Blog | BIAW


IBS Recap and Award Winners
January 24, 2020

Another year, another great show! 800 BIAW members from across the state headed to NAHB’s 2020 International Builders Show (IBS) Jan. 20-23. IBS was full of networking, new products, building trends and awards. Congratulations to Nick Scheel, Linda Mosier-Vaudt, and Joseph Irons on their big wins at IBS.

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Testify on BIAW Supported Land Use Bills
January 24, 2020

A host of BIAW supported land use reform bills will be heard in House Environment on Jan. 30 at 8 a.m. These bills are critical to increase the housing stock, make housing more affordable, and attainable. Please make an effort to come and support these pieces of legislation in person.

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One Size Does not fit all on Safety Training Bill
January 20, 2020

HB 2564, the requiring health and safety training for construction workers bill would require EVERY construction worker in the state of Washington to complete a 10-hour classroom safety program within two years of passage of the bill. That’s nearly 240,000 workers.

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UPDATE: Bi-partisan Bill Provides Energy Code Relief for Homebuilders
January 20, 2020

UPDATE: HB 2667 is up for a hearing in House Local Government Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 8 a.m. This bill delays implementation of the 2018 Washington State Energy Code for residences. BIAW estimates the cost of energy code compliance will be an additional $7,000 per home. HB 2667 would not only delay implementation but direct the state building code council to find more cost-effective alternatives. BIAW has heard from all areas of the state that the upcoming energy code will impact housing affordability and it is nearly impossible to reach compliance.

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Stop Double Taxation on Concrete Pumping
January 20, 2020

Thanks to BIAW and its member's efforts, in October we were able to successfully delay WA Department of Revenue’s (DOR) new guidance until April. This new guidance would require concrete pumpers to pay sales tax even if their concrete would be resold as a part of the whole building. DOR has indicated it will implement this rule unless the legislature acts and tells it to continue to collect these taxes when the final building is sold.

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Low-Carbon Fuel Standards will Increase Gas and Housing Prices
January 20, 2020

BIAW testified in the Senate Energy, Environment, and Technology Committee last week against the Senate version of a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS), SB 5412. SB 5412 and the house version HB 1110 would require reductions in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. The costs of this increase for consumers, may not be workable and has a limited environmental benefit.

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Wage Lien Legislation Proposes Liens Against Employer’s Personal Property
January 20, 2020

SB 6053 would allow employees to file a lien for unpaid wages against an employer’s personal or business property along with the property of any officers of the company.

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BIAW Weighs in on HPA Rule-Making
January 17, 2020

The fallout from HB 1579, the Hydraulic Permit Approval (HPA) bill passed last session, has already begun. BIAW has filed a lawsuit to try to prevent the bill from taking effect, but that hasn’t stopped the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) from starting to put forward rules based on the new law.

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BIAW Members Testify Against Direct Contractor Liability Bill
January 16, 2020

BIAW opposes SB 5565, the direct contractor liability bill which was also killed last session. This legislation would make general contractors liable for all benefits, contributions, and payroll for employees of subcontractors on their projects. BIAW members, staff, and lobbyists testified in opposition to the bill at a hearing before the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee Jan. 16.

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L&I to Implement new Electronic OSHA 300 Recordkeeping Reporting Rules
January 6, 2020

What does the new DOSH rule do?
The new changes to DOSH’s rule are required in order to be at least as effective as OSHA.

Requires certain employers (depending on size and industry type) to annually submit electronic injury and illness records to federal OSHA that they are already required to keep under the recordkeeping regulations.

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Meet Your 2020 Senior Officers
January 3, 2020

President Sherry Schwab, HCS Construction Services Co.

Sherry Schwab has been a BIAW member for more than 25 years and heavily involved in leadership at BIAW, as well as her local association, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS).

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Sherry Schwab to Lead BIAW in 2020
January 1, 2020

Sherry Schwab, owner of HCS Construction Services Company, has been elected President of the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) for 2020. Schwab will begin serving her term on Jan. 1.

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Thank you, Rick Hjelm and Chris Lockhart
December 31, 2019

As we prepare to welcome the new BIAW President and Second Vice President taking their seat on January 1, 2020, BIAW wanted to take a moment to thank our outgoing leadership for their hard work and dedication to BIAW and the home building industry.

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See What’s New for BIAW Education
December 16, 2019

A new year is starting and that means new BIAW classes! We know you’re as excited as we are, so here’s your guide to our most popular classes, newest classes, online classes, and recertifications to look forward to in the upcoming year.


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Who can File a Lien?
December 3, 2019

Let’s talk about Who Can File a Lien? Not just anyone can walk into the recording office and file a lien.

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Living in Your Home After Retirement
November 25, 2019

As baby boomers age, many are opting to stay in their homes instead of moving after retirement. If you are among the growing population of aging adults, it is important to make sure your home has both long and short-term solutions to ensure your safety and comfort throughout your golden years. Here are several tips to help make sure any environment is optimal for aging in place, a home designed for independent living.

