Land Use Bills

There are a few land use bills we are watching for floor action. HB 2931 would increase energy efficiency requirements on residential buildings under the permit fee statute. It has been amended to change the lower efficiency requirement be the default standard.

Also in the House is HB 2023 from last year that would preempt the effective date of certain actions under the GMA, such as urban growth area changes. We have opposed this loss of local control. There have not been any particular indications that the bill will be passed, yet it is in the Rules committee and can be pulled to the floor.

In the Senate, SB 5657 is in a similar situation as a bill from last year that is still in Rules with the ability to move forward.  This bill preempts local control on permitting the hosting of homeless on a religious-owned property.

SB 6109 that would require the International Wildland-Urban Interface code to be implemented into the building code has moved to third reading and could still be pulled to the floor for a vote.

Environment & Natural Resource Bills

Environment and Natural Resource bills that we are working on include HB 1476 that requires the update of onsite septic management plans by a local health jurisdiction every five years. The legislation does not provide funding for the required updates. It has passed the House and is scheduled for hearing in the Senate Energy and Environment committee on Thursday, February 15th.  WSAC and WSALPHO will have members testifying in opposition to this bill.

There is only one Marbled Murrelet study bill still alive and has yet to be pulled to the floor. HB 2285 establishes an advisory group under the Commissioner of Public Lands at the Department of Natural Resources to study the impacts and losses of an adopted Marbled Murrelet Habitat Conservation Plan. Please contact your House member to support the passage of this bill.

HB 2914 has been amended and creates a workgroup at Ecology to develop an outreach strategy to improve recycling and reduce contamination. Counties have been included in the amendment as changes to plans and the implementation of an outreach strategy could impact counties.

The Senate passed SB 6140 promoting the efficient and effective management of state-managed lands and was amended on the floor to include some language from SB 6539 that counties supported regarding compliance with the state’s fiduciary responsibility to trust beneficiaries.

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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.