With a shortened session (60 days) Washington lawmakers will be working quickly on key issues for 2020. (See the shortened schedule below). Here are a few of the bills we are watching closely:

Expansion of the 2019 Legislation HB 1923.   Legislation is being developed to include additional types of local housing supply ordinances, extend the deadline for cities to take action under the law, and extend the time period for the SEPA and Growth Board appeals exemptions in the law.

Extension of the Multi-Family Tax Exemption.  The Multi-Family Tax Exemption has been used in a number of cities to provide property tax exemption for new buildings.  However, this tax exemption will expire unless extended by the Legislature.   We included a variant of this bill in our 2018 Buildable Lands legislation (SB 5254), and there is increased support for extending this program in 2020.

Dual Agency & Independent Contractor Status.  In recent sessions, legislation would have modified or eliminated both independent contractor status and dual agency authority.  REALTORS® have succeeded in stopping or modifying these bills, and we think raising these issues on Hill Day provides the final push to stop this legislation for the foreseeable future.

Rent Control/Rent Caps.  REALTORS® will be part of the real estate community effort to oppose legislation authorizing rent control or rental caps at the local government level.

Septic System Point of Sale Legislation.  Over the past 3 years, REALTORS® have participated in the Washington Department of Health’s On-Site Sewage Rulemaking Advisory Committee.    One of the primary issues in the rule is the use of point of sale septic system inspections.

We are also watching closely for potential legislation to surface in these areas:

Here is the legislative calendar of note

January 13 –                   First Day of Session

January 22 –                   Legislative Steering Committee meeting – Olympia

January 23 –                   REALTORS® 2020 Hill Day

February 7 –                   Policy Committee Cutoff

February 11 –                Fiscal Committee Cutoff

February 19 –                House of Origin Cutoff

(?) February 20 –          Legislative Steering Committee meeting – Olympia

February 28 –                Policy Committee Cutoff

March 2 –                         Fiscal Committee Cutoff

(?) March 4 –                  Legislative Steering Committee meeting – Olympia

March 6 –                         Opposite House Cutoff

March 12 –                      Sine Die