Week of February 1st: Legislative Update

February 2, 2021

Welcome to our weekly legislative update. The session continues to move along at an often unpredictable pace, and we will continue to do our best to keep you informed on where our priority legislation sits in the process. 

Quick Bill Status Update

HB 1099 (GMA Climate Bill) - Passed out of the House Environment and Energy Committee on Friday, January 29th, and has been referred to the Appropriations Committee. 

HB 1220 (GMA Housing Bill) - Committee hearing on Wednesday, January 27th. We hope to see this bill pass out of committee within a few weeks.

SB 5042 (GMA Vesting Bill) - Committee hearing on January 12th. Moved to the Senate Rules Committee on January 29th.

In collaboration with Front & Centered, we have decided to incorporate our environmental justice bill language into our climate bill and housing bills. Our hope is that focusing our lobbying and organizing efforts on these two bills will increase our chance of passage. Thank you to Front & Centered in partnering with us over the last few months to find ways to integrate environmental justice into the GMA!

GMA Vesting Bill Spotlight

Our Futurewise old-timers may remember the first time our GMA vesting bill was introduced...way back in 2008. That's over a decade ago! For years, we've introduced a bill to close the GMA vesting loophole that allows counties to develop annexed land even if the annexation was later overturned by the Growth Management Hearings Board. But each year, that bill has languished in committee.

This year, we're excited to have the support of Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, who is a co-sponsor of SB 5042, along with Sen. Jesse Salomon. We secured a committee hearing on the bill our very first week of session and the bill is already on the move to the Senate Rules Committee. We're hoping to move this bill quickly out of the Senate and through the House. Stay tuned for how you can help!

Op-Ed Highlight Reel

We are bowled over with excitement each time we see a new op-ed published by a Futurewise supporter across the state. Since launching our Washington Can't Wait legislative agenda, we've had 12 op-eds or letters to the editor published. Here are three new ones from the last month:

· Pierce County sprawl causes too much time in cars, buses. State can fix this. - Kirk Kirkland, The News Tribune

· State, county can’t wait for climate change action - Kristin Kelly and Kate Lunceford, The Everett Herald

· Seattle Desperately Needs the GMA to Promote Affordable Housing - Emma Banks, The Urbanist