Washington State House Democrats


The House Hot Sheet for Week 5 of the 2021 Legislative Session


Week five kicks off with a hearing on Ranked Choice Voting for local elections (HB 1156) from Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley (D-Seattle). The bill would allow counties, cities, towns, school districts, fire districts and port districts to implement ranked choice voting in elections where more than two candidates are competing with the goal of increasing representation and voter participation in local elections.

There will be a hearing in the College & Workforce Development Committee for HB 1468, sponsored by Rep. Vandana Slatter (D-Bellevue), which establishes a pilot program to provide grants to community and technical colleges to increase student access to mental health counseling and services.

In Health Care & Wellness, the committee is hearing a variety of health care access bills, including HB 1411 from Rep. Tarra Simmons (D-Bremerton), which expands health care workforce eligibility.

The Appropriations Committee has scheduled an executive session for Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon’s (D-West Seattle) Low Carbon Fuel Standard (HB 1091). The Low Carbon Fuel Standard will spur economic activity and growth as Washington can become a leader in producing and exporting clean, green biofuels, reduce emissions, and create sustainable, living wage jobs. The committee will also hear bills addressing climate change (HB 1050, HB 1075), housing (HB 1083), and economic recovery (HB 1151)


The Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings Act (HB 1084) from Rep. Alex Ramel (D-Bellingham) is scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on Environment & Energy on Tuesday. Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings focuses on standards for new construction, investment in retrofits, and justice for workers and low-income energy users.

Rep. Shelley Kloba’s (D-Kirkland) HB 1019 is scheduled for a hearing in the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. Her bill would allow adults over 21 to produce up to six marijuana plants at home.

The Appropriations Committee has scheduled executive session for HB 1151 from Rep. Mari Leavitt (D-University Place), which provides critical assistance to low-income households in need and bolsters the economic recovery for communities that are most impacted.


Wednesday will feature a variety of executive sessions passing Democratic priorities in Civil Rights & Judiciary, Labor & Workplace Standards, and an update to housing goals in the Growth Management Act (HB 1220) from Rep. Strom Peterson in the Local Government Committee.

The House plans to hold floor session in the afternoon, voting on bills to be announced later this week.


Thursday features more executive sessions on Democratic priorities, including expanding scholarships for community and technical college students (HB 1425) from Rep. Jamila Taylor (D-Federal Way) and increasing student access to mental health counseling and services and community and technical colleges (HB 1468) from Rep. Slatter.

The Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the proposal to create a more progressive tax system in Washington by enacting an excise tax on sales and extraordinary profits of high valued assets, HB 1496, proposed by Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island). The excise tax on capital gains is a tax on portfolios, not paychecks and exempts many assets sold by working- and middle-class families, such as retirement accounts, primary residences, qualified family-owned small businesses, cattle, timberlands and more.

In the Appropriations Committee, executive session is scheduled for HB 1044 from Rep. Leavitt, regarding postsecondary education pathways for incarcerated individuals. The bill addresses three critical areas: workforce needs, recidivism rates, and taxpayer costs in the criminal justice system.


The end of the week brings more executive sessions, including two bills from Rep. Melanie Morgan (D-Parkland) addressing equity. The first, HB 1395, ensures equity in farming by asking the Washington State Department of Agriculture to take steps that increase racial diversity in farming, where 96% of producers are white. The second bill, HB 1443, expands the existing Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board social equity task force scope to allow the task force to address issues like gentrification, drug offenses in cannabis applicants, and whether to create workforce training opportunities for underserved communities.

The House plans to hold floor session in the afternoon, voting on bills to be announced later this week.