2023 Session – General Legislative Recap and Look Ahead: Week of April 17, 2023

Posted By: Chester Baldwin Legislative,

2023 Legislative Session Update

Friday, April 14, 2023

Today marks the 96th day of the 2023 Legislative session in Olympia – we have only 9 days until the end of the 105-day session.  Wednesday, April 12 was the Opposite House Cutoff.  This was the last day to consider opposite house bills (5 p.m.) (except initiatives and alternatives to initiatives, matters necessary to implement budgets, matters that affect state revenue, amendments, differences, and business related to the interim or closing the session). 

Now only initiatives and alternatives to initiatives, matters necessary to implement budgets, matters that affect state revenue, amendments, differences, and business related to the interim or closing the session will be considered until the last day of session, which is on Sunday, April 23. 

The governor has already signed nearly 100 bills, and will likely sign close to 500 bills total for the 2023 session.  

This session Governor Inslee stated that the legislature will deliver new housing polices, gun safety legislation, protections for abortion care, and continued progress on climate change.  One example of beneficial housing policy is highlighted in HB 1110, also known as the “middle housing bill.”  The new policy plays a major role in the state’s efforts to address an acute housing shortage and will allow duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes to be built in certain areas that have historically been restricted to single-family housing. 

Lawmakers are returning on Monday, April 17 and will have only 7 days to complete their work. 

Attached is an updated report of top priority bills that we are tracking.  

Operating, Capital, and Transportation Budgets

The Operating, Capital, and Transportation Budgets are now the main focus as we head to Sine Die (end of session).  The SB 5187 is the vehicle for the Operating Budget and passed out of the Senate on Wednesday, March 29 with a 40-9 vote.  The House added amendments and passed it out on Monday, April 3 with a 57-40 vote.  On April 13th, the Senate had refused to concur on the House amendments and have appointed Senators Rolfes, Robinson, and Linda Wilson to the Conference committee.  The House will appoint in the upcoming days their members and that committee will come to a negotiated budget which will be voted on as we near the end of session

HB 1125 will be the vehicle for the Transportation Budget and similarly to the Operating Budget it is at the Conference Committee stage of the legislative process.  It passed out of the House 96-1 on Monday, April 3 and after the Senate amended it, they voted it out 42-6 on Wednesday, April 5. The House refused the Senate amendments today, April 14th and have appointed Representatives Fey, Barkis, and Paul to a conference committee

Unlike the Operating and Transportation Budgets, the Capital Budget in the form of SB 5200 has not received a House Floor vote.  It did come off the Senate floor on Friday, March 24 with a unanimous vote of 44-0 and 5 excused Members.  The Capital Budget hasn’t historically been too controversial, and we shouldn’t see too much of a delay in the final passage.  

New Tax Increases

This session the Democrats have introduced new tax increases to include the following bills which are still alive as they are “Necessary to Implement the Budget” (NTIB): 

  • House Bill 1628:  This bill would increase state and local real estate excise taxes and passed out of House Finance Committee this morning.  This bill would increase the cost of multifamily housing and single-family homes and would lead to higher rents. 
  • Senate Bill 5770:  This bill was just introduced on Wednesday and would raise the limit on increases in state and local property taxes to 3% per year.  This bill would add additional financial burden to those struggling to already afford property taxes and living paycheck-to-paycheck.  
Capital Gains Tax Due Date is April 18, 2023 

The capital gains excise tax is a 7% tax that passed the previous session on the sale or exchange of long-term capital assets such as stocks, bonds, business interests, or other investments and tangible assets. The capital gains excise tax return and payment are due April 18, 2023.

Individuals who receive a filing extension for their federal income tax return and request an extension for their state capital gains return by April 18, 2023, are entitled to the same filing extension for their Washington capital gains tax return.  However, a filing extension does not extend the due date for paying the capital gains tax due.

How-to videos and additional resources:

ESB 5352 – Police Vehicular Pursuits

ESB 5352 aims to lower the threshold for when law enforcement officers can pursue suspects and has passed off the House floor earlier this week during the earlier hours of Tuesday.  There could still be some additional changes if the Senate doesn’t concur with the House amendments.  Many Republicans as well as law enforcement officials are stating that this version of the bill doesn’t go far enough to give the tools law enforcement needs to properly perform their duty.  

Passage of this bill would:

  • Lower the evidentiary threshold required for engaging in a vehicular pursuit by allowing an officer to conduct the vehicular pursuit if the officer has reasonable suspicion that a person in the vehicle has committed or is committing specified criminal offenses;
  • Limits vehicular pursuits to situations where the subject of the pursuit poses a serious risk of harm to others; and
  • Modifies certain vehicular pursuit requirements related to supervisory oversight and establishes new requirements related to direct communication with specified entities, development of a plan to end the vehicular pursuit, and the pursuing officer's training and certifications.

Effects of House Amendments:

  • Requires pursuing officers in a jurisdiction with 15 or fewer commissioned officers, rather than ten, request the on-call officer be notified of the pursuit upon initiating the pursuit; and
  • Requires emergency vehicle operator training include training on performing a risk assessment analysis of whether a person being pursued poses a serious risk of harm to others and when the safety risks of failing to apprehend or identify the person are considered greater than the safety risk of the pursuit.