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Washington State Legislature

  WABO Weekly Legislative Update
by Amy Brackenbury, WABO Lobbyist

2015 Legislative Session Begins

 The first week of the 105-day session was primarily filled with organization, introduction of new members and work sessions to get new members up to speed on key issues. Bill introductions are picking up as Committee Chairs start scheduling action on priority issues in the coming weeks.

Governor Inslee is proposing a Capital Gains Tax this year, and emphasized it heavily in his State of the State address on Tuesday. Washington is one of only a handful that does not have a capital gains tax. House Finance Chair Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) is also expected to have his own capital gains tax proposal this session.

However, by a majority vote in the State Senate, a rule was passed requiring two-thirds of Senators to vote in favor of any new taxes in order for them to pass the Senate. This will make it difficult for a new tax like capital gains to pass the Senate. However, discussions about this tax are expected to continue throughout the budget discussions because of the pressure for new revenue and perceived public support.

Key WABO Issues

Legislation to fund the Code Official Apprenticeship Program was introduced this week, sponsored by Representatives Dean Takko (D-Longview) and Mike Sells (D-Everett). House Bill 1387 has not yet been referred to committee. WABO representatives have been reaching out to interested parties, including builders, Realtors, and local governments, to gain support for the bill, which proposes to fund the COAP program with a two-dollar fee on all building permits. 

Bills to fund the State Building Code Council, move to a six year code cycle, and get building officials involved in lumber grading issues were also introduced this week, and WABO testified in the Senate Government Operations Committee about one bill - SB 5139 - which raised concerns about local preemption issues.

Upcoming Events:

Local Government (House) - HHR D, JLOB - 1/20 @ 10:00am

 HB 1153 - Public Hearing - Concerning lumber grading.

 Local Government (House) - HHR D, JLOB - 1/21 @ 8:00am

 HB 1234 - Public Hearing - Modifying certain building permit fees.

 Government Operations & State Security (Senate) - SHR 2, JACB - 1/22 @ 10:00am

 SB 5185 - Public Hearing - Creating a six-year time frame for substantial building code amendments.

 Local Government (House) - HHR D, JLOB - 1/22 @ 1:30pm

 HB 1158 - Public Hearing - Granting local governments the authority to make challenges related to growth management planning subject to direct review in superior court.

Bill Tracking and Summary List

 

Bill Details

Status

Sponsor

Priority

Position

HB 1011

Climate zones, counties in

H LGDP

Short

 

 Support

Assigning counties to two climate zones for purposes of the state building code.

Summary:
Updates certain statutes to be more reflective of modifications in the 2012 international energy conservation code.

HB 1123

Single-family res. buildings

H Comm Dev, Housi

Blake

 

 Monitor

Regulating the minimum dimensions of habitable spaces in single-family residential areas.

Summary:
Prohibits certain cities, towns, and counties from regulating or restricting the minimum dimensions of habitable spaces in single-family residential buildings, including but not limited to the minimum dimensions of floor or room area, unless the regulation is necessary for a fire, life safety, or environmental purpose.

HB 1153

Native lumber grading

H Local Govt

Blake

 

 Concerns/Monitor

Concerning lumber grading.

Summary:
Establishes the native lumber act. Requires the department of labor and industries, in collaboration with Washington State University, to create and administer the native lumber grading program to provide training for inspecting, grading, certifying, and stamping native lumber. Creates the native lumber grading program account.

HB 1158

Growth mgmt/sup court review

H Local Govt

Pike

 

 Monitor

Granting local governments the authority to make challenges related to growth management planning subject to direct review in superior court.

Summary:
Establishes the growth management reform act of 2015. Authorizes the legislative authorities of certain counties to adopt an ordinance of direct review providing the superior court with exclusive jurisdiction over petitions to which the county is a party and that would otherwise qualify for filing with the growth management hearings board. Expires December 31, 2025.

HB 1234
(SB 5183)

Building permit fees

H Local Govt

Senn

 

 Support

Modifying certain building permit fees.

Summary:
Increases building permit fees to fund the SBCC.

HB 1289

State energy code, adoption

H Tech & Econ De

Buys

 

 Monitor

Modifying the procedure for adoption and amendment of the Washington state energy code.

Summary:
Modifies state energy code provisions relating to adoption and amendment procedures.

HB 1291

Residential fire sprinklers

H Labor

Buys

 

 Monitor

Concerning credentialing requirements for the design and installation of residential fire protection sprinkler systems.

Summary:
Modifies fire sprinkler system contractor provisions relating to credentialing requirements for the design and installation of sprinkler systems.

HB 1310

National fire protection association and the state building code council

 

Takko

 

 Monitor

Concerning standards adopted by the national fire protection association and the state building code council.

HB 1387

Code Officials Training Trust

 

Takko

 WABO Priority

 SUPPORT

Supporting apprenticeship training for building officials.

Summary: WABO’s COAP funding legislation

SB 5139

Buildings 4 or more stories

S GovtOp&StSec

Roach

 

 Concerns

Concerning building code standards for certain buildings four or more stories high.

Summary:
Revises state building code provisions relating to buildings with four or more stories.

SB 5183
(HB 1234)

Building permit fees

S GovtOp&StSec

Keiser

 

 Support

Modifying certain building permit fees.

Summary:
Increases building permit fees to fund the SBCC.

SB 5185

Building code amendments

S GovtOp&StSec

Benton

 

 Monitor

Creating a six-year time frame for substantial building code amendments.

Summary:
Provides a six-year time frame for substantial building code amendments.

SB 5271

NFPA, bldg code council/stds

S GovtOp&StSec

Roach

 

 Monitor

Concerning standards adopted by the national fire protection association and the state building code council.

Summary:
Transfers certain duties from the chief of the Washington state patrol to the state building code council relating to smoke detection devices in dwelling units. Modifies alternative fuel source placard provisions. Transfers certain duties of the state fire protection board to the state building code council relating to above-ground used oil collection tanks.

 
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