Skip to content

2024 Legislation of Note

AWB logo  



Environmental and energy legislation

Peter Godlewski, AWB’s lead on energy and environmental issues, is tracking a number of issues, including:

  • Linking carbon markets: Senate Bill 6058 passed the House 57-39 on Thursday, with all Democrats in favor and all Republicans opposed. The bill would facilitate linkage of Washington's carbon market with California and Quebec. AWB believes the bill is a good first step but doesn’t go far enough to make linkage possible: lawmakers need to take additional steps to improve price stability in the cap-and-trade program, which saw soaring auction prices in its first year. Linkage would create a larger market of carbon credits to drive down compliance costs, reducing prices for businesses and consumers.


Workplace law and human resources issues

Government Affairs Director Bob Battles continues to monitor employment law bills, including these proposals:

  • Mandatory meetings: Senate Bill 5778 passed the House 55-41 on Thursday, with two Democrats joining Republicans in voting against it. The bill aims to restrict mandatory "captive audience" meetings during labor organization campaigns, unconstitutionally limiting employers' communications with employees. The bill is also unnecessary and preempted by federal labor law. AWB is disappointed in the bill's passage and is contemplating next steps. Other states have passed similar measures that have been challenged in court.


Land use and housing

AWB Government Affairs Director Morgan Irwin continues to closely watch housing bills, including:

  • Building code transparency: AWB is pleased to see the passage of Senate Bill 6291, which clarifies the process the State Building Code Council uses for adopting amendments. These changes will help increase transparency and public participation, a positive for builders.
  • Transit-oriented development: A bill to increase denser housing near transit hubs failed to pass Legislature for the second year in row. AWB supports the concept, but had concerns about House Bill 2160, which was structured in such a way that it would likely deter builders from investing in these projects. The bill was not moved out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee for a full chamber vote.



AWB Government Affairs Director Morgan Irwin is watching these and other bills:

  • Tale of two budgets: The Legislature worked over the weekend to finalize a supplemental transportation budget. The Senate and House versions of the budget are still far apart and have some fundamental differences. They also have some similarities: fewer projects completed, higher costs, more tolling and a delay of major projects on Highway 167, I-405 and Highway 520. AWB would like to see a budget that continues funding for current projects and sets aside significant dollars for pavement preservation.


Tax and fiscal policy

Emily Shay, AWB government affairs director for tax and fiscal policy, continues to watch tax and fiscal proposals, including:

  • B&O tax exemption under CCA: House Bill 2199 received strong bipartisan approval in both the House and Senate. It provides a B&O exemption for transactions involving allowances, offset credits or price ceiling units through the Climate Commitment Act. AWB worked with stakeholders and the Department of Revenue on this bill as part of a series of fixes to the CCA.
  • Exemption for ag protection products: House Bill 2454 passed the Senate 47-2 today. The bill extends a tax exemption for hazardous substances used by farmers for crop protection, such as herbicides and fungicides. AWB supports this tax preference to help keep Washington agriculture competitive with other states.
  • Federal grants: House Bill 1870, which creates a pool of state matching funds for local communities to use when applying for federal grants, passed the Senate unanimously Friday. AWB supports this bill, which will help make Washington more competitive for funds to promote economic development throughout the state.
  • Farmers' sales tax exemption: House Bill 1757 awaits a vote on the Senate floor. This bill allows an eligible farmer to claim a sales and use tax exemption up to $10,000 on goods and services purchased.
Scroll To Top