2024 Legislative Session reaches significant milestone


The 2024 legislative session is nearly at the halfway point. As the case with all legislative sessions happening during even numbered years, this year’s convening will be a shorter 60-day session with the final day of session March 7th. This means lawmakers had less time to advance their policy bills with the committee cutoff on January 31st. This also will be the final legislative session for Gov. Jay Inslee, who announced last year that he would not seek a fourth term.

Below is a summary of bills that advanced out of their committees and may be of particular interest to working forests, private forest landowners and the forestry sector and notable personnel changes within the two legislative chambers and their committees.


Senate Bills:

  • SB 6121: Biochar production from forestry and agriculture biomass. The bill advanced out of the Environment, Energy & Technology committee and referred to Ways & Means Committee.
  • SB 6281: Establishing a reforestation grant program to incentivize and invest reforestation after wildfire and other natural catastrophic events. The bill advanced out of the Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee and referred to Ways & Means Committee.

House Bills:

  • HB 2207: Bill to address unlawful solid waste dumping in open spaces, including privately and publicly owned forestlands. The bill advanced out of the Committee on Environment & Energy and referred to Appropriations Committee.
  • HB 2286: Creating a capital grant program in support of salmon and steelhead recovery efforts. The bill advanced out of the Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources and referred to the Capital Budget.
  • HB 2446: Investing in reforestation efforts following landscape-scale forest disturbances like wildfire and other catastrophic events. The bill had a public hearing on Feb. 1 in the Capital Budget Committee and is scheduled for executive session Feb. 2.

Legislative departures, appointments and musical chairs:

  • Senate:
    • Former Rep. Drew Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island) was appointed the 23rd district Senate seat to fill the vacated position after then-Sen. Christine Rolfes left the Legislature last summer to serve on the Kitsap County Commission.
    • June Robinson (D-Everett) has replaced Rolfes as chair of Senate Ways & Means. Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center) is now Ways & Means vice chair.
    • Emily Randall was added to the Ways & Means Committee to fill an opening created when Rolfes resigned.
  • House:
    • Drew Stokesbary (R-Auburn) Mike Steele (R-Chelan) were named Minority Leader and Deputy Minority leader, respectively. The two replaced long-time Minority Leader Rep. J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm) and Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda) after they stepped down at the end of the 2023 Legislative Session.
    • Greg Nance (D-Bainbridge Island) was appointed to fill now-Sen. Hansen’s vacant House seat. Nance he also will serve as Assistant Whip.
    • Jamila Taylor (D-Federal Way) is now chair of the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee upon now-Sen. Hansen serving in the Senate.