Week of January 18: Legislative Update


Happy MLK Day. I hope you are able to find some time for peace and reflection today.

Session is officially in swing! Here at Futurewise, we’re keeping all our supporters in the loop about top land-use priorities, as well as other important legislation that we think you should know about.

Let’s kick off with a big thank you to Futurewise allies who testified on January 12 in support of SB 5042, the GMA vesting bill. Our first week of virtual session has already demonstrated how much easier it is to hear the perspectives from supporters across Washington, instead of just folks who can afford to take a day to travel to Olympia. We especially appreciated hearing from Spokane City Councilmember Candace Mumm who brought crucial local government perspective to the hearing – thank you Councilmember Mumm! Check out the video of the hearing here (click View Video on the Senate Housing & Local Government Committee for 1/12/2021 at 8:00 AM).

Status: We’re hoping to see this bill pass out of committee this week. Stay tuned!

Washington Can’t Wait Priorities

HB 1099, sponsored by Rep. Duerr and Rep. Fitzgibbon

We’re thrilled to share that HB 1099, Rep. Duerr’s bill to add a climate goal to the GMA, has its first committee hearing in the House Environment Committee on Tuesday, January 19th at 8 am. We’re looking for folks to sign in “pro” and submit written testimony on this bill. Check out this online guide for how to support this bill at Tuesday’s hearing.

Status: Committee hearing on Tuesday, January 19th. We hope to see this bill pass out of committee within a few weeks.

HB 1220, sponsored by Rep. Peterson and Rep. Macri

Meet HB 1220, the official bill title for our GMA housing bill! This bill will update the housing element of the GMA to respond to the urgent housing affordability crisis across Washington. Many thanks to Reps. Peterson and Macri for sponsoring this legislation and helping to develop the policy.

Status: Waiting to confirm our first committee hearing. Stay tuned!

Environmental Justice in the GMA

Futurewise continues to work closely with Front & Centered on a bill that would address issues of environmental injustice in comprehensive planning processes. This bill would ensure that comprehensive planning processes are engaging with and accountable to communities of color and communities impacted by environmental injustice (ex. pollution).

Status: We are finalizing bill language and in talks with several legislators to sponsor.

Partner Organization Priorities

SB 5141, sponsored by Reps. Saldaña, Lovelett

The HEAL Act is a top priority for Front & Centered this legislative session and we’re excited to support them in getting it passed. The HEAL Act would implement the recommendations of the environmental justice task force and ensure that state agencies incorporate environmental justice into their planning and operations.

Status: First hearing on Wednesday, January 20th at 8 AM in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology. Follow Front & Centered for opportunities to stay engaged.

HB 1117, sponsored by Rep. Lekanoff

We’re excited to support HB 1117 which will create a goal of salmon recovery within the GMA and will set a standard for net ecological gain for public projects. This bill builds on our net ecological gain work in 2020. Net ecological gain would be a stronger standard for ecological health and endangered specifies recovery, including salmon recovery, than is currently used in most relevant state laws and rules.

Status: First hearing on Thursday, January 21 at 1:30 PM in the House Committee on Environment & Energy.

Thank you to everyone who made it to the bottom of this update! We’re excited to be in partnership with many of you this session as we work together to pass critical updates to the GMA.

In solidarity,

Washington Can’t Wait Lead Organizer

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