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DOR Suspends Concrete Pumping Guidance
November 25, 2019

BIAW has positive news to announce regarding our efforts to prevent the Washington Department of Revenue (DOR) from enacting recent guidance around sales tax and concrete pumping. Friday, Nov. 22, DOR notified legislators that they will suspend implementation of the concrete pumping guidance immediately until April of 2020 to allow the Legislature time to consider legislative action.

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General Contractor's Liability Extended
November 22, 2019

BIAW was disappointed by the WA Supreme Court’s decision in Vargas v. Inland Washington, released yesterday, where the court expanded a general contractor’s liability (under Stute). BIAW filed an amicus brief to challenge the Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) broad interpretation of general contractor liability, arguing that a general contractor is not strictly liable for a subcontractor’s safety violations.

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Best BIAW Memories
November 18, 2019

BIAW has reached another milestone and in January we will be celebrating our 70th year. What better way to celebrate than to look back on previous years and reflect on happy memories, funny stories, and the friendships you’ve built over the years.

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Supreme Court Deals Blow On Property Rights
November 14, 2019

Today the Washington Supreme Court dealt a devastating setback for property rights in Washington state. Earlier this year, BIAW filed an amicus brief in a suit brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation against the City of Seattle against its First In Time (FIT) rule. In 2016, FIT was adopted and required landlords to rent to the first “qualified” rental applicant regardless of the relative qualifications of a different applicant or any other considerations. This morning, the Supreme Court sided with the City of Seattle, finding the FIT rule constitutional and overturning decades of established precedent.

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2019 Hall of Fame
November 11, 2019

The BIAW Hall of Fame welcomed its newest member, Larry Chimenti, during the Installation and Awards ceremony held at the Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington. The posthumous award was accepted by his wife Pat, daughter Jennifer and grandson Sam.

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Fall Board Meeting Highlights
November 11, 2019

Over 175 guests and members gathered for BIAW’s fall board meeting at the Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane. The annual Installation and Awards Ceremony honored the 2019 Builder, Associate, and Remodeler of the Year along with our newest Hall of Fame Inductee.

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Careers in Construction
October 29, 2019

Did you know that it takes an average of 22 different subcontractors to build a home?

October is Careers in Construction Month, and it’s a perfect time to recognize the contributions of all the professionals working in residential construction as well as highlight the rewarding careers available in the industry.

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Certified Builder Week
October 21, 2019

Last week, BIAW celebrated Certified Builders week. Nine Certified Builders came from across the state to add input in on a new class designed by PorterWorks, ‘Building your Business, Management for Residential Construction’. The class is designed for builders who have been in business for at least three years. BIAW’s Certified Builders helped add insight, gave feedback, and refined content for the future class.

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Meet Certified Builder Elizabeth Gomez
October 14, 2019

This week is BIAW's Certified Builder week. To kick off the festivities, BIAW wanted to feature our newest Certified Builder, Elizabeth Gomez.

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BIAW Informs Yelm High School Students about the Reality of the Trades
October 4, 2019

BIAW staff members Workforce Development Manager Al Audette, Membership Manager Karen Hall and Graphic Designer Brenda Kwieciak helped over 60 students at the Yelm High School Reality Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The reality fair is an event for junior and senior students to gain a better understanding of post-graduation costs.

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Back to Tools - Industry's Top Related Tools
September 24, 2019

In honor of kids going back to school, BIAW thinks adults should partake in some of the fun. We know that work is year-round, so BIAW decided to highlight some of the best-rated tools for our industry to help beef-up your back to work toolbox this September with …#BackToTools!

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Permitting Agencies are Liable for Damages
September 23, 2019

Government agencies that break the law are liable for the damages caused by those actions, according to a Washington State Supreme Court ruling announced Thursday, Sept. 19 in the Church of the Divine Earth v. the City of Tacoma. In the ruling, the Court adopted reasoning argued in an amicus brief filed in the case by the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW).

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3 Women in Construction Podcasts You Should Listen To
September 19, 2019

Podcasts have risen in popularity, so much so that according to the podcast production and hosting source Blubrry, there are around 2,000 new podcast shows launching every month and over 700,000 currently available for listeners. In honor of Professional Women in Building Week, BIAW has chosen three women-lead podcasts about the home building and construction industry to start listening to on your way to work.

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Five Reasons Why Women Should Work in the Construction Trades
September 16, 2019

The residential construction industry provides a rewarding career path for women. Builders and remodelers across Washington State are seeking skilled artisans and professionals, including carpenters, architects, engineers, plumbers, electricians, and painters. In the U.S., women make up about 50% of the workforce, but only 9% of women work in the construction/home building industry according to the United States Census. Here are some reasons why women should consider pursuing a fulfilling career in the trades.

