Senate approves Mosbrucker’s electric grid adequacy bill; four other Mosbrucker bills in line for Senate vote

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The Washington State Senate has given unanimous approval to a bill that would address the risk of rolling blackouts and power supply inadequacy events.

House Bill 1623, sponsored by Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, directs the Department of Commerce and the Utilities and Transportation Commission to hold yearly resource adequacy meetings through 2029 with utilities, regional planning organizations and other stakeholders to discuss the current, short-term and long-term adequacy of energy resources.

“This bill came to me from a local PUD commissioner who had concerns that as we transition to green energy, we also consider the intermittency of the alternative energy sources along the way and plan ahead to ensure no interruptions in our power supplies,” said Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale. “This bill extends the yearly adequacy resource meetings by another seven years. In that time, it makes sure the state continually addresses plans that would help us avoid energy blackouts, brownouts or other inadequacies of the electric grid.”

The meetings would also focus on how proposed laws and regulations that seek to accelerate the electrification of buildings and transportation electrification charging stations might require a new state policy for resource adequacy.

Mosbrucker says it’s about making sure the lights and power stay on.

“We have many senior citizens and families that live in rural areas that rely solely on electric energy. When the power goes out, so does their heating source. That can be very dangerous with some of the harsh winters we have, especially in Eastern Washington,” noted Mosbrucker. “This legislation will work to make sure there is enough power generation to keep the lights on and stay warm.”

The bill previously passed the House with a unanimous vote. It now heads to the governor for his signature.

Mosbrucker also has four other bills awaiting action on the Senate floor. They include:

  • House Bill 1357 – Overseas voters: Would require county auditors to mail a statewide and local voters’ pamphlet to registered Washington voters overseas, including military voters. According to the Office of the Secretary of State, the measure is not an unfunded mandate. Because the bill was amended, House Bill 1357 will have to come back to the House for a concurrence floor vote once the Senate approves it.
  • House Bill 1497 – Telephone solicitors: Would prevent telephone solicitors from making calls before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m., no selling of the called party’s name and information, removal of the called party from the solicitor’s list upon request, and no further calls within at least one year after that request has been made.
  • House Bill 1571 – Missing, murdered indigenous persons and survivors of human trafficking: Also known as the “Bring them home bill,” this measure would allow tribal members to pray over a deceased indigenous person without compromising the scene before an autopsy is conducted. It also creates a receiving center to provide help for trafficked victims.
  • House Bill 1622 – Increasing availability of sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) in rural areas: SANE nurses play a critical role in the detailed forensic investigations necessary to prosecute sex crimes. This bill would increase the availability of these nurses in rural and underserved areas by requiring the Washington State University College of Nursing to establish a SANE online and clinical training program and a regional SANE leader pilot program.

The 2022 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn March 10.

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