Week of January 8 Legislative Update

January 9, 2023

ID: Light rail train on track in between two sets of apartment buildings, blue sky with clouds in the background.

Alright everybody — it’s official! The 2023 Washington legislative session starts tomorrow, and Futurewise is here to be your voice and your steward through the process.

2023 Session: For Our Future

Futurewise is deeply committed to ensuring that Washington communities are thriving, prosperous, healthy and resilient. At the state level, we’re your voice for land use policy that reflects these values and each year, we organize with people like you in every corner of the state for bold legislation that takes action on climate, housing affordability, farmland protection, and more.

This year, our For Our Future legislative campaign will focus on a few major pieces of legislation for housing affordability and climate action.

HB 1110, sponsored by Rep. Bateman and Rep. Barkis, is middle housing legislation that would allow 4-plexes in every neighborhood currently zoned for single-family residential, and to allow 6-plexes in areas near transit.

HB 1181 (you might remember this bill as HB 1099), sponsored by Rep. Duerr and Rep. Fitzgibbon, is our climate planning bill to add a climate element to the Growth Management Act. Back for its third year, we know that this is the year we’re going to win on climate in the GMA, especially now that we have Gov. Jay Inslee joining the fight to see this bill pass.

We’ll also be working on a bill to promote transit-oriented development, by adding more housing capacity near our transit stops. We’ll have a bill number for you shortly!

Finally, we’re supporting a broader suite of housing legislation that includes bills to add tenant protections and increase funding for affordable housing in our state because we know we need a comprehensive approach to solving our housing crisis.

Taken together, these bills present a bold blueprint for our future, a world where every neighborhood in our state has more homes for more people, a world where folks can get to where they need to go without a car, and a world where we’re all protected from climate hazards like sea level rise and wildfires.

We can't win without your help!

Together, I know that we can get both these bills across the finish line. But we can’t do it without your help. From now until the end of April when the session wraps up, your legislators need to hear from you about why you’re advocating for housing affordability and climate resiliency. Futurewise will be right by your side every step of the way with calls to action, trainings, talking points and other resources.

Here’s where to start:

Save the date: Futurewise lobby day

This year, the legislature is a hybrid session, which means that for the first time in three years, you can meet with your leaders in person. Futurewise is organizing folks to head down to Olympia on Wednesday, February 8th.

RSVP for Futurewise lobby day

Committee hearings

We expect to have committee hearings scheduled shortly for HB 1110 (middle housing) and HB 1181 (climate in the GMA). Last year, hundreds of you signed in PRO to these hearings to make your voices heard. This year, we’re setting a goal to have 1000 people sign in PRO on each bill! Keep an eye out for a follow up email with details on hearing dates and how you can sign in PRO.

Housing Solutions Are Climate Solutions video

Finally, our partners over at Sightline put together an awesome short video making the connections between housing solutions and climate change. Check it out!