CITY OF SEATTLE
2003 STATE LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN
MARCH 14, 2003 NUMBER 9
Regional Transportation Investment District
SB 5769, authorizing bond authority for the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID), passed the
Senate by a vote of 48-1. This is one of the four amendments recommended by the RTID Executive Board.
Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit)
HB 1963 revises the make-up of the Sound Transit Board. Each County Executive would appoint one member
from their county. The mayor from the largest city in each county, plus the mayor of any additional city with over
100,000 people, would appoint one member apiece. The Governor would appoint two members. The City
opposes this bill. This bill is on the House floor calendar.
SB 5537, requiring a vote on light rail and a redirection of resources, and SB 5538, requiring direct elections of
Sound Transit Board members, both passed out of Senate Highways & Transportation Committee and are in the
Rules Committee. The City opposes these bills. Both bills are on the Senate floor calendar.
Local Transportation Funding Options
HB 1735, providing a street utility service fee for street preservation, maintenance, rehabilitation and
reconstruction, passed out of the House Transportation Committee and is in Rules Committee.
SHB 1557 would allow all existing debt to be paid off, due to the ongoing collection of MVET, if the Monorail
Authority is dissolved by a vote of the people. It also allows the Monorail Authority to impose civil penalties if a
resident living in the monorail jurisdiction registers his/her vehicle outside of the jurisdiction. The civil penalty is
three times the MVET amount owed. Amendments added in committee were to include an 8-12 member citizen
oversight panel and that no debt (bonds) can be incurred until 30 days after the final EIS is complete. This bill is
on the House floor calendar.
Local Revenue Options
Local Taxing Authority
SB 5464, prohibiting the taxation of intellectual property through the local B&O authority effective January 1,
2004, passed the Senate by a vote of 37-12. SHB 1462, previously a companion bill to SB 5464, passed out of
the House Finance Committee and is in the Rules Committee. The City is opposed to SB 5464 and is neutral on
HB 2030 would enact a uniform local B&O tax across WA State including apportionment provisions that could
cost the City of Seattle roughly $15 million. This bill is on the House floor calendar. SB 5900 is in the Senate
Rules Committee. The City opposes these bills.
HB 1518, allowing multi-year levy lid lifts of up to six years, with voter approval, is in the House Rules Committee.
The City supports HB 1518.
HB 2098, the Tri-Association revenue package, will provide cities and counties additional authority to implement
utility, property and sales taxes. Any property or sales tax increase would have to be voter approved. This bill is
in the House Rules Committee. The City supports this bill.
HB 1756 and SB 5659 would allow counties, with fewer than 1 million people, to impose a voter approved sales
tax of up to 0.3%. Sixty percent of the revenue would be used by the county for regional services and the
reminder would be split by cities on a per capita basis. Cites and counties could also implement a voter approved
property tax increase of up to $0.30 per $1,000 assessed value. Both bills are in the Rules Committee.
Judgment Interest Rates
HB 1274, which would change the interest rate, when appealing a court decision, to four percent above the
Treasury bill rate, is in the Rules Committee. The City supports this bill.
Public Health Funding
SB 5920 authorizes a new state property tax, subject to voter approval in November 2003, at a maximum rate of
$0.25 per $1,000 of assessed value. The revenues generated from this tax are solely to maintain and improve
local public health services. This bill is part of the Tri-Association package. Although 5920 was not passed out of
the Ways & Means Committee, the issue is still in play because of the fiscal issues. The City supports these
HB 1667, clarifying and strengthening local governments land use and zoning authority over gaming activities
passed the House by a vote of 95-0. The City supports this bill.
Key Water Issues
Municipal Water Rights
Both the House and the Senate have passed very different municipal water rights legislation out of committee.
SHB 1338 defines municipal water supplier and municipal water supply purposes, clarifies place and purpose of
use for municipal utilities, expands beneficial use to include water used for environmental purposes and contains
water conservation obligations that utilities must meet based on past performance. We continue to work with the
chair of House Agriculture and Natural Resources on this bill and would like the bill to continue moving through
the process. This bill is on the House calendar.
SSB 5024 defines municipal water supplier, provides protection of municipal rights from relinquishment, and
requires the Department of Health (DOH) to conduct a conservation study. Both bills are on the floor calendars.
SHB 1336, a bill related to watershed planning, is on the House floor calendar. SSB 5027, also related to
watershed planning, passed the Senate by a vote of 30-19. There are also two replacement well bills moving
through the process. SHB 1337 is on the House floor calendar. SSB 5023 passed the Senate by a vote of 32-17.
