SB 6365, died unexpectedly on the floor of Senate Chamber at 5:00 PM, February 19th. The bill, an act related to payments in lieu of real property taxes by the department of fish and wildlife, was only 42 days old at the time of its death.
SB 6365 did not have any family but does leave many close friends who lovingly supported it since it was drafted, first read, and referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee. The bill’s supporters are known by most in the legislature as the PILT coalition. Its extended family also includes 14 counties who never met the bill but supported it anyway as recipients of the PILT payments that it sought to improve.
Born and raised in Olympia through the efforts of the PILT coalition and Senator Judy Warnick, the bill was a lifelong resident of the legislative process.
In its early days, SB 6365 enjoyed a work session and public hearing in Senate Ways & Means. At Ways & Means it gained a reputation as being the rare bill referred to that committee that wouldn’t cost the state any money at all. The bill’s friends even took to calling it “cheapscake,” a nod to the bill’s rugged good looks along with its rare lack of a fiscal note.
After being voted out of Ways & Means unanimously, it was pleased to move to the Senate Rules Committee. It met many other bills in Senate Rules, spending quality time building relationships and forming friendships that would last its entire, albeit short, life.
Weeks later, the bill finally got the opportunity to move from Senate Rules as a package pull on February 17th. It jumped at the chance to spend time on the floor of the Senate and took pride in being part of the legislative process.
Over its days, the bill developed a passion for being a simple, and free, solution for a long-standing issue with the WDFW PILT program that would provide greater certainty for these critical payments to rural counties. It was an admirer of the DNR PILT program and spent its life trying to change state law to align WDFW’s program with DNR’s. The bill was widely supported by all stakeholders.
On its fateful final day, through the help of the PILT coalition members and the State Treasurer’s office, the bill was placed on a Senate run list. As luck would have it, it was the last run list before the house of origin cutoff. The bill, and all its friends, were elated to see it as the 4th bill to be voted upon in what should have been plenty of time before the cutoff deadline. Unfortunately, and unexpectedly the Senate adjourned before SB 6365 came up for a vote, ending its life.
No public service for the bill will be held. Messages regarding its life will be warmly received by the PILT coalition at the WSAC office. Friends will gather after the 2020 legislative session for a private remembrance and discussion on reintroducing the bill in the 2021 legislative session.