Puget Sound Partnership Legislative Update, January 14, 2017


January 14, 2016

The Puget Sound Partnership's Legislative Update highlights issues related to our region's work to protect and recover Puget Sound.

  • The 105-day 2017 regular Legislative Session runs from January 9 to April 23, 2017.
  • Puget Sound Legislative Updates are posted on the Partnership's website.
  • Find up-to-date legislative information online.
  • Watch or listen to hearings and work sessions online.
  • Connect with the Puget Sound Partnership for breaking news and other events affecting Puget Sound on Twitter @PSPartnership and Facebook.

If you have questions or concerns about the legislative priorities for the Puget Sound Partnership, please contact: Jeff Parsons, Legislative Policy Director, 360.999.3803.

65th Legislature: Settling in and rolling up sleeves

The 65th Legislature convened at noon January 9 with opening ceremonies. Legislative committee action began in earnest following Governor Inslee’s state of the state address on January 11. You can watch the address on TVW at http://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2017011032


Many of the standing committees that consider proposed legislation affecting Puget Sound recovery and protection are spending these first few weeks conducting work sessions to learn more about their committee-specific topics. Work sessions we attended this past week included those addressing:

  • The capital and operating budgets (House Appropriations and Capital Budget committees and Senate Ways & Means Committee)
  • Washington’s Wild Future Initiative (House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee)
  • Permitting of hydraulic projects (House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee)

Of particular interest to us next week are the following work sessions:

  • Update on Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) program funding and cleanup activities (House Environment Committee and Senate Energy and Environment & Telecommunications Committee). The MTCA program funds hazardous waste cleanup through a tax on the wholesale value of hazardous substances. Through MTCA, many contaminated sites in Puget Sound have been cleaned up that would otherwise have continued to leak toxins into Puget Sound. MTCA also provides for prevention of toxic pollution.
  • Briefing from the Recreational and Conservation Office on the State of the Salmon in Watersheds 2016 report (House Natural Resources & Parks Committee). The report summarizes the condition of salmon populations statewide, including those of Puget Sound.
  • Briefing on the legislatively mandated Water Infrastructure Report, a presentation of the Governor's Local Government Infrastructure Proposal, and an overview of local government infrastructure (House Local Government Committee). A significant portion of the polluted stormwater entering Puget Sound results from antiquated or inadequate stormwater infrastructure. One of the top legislative priorities of the Puget Sound Partnership is to support policies and laws that help to prevent such pollution.

Committee meetings are always open to the public and many are aired on TVW. Information about committee membership and meeting agendas is posted on the Washington State Legislature website

Public hearings on proposed legislation begin

Although work sessions are an important part of committee work during these first few weeks of legislative session, bills are also beginning to receive public hearings and move through committees. Several bills that could affect Puget Sound protection and recovery have been introduced. Our legislative interest statement guides our interests in proposed bills. Bills that we are closely monitoring include the following:


Salmon habitat

  • HB 1077. Establishing rules for motorized suction dredge mining in rivers and streams equal to other hydraulic projects by modifying a hydraulic project approval exemption.
  • HB 1106. Regulating water pollution discharges from motorized mineral prospecting activities.

Water quantity

  • SB 5002. Requiring certain water banks to replace leased water rights provided for mitigation with water rights that will be permanently available.
  • SB 5003. Clarifying the authority of the Department of Ecology regarding minimum flows.
  • SB 5005. Identifying certain water rights held by municipal water suppliers as water rights available for municipal water supply purposes.
  • SB 5010. Promoting water conservation by protecting certain water rights from relinquishment.

Resource protection

  • HB 1009. Clarifying that the authority to mitigate environmental impacts under the state environmental policy act applies only to significant adverse environmental impacts.
  • HB 1013. Reducing overlap between the state environmental policy act and other laws.
  • HB 1014. Establishing a peer review process to ensure robust economic analysis of department of ecology administrative rules.
  • HB 1086. Promoting the completion of environmental impact statements within 2 years.

