Legislative Session 2021

The Legislature is in full session and below is a list of high impact bills to watch and act on.  Please note not all bills have been endorsed by the ECC.

John Stafford gave a presentation on the legislative session at the March 18, 2021 meeting. His slides are here.

And John Stafford gave another presentation on April 28, 2021 summarizing the legislative session. Those slides are here.

Get the discussion going on these bills and other climate and environmental bills on our Facebook page and/or Facebook group.

Sign up for notifications from 350’s Civic Action Group or Climate at the Legislature.

  • Clean Fuels (HB 1091/SB 5231) – moved on to House Appropriations – Will help with air pollution and improve heath outcomes
  • Clean Cars 2030 (HB 1204/SB 5256) – Endorsed by ECC and WaDems
  • Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings (HB 1084/SB 5093) – passed out of committee – Legislation from our endorsed candidate Alex Ramel!
  • Growth Management Act Climate Element (HB 1099) – moved to Appropriations – Presented at ECC membership meeting
  • Growth Management Act Update Affordable Housing (HB 1220) – passed out of committee – Presented at ECC membership meeting
  • HEAL Act (SB 5141) – passed out of committee – Environmental Justice Focus
  • Washington Strong (HB 1513/SB 5373)—Endorsed by ECC and WaDems
  • Washington Climate Committment Act – Cap & Invest (SB 5126)
  • Providing for the recycling of wind turbine blades (SB 5174)—Opportunity for bipartisan action on climate!
  • Concerning grade seperated railway (HB 1304) —Legislation from our endorsed new Rep. David Hackney!
  • Reducing emissions from vehicles associated with on-demand transportation services (HB 1075) – moved to Appropriations –  Legislation form our endorsed new Rep. Liz Berry!
  • Salmon Recovery (HB 1117) – moved to Appropriations – Legislation from our endorsed Rep. Debra Lekanoff!
  • OPPOSE – HB 1298 – Weakens GMA and encourages sprawl!

Cut-off dates

House of Origin

  • Policy Committee – Feb. 15
  • Fiscal Committee – Feb. 22
  • Rules Committee
  • Floor – March 9

Second House

  • Policy Committee – March 26
  • Fiscal Committee – April 2
  • Rules Committee
  • Floor – April 11

How to Testify

With the remote session, you no longer have to show up in person in Olympia, you can give testimony remotely. If you know when the committee is meeting follow these steps:

  1. Click here to go to the Washington Legislature website.
  2. Select either the House or the Senate.
  3. Select the Committee, and the Meeting (by date/time).
  4. Select the agenda item (which bill you are testifying about).
  5. Select either “I would like to submit written testimony” OR “I would like to testify live during the hearing” OR “I would like my position noted for the legislative record”
  6. Fill out the form on the next page

We have heard that system compiles these into a form that is very easy for legislators and their aides to read through, so they can easily get feedback this way.You can see what a committee is doing by selecting it from this list, and then clicking on “Committee Schedules, Agendas and Documents”. That will tell you what the committee is going to discuss, and it has a link to view the proceedings and all related documents.

seattleclimate.org posts a list of committee meetings each week on environmental bills..

To see who is on each committee, or to get links for sending email to the entire committee, go to the Legislative Committee page.

Bill Process

Bills are added to the system and assigned a number. Leadership then assigns the bill to a committee. The bill is introduced to the committee and given a hearing, and must receive a majority vote to pass out of committee. Bills that either will require funding or have revenue implications are then passed to one of the Fiscal Committees. Again, there are hearings, and the bill must get a majority vote to continue. The next step is the Rules Committee, which basically serves as a gatekeeper for which bills get a floor vote. Many bills fail at this step, possibly because there simply isn’t enough time for a floor vote. After a positive floor vote, the bill passes to the second house (House Bills pass to the Senate, Senate Bills pass to the house), where it undergoes a similar process. Bills that pass both houses then must either be signed by the governor, vetoed, or allowed to become law without being signed. Vetoes require a two thirds vote in each house in order to override.

There are some types of bills that require more than a majority of votes in favor in order to pass. The list includes bills that incur state debt (requires three fifths), bills that amend a voter approved initiative within two years of passage (requires two thirds), and bills introduced in the last 10 days of a session (requires two thirds).