Growth Management Act

HB 2341 is a Growth Management Act bill that impacts those counties with a military installation. It will require counties to coordinate processes with the Base Commander on development regulations that are potentially incompatible with the military base operations. It will also prohibit allowing development in the vicinity of a military installation that is incompatible with the installation’s ability to carry out its mission requirements. There are some provisions in the bill that work for counties, yet some provisions appear to limit local control of future development.

HB 2320 is by request of the Insurance Commissioner. It creates a workgroup to study and make recommendations on natural disaster mitigation and resiliency activities and includes a county representative.

Hirst Decision

SB 6091 is a new Senate version of a Hirst solution. It closely aligns with the House position that was in the work session of December 12th. There are some minor changes, yet the same underlying principles. There are still areas of concern for counties and we continue to clarify what counties need to implement a solution. This bill will be heard the first day of session, yet it is unclear how the process to come to a workable bill that will pass both houses and the Governor will come to fruition. WSAC staff will be participating in a meeting with Senate legislators and staff following the hearing on SB 6090.

Marbled Murrelet

There are two different bills related to the impacts of the Marbled Murrelet long-term conservation strategy affecting state trust lands. The Marbled Murrelet is an endangered bird and the Department of Natural Resources is updating their habitat conservation plan to extend their “take permit” with US Fish and Wildlife. The land being considered would reduce the harvestable timber and negatively impact trust beneficiaries and the revenue to counties and junior taxing districts.

HB 2300 creates a legislative task force to review actions to provide economic relief for communities impacted by environmental protections of the marbled murrelet. While HB 2285 establishes an advisory committee to the Commissioner of Public Lands and a reporting process for the department of natural resources regarding certain marbled murrelet habitat information. SB 6020 is a companion bill to HB 2285.

Laura first became involved in government as a city council member for the city of Newport Washington and later became a County Commissioner in Pend Oreille County. She served for 6 years and represented the region on statewide and national boards. Laura and her family moved to Olympia in November of 2012 and she has worked for WSAC for four years doing policy work on natural resources, land use and environmental issues.