Partnership requests legislation to help streamline Action Agenda and Biennial Science Work Plan

Nineteen members of the House of Representatives are co-sponsoring the Partnership’s agency request legislation that would reduce the frequency of updates to the Puget Sound Action Agenda Implementation Strategies and the Biennial Science Work Plan from once every two years to once every four years. The bill, HB 1121, will receive a public hearing next Thursday in the House Environment Committee. The main focus of the bill is to create a more efficient and cost-effective planning cycle that accommodates implementation of larger projects and programs more likely to influence progress toward the region’s recovery performance targets.

2017 Legislature sees turnover in 29 elected positions

The 2017 Legislative Session ushers in many new members to both the House and Senate. Here’s an overview.


District 1. Shelley Kloba (D) was elected to the seat previously held by Luis Moscoso, who ran unsuccessfully for District 1 Senator.

District 5. Paul Graves (R) was elected to the seat previously held by Chad Magendanz, who ran unsuccessfully for District 5 Senator.


District 6. Mike Volz (R) was elected to the seat previously held by Kevin Parker, who did not run for re-election.


District 12. Mike Steele (R) was elected to the seat previously held by Brad Hawkins, who ran successfully for District 12 Senator.


District 16. William (Bill) Jenkin (R) was elected to the seat previously held by Maureen Walsh, who ran successfully for District 16 Senator.


District 17. Vicki Kraft (R) was elected to the seat previously held by Lynda Wilson, who ran successfully for District 17 Senator.


District 19. Jim Walsh (R) was elected to the seat previously held by JD Rossetti (D), who was defeated in the primary by Teresa Purcell (D), who Walsh faced in the election.


District 22. Laurie Dolan (D) was elected to the seat previously held by Chris Reykdahl, who successfully ran for the nonpartisan position of Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction in the 2016 election.


District 22. Beth Doglio (D) was elected to the seat previously held by Sam Hunt, who was elected as District 22 Senator.


District 24. Mike Chapman (D) was elected to the seat previously held by Kevin Van De Wege, who was elected as District 24 Senator.


District 25. Joyce McDonald (R) was elected to the seat previously held by Hans Zeiger, who was elected as District 25 Senator.


District 30. Mike Pellicciotti (D) defeated incumbent Linda Kochmar (R).


District 30. Kristine Reeves (D) defeated incumbent Teri Hickel (R).


District 31. Morgan Irwin (R) was appointed to replace Phil Fortunato, who was appointed to replace Pam Roach in the Senate.


District 39. John Koster (R) was elected to the seat previously held by Elizabeth Scott, who did not seek re-election.


District 43. Nicole Macri (D) was elected to the seat previously held by Brady Walkinshaw, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Representative of the 7th Congressional District.


District 48. Vandanna Slatter (D) was appointed to replace Patty Kuderer, who moved to the Senate to fill the seat vacated by Cyrus Habib, elected to Lt. Governor.


District 49. Monica Jurado Stonier (D) was elected to the seat previously held by Jim Moeller, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Representative of the 3rd Congressional District.


District 1. Guy Palumbo (D) replaced Rosemary McAuliffe, who did not seek re-election.


District 12. Brad Hawkins (R) replaced Linda Evans Parlette, who did not seek re-election.


District 16. Maureen Walsh (R) replaced Mike Hewitt, who did not seek re-election.


District 17. Lynda Wilson (R) replaced Don Benton, who did not seek re-election.


District 22. Sam Hunt (D) replaced Karen Fraser who ran unsuccessfully for state Lieutenant Governor.


District 24. Kevin Van De Wege (D) replaced Jim Hargrove, who did not seek re-election.


District 25. Hans Zeiger (R) replaced Bruce Dammeier, who was elected to Pierce County Executive.


District 31. Phil Fortunato (R) was appointed in January to replace Pam Roach, who was elected to the Pierce County Council.


District 41. Lisa Wellman (D) defeated incumbent Steve Litzow.


District 37. Rebecca Saldana (D) was appointed this month to replace Pramila Jayapal, who was elected as U.S. Representative of the 7th Congressional District, a seat left vacant when Jim McDermott did not seek re-election.


District 48. Patty Kuderer (D) was appointed in January by the King County Council to replace Cyrus Habib, who was elected Lt. Governor.