Legislative Update Feb. 5th, 2023

This will be a busy week in the Washington Legislature as bills are being considered in each side in their respective Appropriations committees.

That’s because Monday, Feb. 13 is the last day for bills to pass their respective chambers. After the 13th, bills that have not passed the chamber in which they were originally introduced cannot be considered further in 2024. (But Never say Never)

 

Of key consideration to REALTORS®:

 

Rent control has died in the Senate, but remains active in the House (HB 2114), and is expected to see major rewrites.

Lot Splitting (HB 1245), This bill has passed the House and is now in the Senate’s Local Government, Land Use & Tribal Affairs Committee. The Senate bill appears to have stalled.

ADU’s in Rural Areas (HB2126/SB6029), This bill appears stalled, due in part from an ad campaign to fight this by Futurewise. The House version is set for a floor vote.

Transit Oriented Development (HB2160/SB5466), Supported by the Governor, the House version is still alive, while the Senate version has seen very little action this session.

 

Of additional bills concerning REALTORS®:

 

Reet 3 (HB2276), now the focus of an ad campaign against this by Washington REALTORS®, this bill would add a new “Property Transfer Tax of 1%”, to transactions over $2.5-million. Has passed out of committee, but WR believes this may not have the votes to pass.

Lifting the Property Tax Lid (SB5770) This bill would raise the lid on property tax caps. May be difficult to pass during an election year for many members.

Natural Gas Ban in new construction (HB1589), has not yet passed out of committee.

Creating a Department of Housing (HB2770) has passed out of committee.

Converting Office Buildings to Residential (HB2308/SB6175) This bill is of particular to Spokane. Has passed out of committee in the House, and out of the Senate.

Building Standards after Wildfires (HB1899) An important bill for victims of last year’s Spokane County wildfires, this would allow owners to rebuild under the standards that existed wen first built. Has passed out of committee.

Consumer Protections from Solicited Real Estate Deals (HB2274) has passed out of committee, but is now a measure to study the impacts of the practice.

Per mile automobile tax (SB 5574) This bill is dead

UGA Consistency with Infrastructure Availability (HB 2158) would expand urban growth area boundaries for residential development. A bill with bi-partisan support, this allows for expansion of the GMA boundaries in areas where development and growth have already occurred. Has received very little attention.

Permanently Eliminating Daylight Savings Time (SB 5795) Would permanently ban Daylight Savings Time in Washington State.  Has died in committee.

Bee Habitat in Mandatory Landscaping Areas (SB5934) Passed out of committee, this bill has been amended to say “local governments may encourage, but do NOT have to require, applicants for project or commercial-building permits to include pollinator-friendly plants in any landscaped area.”