WA Senate LBRC – Afternoon Committee Meeting
(February 25, 2020) – HB 2870 – Executive Session

LBRC hosted a second committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon during which members considered amendments to, and passage of, HB 2870.
  • [ Event Details ]
  • Rodger reported that three amendments “two strikers and one amendment to the striker” were up for consideration (audio – <1m, video).
    • Keiser asked for clarification that committee members had been briefed on her contentious striking amendment during the bill’s public hearing that morning (audio – <1m, video)
    • Rodger provided that the two new amendments had been introduced by Ranking Minority Member King, and went on to describe the new striking amendment “on gray paper” with the following effect:
      • Removes all provisions from the bill and creates a study group on marijuana social equity with members appointed by the governor. The group will be staffed by the governor’s staff. The study group shall submit a report, on recommended policies that will facilitate the development of a marijuana social equity program and must include whether any additional marijuana licenses should be issued in Washington, to the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 1, 2020.
    • Keiser confirmed King’s amendment could supplant her earlier revisions. Rodger told her if the committee adopted the language then Keiser’s first amendment would be “out of order” and not apply to the bill (audio – 1m, video).
    • The committee then continued its preparations to caucus on other bills. King’s other proposed amendment would have removed certain provisions of the bill. It was neither briefed upon by staff nor mentioned by committee members.
  • After members caucused, Conway moved that King’s “gray paper” amendment be adopted before lawmakers offered remarks (audio – <1m, video).
    • King said the morning’s hearing on the bill produced mixed support, leading him to seek a “way that might bring everybody together.” He explained that the amendment removed all provisions in the bill in favor of an interim “study group on marijuana social equity.” He asked the members for their support (audio – 1m, video).
    • Keiser thanked King for the striking language after the “really confusing” testimony at the bill’s hearing: “We had been told that there was a significant amount of support for the bill but we didn’t hear it in the Committee during the hearing.” Still, recognizing a lack of equity in the cannabis market, she backed the amendment (audio – 1m, video).
    • Saldaña reiterated her commitment to “wanting to work more on this.” She planned to keep meeting with those who had spoken out on HB 2870 that day and felt “a study is a step in the right direction.” (audio – 1m, video).
  • The committee then voted unanimously to adopt King’s amendment and referred the bill to the Senate Rules Committee. While the measure had been considered by the House Appropriations Committee (APP), members assumed the amended legislation would have a substantially smaller fiscal footprint and bypassed consideration by the fiscal committee in the Senate (audio – 1m, video).