla Walla Water 2050 Plan from the required one-third and two-thirds allocation of water resources between instream and out-of-stream uses established for new water supplies developed in the Columbia River Basin. Requires that water supplies developed under the act be apportioned between Oregon and Washington consistent with any written agreements entered into with the State of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Authorizes Ecology to designate water supplies developed under the act for instream flow purposes and be placed into the trust water rights program. Requires that, in financing projects to implement the Walla Walla Water 2050 Plan, at least half of the total costs must be funded through federal, private, and nonstate sources.

5330 (Torres, R-15) – Allows the Director of the Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to suspend or revoke a pesticide license or certification based on a license or certification from another jurisdiction when notified that the person’s original certification was terminated under certain circumstances. Requires applicants for certain applicator licenses to be at least 18 years old on the date the application is submitted, rather than 16 years old. Requires the WSDA to adopt by rule standards for pesticide applications made by non certified applicators of restricted use pesticides under the direct supervision of a certified applicator.

1138 (Chapman, D-24) – Provides that projects funded by grants issued to address drought conditions no longer need to be completed while a drought emergency order is in effect. Changes the name of the Drought Preparedness and Response Account to the Drought Preparedness Account. Establishes the Emergency Drought Response Account. Directs the state treasurer, upon the issuance of a drought emergency order, to transfer to the Emergency Drought Response Account the amount needed to bring the balance of the account to up to $3 million. Allows the Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Water Supply During Drought to convene the committee when a drought advisory is in effect.

1460 (Hackney, D-11) – Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to create and manage a trust land transfer program to transfer economically under-performing state lands to other purposes, and acquire replacement property to provide sustainable revenue to trust beneficiaries.

1498 (Dye, R-9) – Directs the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to prepare and submit an appendix on aviation usage by local fire departments for initial attack as a part of its annual wildfire report. Requires DNR to consult with the State Fire Defense Committee, fire service representatives, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office annually to review aviation program performance and determine aviation needs for the following fire year. Directs DNR to use wildfire suppression funding to assist local fire departments with aerial fire response capabilities during the initial attack phase of fighting a wildland fire, subject to certain specified requirements. Requires DNR to convene a work group composed of wildfire aviation subject matter experts, wildfire aviation contractors, fire service representatives, wildland fire management staff, and other partners to evaluate and provide findings regarding the costs and benefits of a state certification program for aircraft and pilots used in wildfire suppression.

1500 (Eslick, R-39) – Increases the cap on annual gross sales for cottage food operations. Directs the Department of Agriculture to review and increase the cap on annual gross sales every four years. Requires cottage food permits to be renewed every two years instead of annually.

1552 (Reeves, D-30) – Directs the State Conservation Commission (Commission) to conduct a study of urban agricultural opportunities and barriers in the state. Establishes required elements of the study, including how urban agriculture can provide economic development, food access, and education opportunities in local communities. Requires the Commission to submit the report to the Legislature by June 30, 2024.

1753 (Bronoske, D-28) – Provides that notice of intent to obtain custody of a derelict vessel must be mailed 10 days, rather than 20 days, prior to taking custody of the derelict vessel. Provides that notice of intent to obtain custody of a derelict vessel must be posted on the vessel 15 days, rather than 30 days, prior to taking custody of the derelict vessel. Provides that notice of intent to obtain custody of a derelict vessel no longer needs to be published in a newspaper prior to taking custody of the derelict vessel.

1758 (Mena, D-29) – Exempts certain projects and activities undertaken by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, a federally recognized Indian tribe, a public utility district, or a municipal utility to maintain fish hatcheries from Shoreline Management Act permits, variances, and local government review.

1775 (Lekanoff, D-40) – Provides that a Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group performing certain habitat restoration activities may not be held civilly liable for any property damages resulting from the project, unless the damage is due to acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

1578 (Springer, D-45) – Requires the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to complete decadal assessments of areas at significant risk of wildfire, beginning with the decade between July 1, 2027, and July 1, 2037. Requires DNR to cooperate with and provide support to various local entities to develop public safety evacuation strategies for incorporation into local emergency response plans. Requires DNR to take certain actions to expand its community resilience programming within the wildland urban interface in areas of Western Washington where DNR determines that risk of wildfires and smoke exposure exist. Requires DNR to implement a Post-Wildfire Debris Flow Program by July 1, 2028, and establish a structure for a state-sponsored burned area emergency stabilization and response team by December 30, 2027.

