2024 Week 6 Legislative Update

Posted By: Ryan Makinster Advocacy News,

End of week six, and bills had to be out of their house of origin on Tuesday. So, what does this mean? House bills (those with an HB prefix), and Senate Bills (those with a SB prefix), had to be voted on the floor and transferred to the other body for consideration or they are dead, with exception.  What’s the exception? As mentioned last week, “Bills that are needed to implement the budget (NTIB)” are still technically alive, although many hanging on by a string. The bills still in play are: HB 2114, rent stabilization and tenant protections, HB 2270, Department of Housing workgroup, SB 6175 building conversion tax incentives, and SB 6191/HB 2276, real estate transfer tax (RETT), all which we oppose.

First the priority bills that have died; HB 2003, rent relief incentive program, HB 2158, urban growth boundaries and SB 6210, unlawful detainer actions, all bills we supported are unfortunately done for this session.  HB 2161, landlord tenant enforcement, SB 6064, pet fees and deposits and HB 2323/SB 6212 credit reporting for positive rent payments, bills we all opposed in their current format, have also died. These bills will need to be reintroduced next year if the sponsors intend to try and pass them again. We will be working with the sponsors of SB 6210, HB 2323/SB 6212 and SB 6064 to try and find solutions on these policies that will work for both housing providers and residents.

Unfortunately, HB 2114, rent stabilization, passed the house as the “last bill” on Tuesday by a vote of 54:43 along party lines, with a few moderate majority members voting against it.  We started fighting the battle to keep it off the floor last week, but knew it was most likely going to go to the floor and pass.  As the last bill before cutoff, we knew that once it was brought to the floor on the last day, it would pass in short order. We want to thank Krystelle for the countless hours, hand holding and hard work she has done over the last few weeks and give a big thank you to our members for the extensive outreach and engagement on this bill. The bill now goes over to the Senate where it will be heard in Senate Ways and Means on Thursday, February 22 at 1:30pm. The bill has an uphill battle in the senate, a hill that we intend to make even steeper through our efforts and pressure.

We already have many pieces in place to fight this fight, including the ongoing PAH campaign, as well as all the work we did on this bill through the House committee process and on SB 5961 in the Senate. I know you have seen them, but we have two important pieces of the research to help us in this effort; a ECONorthwest study and a 7% rent cap study created by Capital Policy Analytics.  We would also like to highlight a recent article on forbes.com written by Ike Brannon with Capital Policy Analytics.

As always at this point in session, things are moving quickly, and the fate of legislation can turn on a dime. Please continue to monitor your e-mail for updates and action alerts. Thank you to everyone who has responded to past action alerts and requests for testimony. Your voice is the voice of the industry; there is none more powerful.