Week of February 22nd: Legislative Update

February 22, 2021

We’re in week 7 of the legislative session and we're calling on all of our supporters to help us make sure that SB 5042, Futurewise's GMA vesting bill, and HB 1099, Futurewise's climate GMA bill, keep moving! Can you take two quick actions to keep these bills alive?

Email your Senators to vote 'YES' on HB 5042.

Email the Appropriations Committee to vote 'YES' on HB 1099.

SB 5042 closes a critical “vesting” loophole in the GMA that allows counties to illegally expand their Urban Growth Areas. These illegal UGA expansions gobble up local farmland and wildlife for suburban sprawl and present a fiscal liability for local governments if they are found to be out of compliance with the GMA.

We first introduced this bill in 2008 – we’re can’t wait any longer to see it passed.

HB 1099 is our bill to add a climate element to the GMA and add a definition to environmental justice to the act. This bill has incredible momentum but we're up against a hard deadline on Monday (TODAY), February 22, to pass out of the House appropriations committee if we want to keep it alive.

In Other News: HB 1220

In addition to SB 5042 and HB 1099, we’re still moving forward on HB 1220, our housing update to the GMA. HB 1220 passed out of the House appropriations committee last Thursday – wahoo! We’re so grateful for the hundreds of supporters who tuned in over the last few weeks to sign in Pro, provide spoken or written testimony, or email their representatives asking for a yes vote.

We’re in Crosscut!

Many thanks to our HB 1099 sponsor, Rep. Davina Duerr, for her fantastic interview in a Crosscut article this week focusing on housing and climate bills being considered by the legislature, and highlighting HB 1099. Rep. Duerr gets right to the heart of our twin housing and climate crisis: sprawl.

“Sprawl comes at an immediate cost to city and county governments tasked with keeping up the roads and sewers that serve ballooning communities, said Duerr, a Democrat from Bothell. And it carries environmental debts to be paid by future generations.”

“This is truly an existential threat,” Duerr said. “Mother Nature doesn’t give you points for participation or an A for effort. We really have to tackle this sooner, not later.”

Thank you Rep. Duerr for speaking truth to power and stewarding HB 1099 through the House! We’re grateful for her leadership.