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Published on Friday, February 21, 2014

Status of bills as we reach another cutoff

February 18 was the cutoff for bills to pass out of their house of origin (i.e. House bills out of the House and Senate bills out of the Senate) and it was a busy day in both Houses.

Below is a quick summary on where things stand with the bills we have been reporting on in the environment, land use and housing arena. It’s important to note that there is no such thing as a truly dead bill until the legislature leaves town, but at this point it takes extraordinary measures to revive them.

Bills that died:

  • SHB 2186 – This bill would have provided an optional threshold/definition for “cost prohibitive” for cities to allow repair of certain septic systems rather than hookup to sewer.
  • HB 2677 – In a bit of a surprise, this bill requiring cities to offer the deferral of impact fee payments did not pass out of the House.
  • SB 2168 – This bill would have eliminated mandatory minimum room size and floor area coverage from the building code and preempted local governments from establishing their own minimums.

Bills still moving:

  • SB 6008 unfortunately was one of the last bills moved from the Senate less than an hour before the deadline. The bill to require in some cases punitive referendum and votes on any and all water sewer district assumptions by cities has now moved to the House Local Government Committee for a hearing on February 24 where we will continue to oppose it.
  • HB 2251 – This bill would establish a coordinated approach to fish passage barrier projects and encouraging state/local/private partnerships to tackle full stream systems rather than a scattershot approach. The bill now goes to the Senate Natural Resources Committee for a hearing on February 25.
  • HB 2368 – The bills to remove the sunset from the document recording fees that fund state and local homelessness programs. It is now scheduled for a hearing on February 25 in the Senate Financial Institutions and Housing Committee.
  • SHB 2724 – The bill creating an exemption to the public records act for certain archaeological and cultural resources information obtained by cities from a Native American tribe or the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation will be heard on February 27 in the Senate Government Operations Committee.