5104 (Salomon, D-32) – Directs the Department of Ecology (Ecology) to conduct a baseline survey of Puget Sound marine shorelines including creating a comprehensive on-the-water view of the shoreline by June 30, 2024. Tasks Ecology with updating marine surveys of Puget Sound shorelines on a regular two-year cycle.

5371 (Lovelett, D-40) – Increases the distance a vessel must maintain away from a southern resident orca from 400 yards to 1000 yards. Modifies commercial whale watching business license fees by removing fee structures for each vessel based on the number of passengers and eliminating certain other fees. Adds a paddle tour business license for businesses conducting paddle tours to view marine mammals for a fee. Increases penalties for violations of commercial whale watching rules and authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife to revoke licenses under certain circumstances.

5460 (Warnick, R-13) – Requires the Directors of an Irrigation and Rehabilitation District (district) to annually determine the amount of money necessary to carry on the rehabilitation operations of the district and classify the property in the district in proportion to the benefits to be derived from the rehabilitation operations of the district. Requires the district to provide notice of the proposed assessments and hold an equalization hearing.

Environment, Energy & Technology Bills

5518 (Boehnke, R-8) – Establishes the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee as a subcommittee of the Emergency Management Council to provide advice and recommendations that strengthen cybersecurity in both private and public sectors across all critical infrastructure sectors. Creates the Technology Services Board Security Subcommittee within the Technology Services Board to make various assessments and recommendations related to state cybersecurity policy, developing a shared notification system, and data breach training exercises. Expands the duties and powers of the Department of Commerce to include preparing and updating contingency plans for securing energy infrastructure against all physical and cybersecurity threats.

1032 (Dent, R-13) – Directs the Department of Natural Resources, in consultation with the Energy Resilience and Emergency Management Office, to contract with a consultant to recommend an electric utility wildfire mitigation plan (plan) format and identify a list of elements to be included in the plans by April 1, 2024. Requires each electric utility to review, revise, and adopt its plan by October 31, 2024, and every three years thereafter. Directs the Utility Wildland Fire Prevention Advisory Committee to meet at least twice a year; provide updates on required tasks; develop recommendations for strengthening state agency coordination of wildland fire risk reduction, prevention, and suppression; and host electric utility plans on its website.

1085 (Mena, D-29) – Prohibits the sale, distribution, and installation of certain expanded or extruded plastic foam overwater structures, and of expanded or extruded plastic foam blocks and floats used in overwater structures. Prohibits lodging establishments from providing personal health or beauty products in certain plastic containers or wrappers. Requires any construction in which a drinking fountain is required under the International Building Code to also require the provision of a bottle filling station for each required drinking fountain.

1329 (Mena, D-29) – Prohibits utilities and landlords from involuntarily terminating water or electric service to any residential user during days for which the National Weather Service has issued certain heat-related alerts. Requires electric and water utilities and landlords to promptly make a reasonable attempt to reconnect service to a dwelling upon receipt of a request to reconnect utility service for a day in which the National Weather Service has issued certain heat-related alerts. Authorizes electric and water utilities and landlords, in connection with a request to reconnect service for a day for which a heat alert has been issued, to require the residential user to enter into a payment plan prior to reconnecting service to the dwelling.

1033 (Walen, D-48) – Directs the Department of Ecology to convene a stakeholder advisory committee to make recommendations to the Legislature on the development of standards for the management of compostable products by composting and other organic materials management facilities.

1170 (Street, D-37) – Directs the Department of Ecology, in consultation and collaboration with multiple state agencies, to compile an updated Integrated Climate Change Response Strategy by September 30, 2024, and provide recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on a durable structure for coordinating and implementing the state’s strategy, including a process to prioritize and coordinate state agency funding for climate resilience.

1175 (Doglio, D-22) – Directs the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency (PLIA) to establish and administer a state financial assurance program (program) for owners and operators of petroleum underground storage tanks. Prescribes criteria for participation in the program. Establishes payment limits for remedial actions and for compensating third parties under the program. Authorizes PLIA to take specified actions in order to implement the program, including conducting remedial actions and adopting rules. Changes the rate of the Petroleum Products Tax from .15 percent to .30 percent.

1213 (Ybarra, R-13) – Eliminates the 2023 deadline for products subject to the labeling requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to also meet labeling requirements for non flushable, nonwoven disposable wipes, and instead institutes a process whereby a FIFRA regulated wipe must achieve compliance with labeling requirements by the later of 2025 or 24 months after a product receives label approval under FIFRA from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Clarifies that non flushable, nonwoven disposable wipes that were manufactured prior to July 1, 2022, may be sold so long as the product is labeled consistent with requirements.

