Week of February 8th: Legislative Update

February 8, 2021

We’re back with another legislative update! The first thing to note: we’re just one week away from our first major legislative deadline. February 15th marks the cutoff for bills to be passed out of a policy committee in order to continue to be considered by legislators. Good news for Futurewise supporters: two out of three priority bills are already out of committee, and we expect the third to be voted out this week. With that in mind, this week’s update will be pretty short and sweet!

Priority Legislation Status Update

HB 1099 – Climate Bill

Currently in the House Appropriations Committee.

  • Don’t have a legislator on this committee? We would still love you to send an email to all of your legislators asking for their support of this bill. Use this link to send your emails!


SB 5042 – Vesting Bill

Currently in Senate Rules Committee.


HB 1220Housing Bill

Currently in the House Local Government Committee. We’re feeling optimistic about this bill passing out of committee this week

Environmental Justice Update

As we mentioned last week, our work to ensure that we enshrine environmental justice into the GMA continues. Our climate bill, HB 1099, would add a definition of environmental justice to the GMA. Additionally, we’re working with Front & Centered on the HEAL Act (SB 5141) to add language to the land use element regarding resiliency, displacement, health disparities/cumulative pollution and mobility. We would like to expand the health disparities maps to include these topics and use as focus areas to improve outcomes related to the land use element. We’d also like to see a program for public participation grants with priority to identified areas using the expanded health disparities map.

GMA Housing Element Updates

The housing affordability crisis in Washington has increased pressure on the legislature to update the GMA housing element to increase the availability of housing in communities across Washington. As a reminder, our bill HB 1220 would ensure that cities are:

1.       Planning for a diversity of housing types to meet the needs of families at all income levels, especially our extremely low to moderate income families;

2.       Providing emergency shelters, emergency housing and permanent supportive housing;

3.       Implementing policies and strategies to prevent community displacement from market forces, and;

4.       Implementing policies to address the impacts of racially biased, exclusionary and discriminatory housing and land-use policies on our BIPOC communities.

In addition to HB 1220, two other bills are in play this session that aim to update the housing element. SB 5390, sponsored by Sen. Liias, also looks to increase the availability of housing types and density of housing in urban growth areas, as well as including tax incentives for local governments. HB 1232, sponsored by Rep. Barkis, would expand the definition of single-family residences to include duplexes, triplexes and townhomes. We’ve got our eye on both bills and are working with stakeholders and sponsors to ensure that we have a cohesive approach to updates to the housing element this session.

Action Items

That’s all for this week!