The 2020 legislative session kicked off on Monday! We have a short session -- just 60 days -- to accomplish some big goals. Below we're sharing our top priorities along with some bills to watch.
Land Use/GMA Goal – State and local jurisdictions plan for climate change, our limited agricultural and forests lands are conserved, and cities grow sustainably and equitably through adoption and implementation of mutually beneficial rural, natural resource, and urban land use and environmental policies.
- Strengthen the urban growth area regulations to further prevent sprawl.
- Support opportunities for cities and urban areas to grow through equitable investment in infrastructure and access to opportunity.
Transportation Goal – Our transportation system is resilient and built to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through equitable access and expansion of transportation choices.
- Require consistency between the state transportation plan and Washington State’s greenhouse gas reduction goals.
- Support expansion of multimodal improvements and complete streets that support land use strategies to provide resiliency and access for all residents regardless of age, race, gender, mobility, income, and location.
Housing/Affordable Housing Goal – Housing options are available in all communities that meet the needs of all people.
- Support a comprehensive and strategic package of affordable housing legislation that includes revenue, policy, and tax incentive options.
- Support affordable housing in conjunction with partner efforts that aim to increase access to services that move people out of homelessness.
Bills to Watch:
- Pass HB 1544 to close the vesting loophole. Current law allows counties to expand their urban growth boundaries and cities to annex new land even if the expansion is later found to be illegal under the GMA. It’s time to close this loophole and ensure that our communities are climate resilient, transit-accessible and don’t convert valuable farm or forest land.
- Pass HB 2343 to build on the success of HB 1923. Thanks to the success of HB 1923 passed last session, together 52 communities have received $4 million to invest in housing affordability. HB 2343 builds on that bill’s success with changes to parking requirements and extends the period in which cities are protected from certain types of appeals to 2023.
- Oppose HB 2342 which would extend the period for comprehensive plan updates to 10 years instead of 8 years. We know that it’s important for cities and counties to be responsive to changes in their economies, environments and communities which is why we’re opposing extending the update period for comprehensive plans.
These are just a few of the bills we’re working on this year in Olympia. For a full run down, be sure to check out the legislative preview we did with Senator Patty Kuderer and Representative Joe Fitzgibbon, which you can find on our Facebook page.