SSB 5106

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Passed House - Amended:

April 12, 2019

Title: An act relating to the creation of a work group to study and make recommendations on natural disaster mitigation and resiliency activities.

Brief Description: Concerning the creation of a work group to study and make recommendations on natural disaster mitigation and resiliency activities.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Financial Institutions, Economic Development & Trade (originally sponsored by Senators Das, Mullet, Frockt, Keiser, Zeiger and Kuderer; by request of Insurance Commissioner).

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Housing, Community Development & Veterans: 3/19/19, 3/26/19 [DPA];

Appropriations: 4/5/19, 4/8/19 [DPA(APP w/o HOUS)].

Floor Activity:

Passed House - Amended: 4/12/19, 95-0.

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

(As Amended by House)

  • Creates a work group to review disaster mitigation and resiliency activities in Washington, other states, and at the federal level.

  • Directs the work group to submit a final report with recommendations by December 1, 2020, on whether Washington should create an ongoing disaster resiliency program and what activities the program should engage in.


Majority Report: Do pass as amended. Signed by 9 members: Representatives Ryu, Chair; Morgan, Vice Chair; Jenkin, Ranking Minority Member; Gildon, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Barkis, Entenman, Frame, Leavitt and Reeves.

Staff: Serena Dolly (786-7150).


Majority Report: Do pass as amended by Committee on Appropriations and without amendment by Committee on Housing, Community Development & Veterans. Signed by 32 members: Representatives Ormsby, Chair; Bergquist, 2nd Vice Chair; Robinson, 1st Vice Chair; Stokesbary, Ranking Minority Member; MacEwen, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Rude, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Caldier, Chandler, Cody, Dolan, Dye, Fitzgibbon, Hansen, Hoff, Hudgins, Jinkins, Kraft, Macri, Mosbrucker, Pettigrew, Pollet, Ryu, Schmick, Senn, Springer, Stanford, Steele, Sullivan, Sutherland, Tarleton, Tharinger and Ybarra.

Staff: Catrina Lucero (786-7192).


Many states, including Washington, have embarked on efforts to mitigate loss from future disasters, including earthquakes, floods, and fires. For instance, in 2012, Washington's Emergency Management Council's Seismic Safety Committee issued a report and recommendations on improving statewide recovery after an earthquake. In 2016 the Governor created the Resilient Washington Subcabinet to help the state better prepare for natural disasters. Other states have created public entities, such as the California Earthquake Authority, to assist in the recovery process following a natural disaster.

Summary of Amended Bill:

A work group is created to study disaster mitigation and resiliency activities being implemented by federal agencies, other states, and public and private entities in Washington. In addition, the work group must review information on the use of disaster-related insurance, how other states are coordinating disaster mitigation and resiliency work, and the work of entities such as the California Earthquake Authority.

The work group will consist of 27 members, comprised of the following:

The work group may add other participants for specific topic discussions or subcommittees.

The work group must submit a preliminary report of recommendations by November 1, 2019, and a final report by December 1, 2020. The report must include recommendations on:

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date of Amended Bill: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed. However, the bill is null and void unless funded in the budget.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Housing, Community Development & Veterans):

(In support) Washington is prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and fires. This is a common sense bill to ensure the state is prepared and can recover. It would complement the work done by the Governor's Resilient Washington Subcabinet. The work group should include a representative from one of the more than 200 water and sewer districts in the state. These districts have extensive involvement in emergency management issues and could provide expertise to the work group.

(Opposed) None.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Appropriations):

(In support) The large number of participants interested in the work group speaks to the overall level of support and interest in this topic.  There has not yet been a coordinated and ongoing effort around disaster resilience and mitigation.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying (Housing, Community Development & Veterans): Senator Das, prime sponsor; Robert Ezelle, Washington State Military Department; Jean Leonard, Washington Insurers, State Farm, and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies; Mel Sorensen, American Property Casualty Insurance Association and American Family Insurance; Lonnie Johns-Brown, Office of the Insurance Commissioner; Joe Daniels, Washington Association of Water/Sewer Districts; and Jessica Czajkowski, Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Persons Testifying (Appropriations): Lonnie Johns-Brown, Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Housing, Community Development & Veterans): None.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Appropriations): None.