Two separate fluoridation bills are moving through the Legislature. HB 1068 allows a local board of health to
authorize the fluoridation of a public water system only after an affirmative vote by the voters residing within the
area described in a board proposition of fluoridation. SB 5764 states that a group A water system not currently
adding fluoridation compounds to its water can add such compounds only upon an affirmative vote of the
system’s customers or the system’s elected local governing body. Both bills remain in the Rules Committee. We
oppose both of these bills.
The stormwater bills (HB 1689 and SB 5645) have now become bills to put together a stakeholder process for the
Phase II permit development. We will continue to work with other stakeholders as the bill works through the
Water Infrastructure Proposals
SB 5014 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Capital Budget Committee on March 20. This bill directs the
Public Works Board to create a new subaccount in the Public Works Assistance Account to fund local
government water storage and water systems projects. Its companion bill, HB 1533, passed the House by a vote
of 93-0 and has been referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
SHB 1734, which adopts the International Building Code, Residential Code, Mechanical Code and Fire Code and
the Uniform Plumbing Code, passed the House by a vote of 82-12. The City supports this bill.
HB 1805, changing the number of elected district court judges in King County from 26 to 21, passed the House by
a vote of 91-1. The City supports this bill.
SB 5500, allowing any city to operate a municipal court with one or more cities through an interlocal agreement, is
on the Senate floor calendar. The City supports this bill.
Early Termination of Rental Agreements
HB 1645 and SB 5524 allow victims of domestic violence to terminate a rental lease and would prohibit landlords
from refusing rental space because of a previous lease termination. HB 1645 passed the House by a vote of 94-
0. SB 5524 is in the Senate Rules Committee. The City supports these bills.
HB 1212 allows a simple majority to pass a school bond or levy. HJR 4203 would amend the Constitution to
allow a simple majority of voters to pass a school district bond measure. The current requirement is 60 percent
voter approval. Both pieces of legislation are in the House Rules Committee. The City supports these bills.
ESHB 1002 is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Natural Resources, Energy & Water Committee. Advocates of
the legislation are working to get a hearing on the bill in the Senate committee. The chair of the committee has
said that he will not hold a public hearing on this bill.
Tax Increment Financing
HB 1281, allowing a credit against the state sales and use tax to local government to help generate investment in
public infrastructure to support economic development and revitalization that would not otherwise occur, is in the
House Rules Committee. SB 5364 did not pass out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee. The City
supports HB 1281.
2SHB 1240 and 2SHB 1241, related to tax incentives for biodiesel fuels, both passed the House by a vote of 93-1
and have been referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee. ESHB 1242, establishing the use of biodiesel
fuel by state agencies, passed the House by a vote of 86-7. ESHB 1243, establishing the use of biodiesel fuels
for school transportation, passed the House by a vote of 81-12. ESHB 1242 and ESHB 1243 have been referred
to the Senate Natural Resources, Energy & Water Committee.
Elections and General Government
HB 1717 clarifies the way in which a landlord can charge a tenant separately for water and wastewater services
through apportionment of the bill and requires landlords, if asked, to provide copies of past bills. The bill passed
the House by a vote of 53-42. The bill was amended on the floor to include penalty language for non-compliance
with this act. The City supports this bill.
SSB 5185 passed out of the Senate by a vote of 25-24. The substitute bill requires public agency governing
bodies to adopt rules fixing the agenda requirements for meetings, including deadlines for posting agendas and
time allotted per agenda item. They must also adopt rules fixing the location for meetings, including meetings
involving more than one jurisdiction. This bill is much less prescriptive than the previous version. We will
continue to monitor to ensure that the bill is not adversely amended.
SHB 1390, allowing instant run-off voting, passed the House by a vote of 64-30. The substitute bill creates a five-
year pilot project conducted by the Secretary of State to study the use of instant runoff voting (IRV) as a local
option for nonpartisan offices in charter cities; requires a city charter amendment authorizing the use of IRV prior
to adoption of the method by the legislative body of a city; and includes amendatory provisions related to the IRV
The House Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing on HB 1316 for March 20. The bill passed House
Technology, Telecommunications & Energy Committee with only an intent section stating that it is the intent of the
Legislature to replace the existing public utility tax system, which is based on gross receipts, with a system based
on consumption and that it is the intent of the Legislature to provide a tax structure that is equitable for all types of
providers, irrespective of where the utility service originates.
HB 1005, creating a joint task force on long-term energy supply, passed the House by a vote of 93-0. The bill
creates a 13member task force, consisting of eight legislators and five members of the executive branch. The
task force will review and recommend revisions to the state energy strategy.
