2017 regular legislative session ends

2017 legislative session • April 23, 2017 

The Current -- 2017 legislative session

Letter from Leadership 

The Current 2017-18

Dear Friend: 

The 2017 regular legislative session ended today. Unfortunately, the Legislature did not finish all of its work. We expect the governor to call a 30-day special session soon.   

This is not the outcome anyone had hoped for and it has become all too common in Olympia. I was elected to office in 2002 and have now participated in more special sessions than regular sessions. I'm frustrated by this and I'm sure you are, too. State lawmakers can -- and must -- do better.

While this is a disappointing outcome, it's critical the Legislature roll up its sleeves, get to work, find common ground, and advance policies that are good for Washingtonians. This has happened in previous special sessions and I'm optimistic it can happen again. Step one will be to come up with a McCleary solution, which will clear the way to negotiate the rest of the 2017-19 operating budget and the bills necessary to implement it.

Beyond the operating and capital budgets, all bills come back to life in the special session and everything is on the table. Republicans will continue to push for various solutions, including a Hirst fix and reforms to Sound Transit 3. 

Now for the good news. There were several bipartisan accomplishments in the regular legislation session, including bills prime sponsored by House Republicans. You can learn more about some of these accomplishments below. 

Staying connected

The next edition of this e-mail update will arrive in your inbox when state lawmakers finally finish their work. I look forward to sharing good news with you then. In the meantime, please feel free to look back at previous editions, sign up for the Capitol Buzz and contact us if we can ever be of assistance. We appreciate your involvement in the legislative process.

In your service,

Rep. Dan Kristiansen
House Republican Leader
39th District
(360) 786-7967


While it's disappointing the Legislature is in yet another special session, state lawmakers were able to pass more than 300 bills in the regular legislative session that have been sent to the governor's desk. Here are a few accomplishments:  

  • No major tax increases. The House Democrats proposed nearly $8 billion in new tax increases, but never voted on their package. It included creating a new capital gains income tax, modifying our state's already onerous B&O tax, changing the real estate excise tax, and closing some tax exemptions. Not one Senate Democrat or Republican voted for these tax increases when they came to the Senate floor on Friday.
  • 2017-19 transportation budget. You can learn more about this budget here
  • Reforms to the Growth Management Act, including bills dealing with school siting (House Bill 1017), economic revitalization (Senate Bill 5790), on-site septic system inspections (House Bill 1503), and expanded land use for freight rail (House Bill 1504).
  • Regulatory fairness for small businesses (House Bill 1120). Learn more in this news release.
  • Teacher certification (House Bill 1654). Learn more in this news release.
  • Making a fourth DUI a felony (Senate Bill 5037). Learn more in this news release.   
  • Opioid treatment (House Bill 1427).

Bill signings

The governor has five days, not counting Sundays, to sign or veto bills. For bills transmitted to the governor within the last five days of session, the governor has 20 days after Sine Die, not counting Sundays, to sign or veto bills or they become law by default.

Absent a specific effective date, enacted bills signed by the governor become law 90 days following the end of session, sooner if they contain an emergency clause.

You can find more information about bill signings here.

Unfinished business

There is important unfinished business for the special session: 

  • 2017-19 operating budget, including a McCleary solution.
  • 2017-19 capital budget.
  • A Hirst solution | We need to fix the problems created by the Hirst decision, which has far-reaching, adverse effects on counties, land developers, and current and potential land owners. The Senate passed bipartisan Senate Bill 5239, which would take our state back to the point prior to the Hirst decision and put the onus back on the Department of Ecology to determine impairment. This measure died in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
  • Sound Transit 3 car-tab relief and reforms | We must provide meaningful relief for people in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties who are experiencing sticker shock from increased car-tab fees as a result of Sound Transit 3. Senate Bill 5893 would provide real reductions in car-tab fees, and Senate Bill 5001 would reform Sound Transit by making its board accountable to voters. Both of these measures passed the Senate.

    A contrast in Republican and Democratic approaches to Sound Transit can be found here.

Please visit our website to learn more about our legislative priorities.

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