Week of February 14th: Legislative Update

February 14, 2022

Image of livable, inclusive community titled Legislative Update

Love is in the air – that is, love for our climate, our farms and our future!

We’re quickly approaching the cut off date for bills to pass out of their house of origin (that is to say, if a bill was first introduced in the Senate, it needs to pass the Senate floor by February 15th to remain viable this session). Lucky for us, we are 3 for 3 of our bills already passed out of their house of origin, with our last bill on its way out! Read on for how you can support.

HB 1769 – Advancing Housing Affordability

Last year, we passed a historic housing justice update to the GMA via HB 1220, which updates local planning requirements for affordable housing, supportive and emergency housing siting, and addressing the impacts of racially discriminatory housing policies. This year, we are supporting HB 1769 that would remove a barrier to the full implementation of HB 1220 in certain jurisdictions.

What does HB 1769 do?

HB 1769 would sunset the legal authority of community municipal corporations to veto land use and planning decisions within a small subarea of a larger city. It is easy to see how these entities create a barrier to affordable housing and consistent land use policies where they exist.

While there are now only two municipal corporations left in Washington—one in Kirkland and one in Bellevue—it is important that we show unified state-wide support so that HB 1220 affordable housing requirements can be fairly implemented everywhere. This will also prevent future municipal corporations from forming in other cities.

Wonderful news!

On Saturday, February 12th HB 1769 passed out of the House floor! We are thrilled to have this move from the house of origin before the 15th cut off and will keep you posted on how we can move HB 1769 through the Senate.

Keep SB 5042 and HB 1099 Moving

Like we mentioned last week, our other two priority bills, HB 1099 (adding climate to the Growth Management Act) and SB 5042 (closing the GMA sprawl loophole), are moving quickly. Now we need to make sure that we see them all the way across the finish line.

SB 5042 is schedule for its first hearing in the House Energy and Environment Committee this Friday, 2/17 at 1:30 PM. We’re asking people to sign in PRO for this bill to show wide community support! Here’s how:

  1. Go to the SB5042 sign-in page
  2. For Position, select “Pro” from the drop-down menu
  3. Enter your name, email, city, state, zip, and phone. It is optional to include your street address.
  4. Click “I'm not a robot”
  5. At the bottom, click “Submit Registration”

Sign in PRO on SB 5042!

HB 1099 had its first hearing in the Senate two weeks ago, and has been scheduled for an Executive Session in the Senate Housing and Local Government Committee on Thursday, February 17th at 8AM. Wahoo! While we are feeling confident that this bill will move through the committee, now is the time to let the members know that we want them to vote YES on HB 1099!

Contact the committee TODAY to ask for a YES vote on HB 1099!

YES on HB 1099

Move Ahead WA

This last week, the legislature introduced Move Ahead WA, a historic transportation package for our state. Here are some of the highlights:

  • For the first time ever, this package makes multimodal investment a bigger spending category than new highway capacity.
  • This package has five times more money for transit and active transportation than the 2015 Connecting WA package.
  • The package represents one of the largest state investments in public transit in state history and translates to 1.5 times more funding than the state currently contributes to public transit.
  • $3.1 billion is being dedicated strictly for transit! This includes free fare for those under 18
  • $1.27 billion will go to active transportation including free bikes for kids, and about $594 million for bike/pedestrian projects.

Now that we have this incredible package, we need to make sure that our legislators actually pass it. To raise our voices at this key moment, join Transportation Choices Coalition, Futurewise and our other partners in this work on Tuesday, February 15 for We’re Done Waiting: A Virtual Rally for a Transit-Forward Transportation Package. Starting at 4:00pm we’ll hear from transportation riders and advocates, as well as activists in allied movements to understand the opportunity before us right now and how we can finish the fight for a transformative transportation package.

Join the Rally!

As we round the corner into the second half of this year’s legislative session, I also want to share the love for all of our supporters like you who are making these victories possible. Truly, this work is powered by the people. Thank you thank you thank you for your advocacy. Let’s keep it up and finish strong!