2SHB 2119 develops a voluntary greenhouse gas emissions registry with the goal of creating a framework for
emission trading programs. The bill is on the House floor calendar. The City supports efforts to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
HB 1544, relating to a renewable energy standard, did not make it out of the House Appropriations Committee by
the March 10 cutoff.
SHB 1809 amends the current law against discrimination to prohibit discrimination based on a person's sexual
orientation. This bill is on the House floor calendar. The City supports this bill.
SHB 1787, establishing a 211 network, passed the House by a vote of 81-15. The bill calls for the
implementation of a single easy-to-use telephone number, 211, for public access to information and referral for
health and human services and disaster-related information. SSB 5692 is on the Senate floor calendar. The City
supports these bills.
Land Use Statutes, Smart Growth and Infrastructure Funding
SSB 5409 passed the Senate by a vote of 49-0. This bill provides for an alternative method of direct petition
annexation. Its companion bill, SHB 1231, already passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.
The issue of shorelines has been a hot topic for cities, counties, environmental groups and the business
community during the beginning of the session. There continues to be negotiations among various stakeholder
groups on HB 1769, which would implement a portion of the settlement agreement over the lawsuit on the
shoreline guidelines. HB 1933, which is attempting to address the decision made by the Pollution Control
Hearings Board on the Everett shorelines decision, is also still under discussion. We are monitoring these bills for
their impact on our ability to develop in shoreline areas and to update our shoreline master plan. Both bills are on
the House floor calendar
SSB 5150 is on the Senate floor. In this bill, the appointing authority of a library district, the legislative body, or
the citizens, with a petition of 10 percent of the voters of the district, city or town, may put the question to the
voters whether the library trustees should be elected. The term of office of an elected trustee is four years. The
City opposes this bill.
HB 5140, amending the conservation futures statute, is currently in the Senate Rules Committee. This bill does
the following: The maximum rate of the conservation futures levy is increased to ten cents. Up to 25 percent of
conservation futures revenues may be used for operation and maintenance of property acquired through the
conservation futures program. Counties are encouraged to use conservation futures as a tool for salmon
restoration. All conservation futures funds must be spent within the assessing county. Counties with over 500,000
must develop a process to ensure distribution of conservation futures funds over time.
HB 1411, amending the conservation futures statute, did not make it out of House Finance by cutoff.
HB 1868 prohibiting smoking in public places is in the House Rules Committee. The City supports this bill.
HB 1598 and SB 5597, which prohibit handing out tobacco samples in WA State, are in the House and Senate
Rules Committee. The City supports these bills.
SB 5047 restricts the siting of secure residential facilities for sexually violent predators to sites zoned for industrial
use. This bill is in the Senate Rules Committee. The City opposes this bill.
SHB 1517 would require that every fire department maintain service delivery objectives including the expected
number of fire department employees, specific responding time limits and annual reports. The response time
issues are most troubling due to possible liability issues. This bill is on the House floor calendar.
SHB 2197 and SHB 2198 relate to Initiative 790. SHB 2197 implements the initiative, as called for in I-790. SHB
2198 amends I-790 by removing Section 6(5), which requires that all earnings of the pension system, in excess of
the actuarially assumed rate of investment return, be used exclusively for additional benefits for members and
beneficiaries. This section has been interpreted to mean dramatically increased contribution rates for both cities
and members. Both of these bills are on the House floor calendar.
HB 1705 provides funding to implement tire recycling programs through a 75 cent per tire fee. This bill is passed
the House 75-22. The City supports this bill.
SHB 1624, which makes the Washington Telephone Assistance Program permanent and allows funding from the
program to be used for community voice mail, passed out of the House by a vote of 95-0. The City supports this
bill. SSB 5591, its companion bill, did not make it out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
SB 5632, relating to utility relocation costs, would require that the cost of removal or relocation must be paid for
by the authority requiring the utility to make the relocation. This bill is currently in the Senate Rules Committee.
The City opposes this bill.
HB 1210 enacts the Washington Anti-Terrorism Act. The bill creates six new terrorism crimes (felony terrorism,
unlawful possession of a weapon of mass destruction, making terrorist threats, providing material support to
terrorists, and unlawful possession of false identification for terrorist purposes). This bill is on the House floor
SHB 1455 relating to licensing and regulating money transmission and currency exchange passed the House by
a vote of 96-0. SSB 5465 is on the Senate floor calendar.
City of Seattle Office of Intergovernmental Relations – Olympia
David Foster, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shauna Larsen, email@example.com
Scott Sufficool, firstname.lastname@example.org