This is a quick update for the second week of this short 2016 legislative session was highlighted by a King County Superior Court judge ruling on Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1366, unconstitutional. According to Ballotpedia, “The initiative put the Legislature in a position where it must make a decision: either let the tax decrease take effect or stop it by referring an amendment to the ballot.” That tax decrease would have been 1% decrease, but the legislature could provide an option to the voters to require 2/3 majority vote of the legislature or a vote of the people, to raise taxes.
He’s vowed to appeal. With another loss however, you won’t see Eyman stop his efforts to require supermajority tax increases.
The opening week of session is always a flurry, and this year is no exception. Of course there was the opening with all the pomp and circumstance, including a House of Representatives that is as balanced as it’s been in over a decade and a half with 50 Democrats and 48 Republicans sworn in. The same narrow margin exists in the Senate with the Majority Caucus where Republicans have the majority of votes.
This session legislators have a host of issues to try to address quickly in a 60 day session so they can get out on the campaign trail for what will no doubt be a huge election season. Issues that are foremost are K-12 education funding (the McCleary issue), charter schools, and the number one issue that is lighting up phones this year is the Washington State Human Rights Commission’s decision on transgender restroom access. Of course there has been a number of bills introduced that affect our rental housing industry that are listed in the Weekly Legislative Report. Here is a brief synopsis.
The 2016 legislative session is now under way, and that means rental property owners have a whole list of worries to consider for the next 60+ days.
RHA will be blogging throughout the legislative session, with weekly updates on issues that matter most to our members. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often!
Below is a list with brief descriptions of legislation the industry is tracking as of today. Other concepts not yet formally introduced, but likely to receive discussion in Olympia, would seek to require increased relocation assistance, linkage fees for low income housing, real estate excise tax increases for low-income housing, and many others.
This week the Senate confirmed that they’ve chosen a law firm to investigate the early release of over 3,000 prisoners by the Washington Department of Corrections. After issuing subpoena’s last week, they say they are moving forward with their investigation and plan to make recordings available to the public. Although carbon reduction is still a pressing issue, Senator Hobbs’ $8 carbon tax is the only alternative bill so far.
I-732 is looking like it has little chance of passing the legislature after the Department of Revenue estimated it will cost the state $914 million over the next four years and the AFL-CIO came out against the initiative this week. Environmentalists and the business community are considering an I-732 B, but nothing has been decided yet.