March 10, 2014 
LEAD: Legislative Education, Advocacy & Direction
       Close to the Ledge
The Lobbyist's Report
2014 Session Ends Thursday, March 13 


The 2014 regular session will come to an end on Thursday, March 13. The legislators will keep themselves busy this week reviewing bills amended in the other chamber (deciding whether to concur or ask the other body to recede from their amendments).  At some point, they will vote on supplemental budgets; negotiations are ongoing and expected to conclude shortly. The only drama remaining is whether there will be a supplemental capital budget - rumors surfaced last week that the legislators could leave town without one.


This session will be remembered for what was not accomplished:they made no progress on a transportation revenue package; bills concerning vesting failed to get far; attempts to restore funding to the public works assistance account were unsuccessful; and bills related to deferred collection of impact fees died in the chambers of origin.   


Yet, there was a notable exception:  HB 1224, an act relating to allowing a county legislative authority to withdraw from voluntary planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA).Over the last seventeen years, similar bills were introduced and failed; it became a session tradition. This session, the counties and Futurewise came to an agreement that is contained in the latest version of HB 1224. The bill allows a county of certain population (Garfield, Pend Oreille, Ferry and Columbia) to opt out of the GMA if it is currently in compliance with certain requirements of the GMA.This authority sunsets on December 31, 2015.  The Department of Commerce must review the application to withdraw to determine whether the requirements are met.  The bill passed 75-19 in the House and 49-0 in the Senate.The bill still needs the concurrence of the House as it was amended in the Senate.  The Governor is expected to sign it.
The 2015 session starts January 12 - it's almost time to start preparing.

APA Washington Legislative Committee

APA Washington