Legislators approved 303 bills during the 60-day session that ended March 10. The action then turns to the governor's office where he has 20 days to sign or veto legislation. This week he wrapped up signing several dozen bills, including several at signing events with communities and legislators.
Some bills from the Legislature are intended for fun. On Monday, Inslee signed a bill sponsored by Rep. John Lovick establishing pickleball as the state's official sport. Inslee and Lovick were joined by dozens of pickleball enthusiasts on Bainbridge Island where the sport was invented in 1965.
Most bills, however, bills tackle serious and urgent issues, such as the bipartisan bill to deter theft of catalytic converters. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Cindy Ryu. Inslee also signed legislation requested by Attorney General Bob Ferguson and sponsored by Rep. Debra Lekanoff to create the nation's first alert system to help locate missing Indigenous people.
Among the dozens of other bills the governor signed last week:
- A bill sponsored by Rep. Liz Berry and promoted by firefighters that makes Washington the first state to phase out toxic PFAS "forever chemicals" in many common products by 2025.
- An anti-hazing bill known as the "Sam's Law" sponsored by Rep. Mari Leavitt that would require colleges and universities to do more to prevent and report incidents of hazing.
- Updated 2021-2023 capital and operating budgets that fund more shelters and services for people experiencing homelessness, help schools hire more nurses, counselors and psychologists, and continue expanding behavioral health services across the state and for youth.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed several climate and clean energy jobs bills tomorrow, along with the transformative Move Ahead Washington transportation package and the 2022 supplemental transportation budget. Thanks to passage of the governor's Climate Commitment Act last year, revenue from the state's landmark new cap-and-invest program allowed legislators to create a package that reinvests in a comprehensive range of low- and no-carbon transportation options. The package marks a turning point in how the state can build non-highway infrastructure into the future.
Collectively, the bills make significant steps toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation and buildings sectors. Transportation is the state's largest source of emissions, and the buildings sector is the second-largest and fastest-growing. The governor will also sign bills that address methane emissions. Methane is the second most potent greenhouse gas. In the afternoon signing, the governor will sign bills that enhance state efforts to site new clean energy facilities and attract, retain and grow clean energy jobs around the state.
The governor signed the following bills:
- SB 5772 which establishes the Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Buildings Act and expands the state's first-in-the-nation clean buildings policy to buildings over 20,000 square feet, including multi-family buildings.
- HB 1280 which ensures cleaner, more energy-efficient state buildings
- HB 1663 which will reduce methane emissions from large landfills
- HB 1799 which will reduce methane emissions by diverting organic material and food waste from being sent to landfills
- SB 5842 which makes updates to the Climate Commitment Act passed last year
- SB 5974 which is the revenue bill for the Move Ahead Washington transportation
- SB 5689 which is the supplemental 2021-23 transportation budget
- SB 5975 which is the project and spending bill for Move Ahead Washington
- HB 1812 which is the governor's request bill to modernize the energy facility site evaluation council to better support siting of clean energy projects in Washington state
- HB 1988 which is the governor's budget office's request bill providing certain tax deferrals for investment projects in clean technology manufacturing, clean alternative fuels production, and renewable energy storage.
- HB 1934 which strengthens Tribal exchange agreements the governor will sign bills that will provide more staff in schools to support students; more opportunities for outdoor learning; more language access; better student nutrition; better resilience for school buildings for earthquakes and tsunamis; stabilized enrollments; and more educators to fill open roles.
Inslee signed the following bills:
- SB5497 - Extending voting authority to student members on the state board of education (bill was signed on March 11 but the governor will recognize this bill).
- HB1664 - Concerning prototypical school formulas for physical, social, and emotional support in schools.
- HB2078 - Establishing the outdoor school for all program.
- HB1153 - Increasing language access in public schools.
- HB 1833 - Establishing an electronic option for the submission of household income information required for participation in school meals and programs.
- HB1699 - Permitting individuals retired from the public employees retirement system, the teachers retirement system, and the school employees retirement system additional opportunities to work for a school district for up to 1,040 hours per school year while in receipt of pension benefits until July 1, 2025.
- HB 1590 - Concerning enrollment stabilization funding to address enrollment declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- SSB 5933 - Establishing a school seismic safety grant program.
Bills Aimed at Reducing Gun Violence
Inslee signed the following bills:
- HB 1630, which restricts firearms in certain locations such as school board meetings, city council meetings, and election offices. This legislation will better ensure people feel safe and free from intimidation when trying to participate in civic activities.
- HB 1705 which addresses the alarming rise of untraceable homemade ghost guns in communities. The legislation allows hobbyists to continue making guns at home but requires the use of components with serial numbers.
- SB 5078 which bans large capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Such weapons are frequently used in mass shooting events. This bill was requested by AG Ferguson.
Humanitarian Aid Flight
from Seattle Highlights
Solidarity with Ukrainians
A cargo plane with $3.5 million in emergency medical supplies for Ukraine left Seattle-Tacoma International Airport earlier this week. Gov. Jay Inslee joined other regional leaders, Consul General of Ukraine in San Francisco Dmytro Kushneruk, and Ukrainian community leaders to watch the cargo being loaded.
The 32 tons of supplies that was sent was collected by Nova Ukraine, Ukrainian Stanford students, the Ukrainian Association of Washington State, and Ukrainian-American Cultural Association of Oregon and South Washington.
"Once again, Washingtonians are stepping up to serve as a beacon of hope and support in the fight for freedom and democracy," Inslee said. "The world has been inspired by the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people, and we are standing with them and taking action however we can to reinforce their efforts."
The cargo includes medical supplies targeted for hospital resupply in addition to materials for pre-hospital stabilization and treatment. Supplies include:
- Surgical supplies like surgical tools, sutures, drug eluting cardiac stents, vessel loops, sterile field equipment, etc.
- Emergency supplies like hemostatic agents, traction splints, chest tubes, laryngoscopes, ET tubes, etc.
- Medical machines like anesthesia machines, vital monitors, ECGs, etc.
- General hospital supplies like gauze/bandages, IV/arterial lines, sterile syringes/needles, etc.
- Pre-hospital treatment supplies to help civilians wounded during Russian attacks such as pre-made Individual First Aid Kits (IFAK), bulk tourniquets, QuikClot, sucking chest wound seals, gauze, and bandages.