1236 (Hackney, D-11) – Authorizes all public transit agencies to produce, distribute, use, or sell green electrolytic hydrogen and renewable hydrogen.

1416 (Doglio, D-22) – Modifies the affected market customer provisions of the Clean Energy Transformation Act to include customers of consumer-owned utilities as well as those from investor-owned utilities.

1047 (Mena, D-29) – Restricts the manufacture, sale, and distribution of cosmetic products containing certain chemicals or classes of chemicals, beginning January 1, 2025. Directs the Department of Ecology (Ecology) to perform a hazard assessment for chemicals in cosmetic products that can serve similar functions in cosmetic products to the restricted chemicals. Directs Ecology to implement initiatives to support small businesses that manufacture cosmetic products to obtain voluntary environmental health certifications and to support independent cosmetologists and small businesses that provide cosmetology services in efforts to transition to using safer cosmetic products.

1117 (Mosbrucker, R-14) – Extends the requirement for the Department of Commerce and the Utilities and Transportation Commission to convene the annual resource adequacy meetings from January 1, 2025, to January 1, 2031. Requires the 2023 resource adequacy meeting to address strategies to ensure power supply adequacy and avoid the risk of rolling blackouts, discuss how proposed electrification laws and regulations may require new state policy for resource adequacy, identify incentives to enhance and ensure resource adequacy and reliability, and invite Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to provide relevant analytics if their regional energy analytics capability is established. Adds PNNL to the list of stakeholders for the annual resource adequacy meetings.

1173 (Connors, R-8) – Requires new and existing utility-scale wind energy facilities to apply to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for installation of a light mitigating technology system that complies with FAA regulations by specified deadlines. Authorizes the Department of Ecology to enforce the light-mitigating technology system requirements.

1216 (Fitzgibbon, D-34) – Establishes an interagency clean energy siting coordinating council to improve siting and permitting of clean energy projects. Creates a designation for clean energy projects of statewide significance and a coordinated permitting process for clean energy projects. Amends State Environmental Policy Act processes for clean energy projects, including notification of an anticipated determination of significance and limiting environmental impact statement preparation to 24 months. Requires preparation of non project environmental impact statements for certain types of clean energy projects. Directs the Washington State University Energy Program to conduct a pumped storage siting process.

1390 (Ramel, D-40) – Requires owners of state campus district energy systems to develop a decarbonization plan by June 2024, and provide their final plan to the Department of Commerce (Commerce) for approval by June 2025, and every five years thereafter. Establishes an alternative compliance pathway to meet the State Energy Performance Standard for an owner of a state campus district energy system if the owner is implementing an approved decarbonization plan; meets benchmarking, energy management, and operations and maintenance planning requirements; and receives Commerce’s approval once every five years. Provides owners of non-state owned campus district energy systems the option to pursue the alternative compliance pathway.

1777 (Doglio, D-22) – Authorizes state agencies or school districts to independently enter into performance-based contracts for energy equipment and services under certain conditions. Authorizes state agencies, public school districts, public universities, and municipalities, acting independently or through the Department of Enterprise Services, to enter into energy as a service contracts.

1779 (Mosbrucker, R-14) – Establishes an interagency carbon monoxide workgroup to produce a report on current and recommended future state activities to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by December 1, 2024.

5144 (Stanford, D-1) – Requires producers of covered batteries and battery-containing products to participate in a stewardship organization that plans and provides for battery collection and end-of-life management, beginning January 1, 2027, for portable batteries and January 1, 2029, for medium format batteries. Directs the Department of Ecology to assess the opportunities and challenges of managing large format batteries, batteries contained in medical devices, and embedded batteries.

5165 (Nguyen, D-34) – Changes required transmission planning from a 10- to 20-year forecast under integrated resource plans. Requires transmission planners to consider conditional firm service for renewable energy projects. Requires a transmission project to seek certification from the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council if it is over 500,000 volts alternating current or 300,000 volts direct current, located in more than one county, and located in more than one electric utility’s service territory.

5287 (Wilson J, R-19) – Requires the Washington State University Extension Energy Program to conduct a study on the feasibility of recycling wind turbine blades installed in facilities in Washington that generate electricity for customers in Washington.

5369 (Billig, D-3) – Directs the Department of Ecology (Ecology) to petition the United States Environmental Protection Agency to reassess its regulations on allowable inadvertent polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in product manufacturing processes for the purpose of eliminating or reducing the presence of PCBs in consumer products. Requires Ecology to establish a restriction or prohibition on PCBcontaining paints and printing inks by June 1, 2025.

Source: Brynn Brady, Ceiba Consulting, Inc. |