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Remembering Rob Stewart
September 16, 2019

It is with a heavy heart that BIAW announces the death of Rob Stewart. Rob started Stewart Construction/Greacen Construction, Inc. in 1973 and provided leadership in our association for the past four decades, including serving as President of MBA King-Sno in 1982 and BIAW in 1997. He was a Hall of Fame member at both BIAW and the MBA of King and Snohomish Counties and most recently served as an active member of the MSC Board of Directors.

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Back to Tools - Industry's Top Related Tools
September 10, 2019

In honor of kids going back to school, BIAW thinks adults should partake in some of the fun. We know that work is year-round, so BIAW decided to highlight some of the best-rated tools for our industry to help beef-up your back to work toolbox this September with …#BackToTools!

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BIAW Buys New Building
September 9, 2019

Since the purchase was approved at the summer board meeting in June, BIAW has been taking steps to buy a new building to house daily operations. The McCleary Mansion, where BIAW currently resides, cannot meet the current needs and size of the staff so a building just one mile south is the right fit.

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EAP Comment Period Extended
September 4, 2019

Driven by a high level of interest, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is extending the public comment period on its proposed changes to the state’s overtime rules. Comments will now be accepted through Friday, Sept. 20.

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Back to Tools - Industry's Top Related Tools
September 3, 2019

In honor of kids going back to school, BIAW thinks adults should partake in some of the fun. We know that work is year-round, so BIAW decided to highlight some of the best-rated tools for our industry to help beef-up your back to work toolbox this September with … #BackToTools!

Check back every Tuesday on our blog this month to see the top-rated tool of the week.

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Update on BIAW Headquarters Purchase
August 28, 2019

As many in the association are aware, after a lengthy evaluation process, the BIAW Board of Directors at the summer board meeting in June voted to approve the purchase of a building in Tumwater as BIAW’s new headquarters.

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BIAW Legal Wants Your Help in the HPA Suit
August 26, 2019

BIAW’s Legal Department needs your help in its suit against the governor and Fish and Wildlife to block enforcement of recent legislation. The lawsuit alleges that the bill, HB 1579, was unconstitutionally drafted and vetoed. The bill as written applies to any project in which a hydraulic permit was required, including any residential project involving construction or repair of marine bulkheads.

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Labor Shortage Affects Housing Market
August 23, 2019

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a poll last month that covered 15 specific construction-related occupations and found labor shortages in each category.

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MBA Pierce Membership Appreciation Event
August 19, 2019

Master Builders Association (MBA) of Pierce County held a membership appreciation event at the Tacoma Rainer’s Game Thursday, Aug. 15. The well-attended event started at 5:30 p.m. on the party deck.

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BIAW Successfully Defends Workers’ Compensation Fund
August 15, 2019

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) reached an agreement in its lawsuit with the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) that prevents the agency from using Workers’ Compensation Funds to implement the governor’s Clean Energy Bill. Under the agreement announced today, BIAW will stay the case to give L&I and the legislature time to correct the budget in the 2020 legislative session.

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Water Restoration Field Trip
August 14, 2019

The eight watershed restoration enhancement committees, created by Hirst legislation were directed by the legislature to come up with a list of projects to offset future water use from household wells.

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BIAW Strategic Planning
August 12, 2019
BIAW's board of directors recently adopted an aggressive and ambitious strategic plan. Developed over the last six months with the involvement of members representing every local association, the strategic plan is a comprehensive document that reflects the mutual priorities of the membership.

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Meet 2019 Scholarship Winner Colby Tucker
August 5, 2019

BIAW is proud to award outstanding students in construction-related fields, apprenticeships and continuing education with scholarships. This year 18 recipients were chosen based on the applicant’s field of study, extracurricular activities, and building industry work experiences. Meet one of the recipients, Colby Tucker!

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July/August Building Insight Preview
August 1, 2019

The July/August Issue of Building Insight is full of big news, lawsuits and great pictures from the board meeting and events that happened in the last two months. Before your Building Insight gets to your house, here is a little sneak peek to what is inside...

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EIR Award Winner Deacon Band Q&A
July 30, 2019

At the annual reception on June 19th at the BIAW Summer Board meeting in Yakima, BIAW announced 27 winners and four honorable mentions for the 2019 EIR Awards. One of the winners and a first-time EIR Award applicant, Deacon Band, owner of Band Construction, did a Q&A with BIAW to talk about his experience.

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Meet 2019 Scholarship Winner Julian Garcia
July 25, 2019

BIAW is proud to award outstanding students in construction-related fields, apprenticeships and continuing education with scholarships. This year BIAW has 18 recipients who were chosen based on the applicant’s field of study, extracurricular activities and building industry work experiences. One of this year’s winners is 19-year-old Julian Garcia.

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Home Building Industry adds $8.4 Billion to State's Economy
July 23, 2019

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) commissioned the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to create an economic impact report examining the impact on the construction of 24,000 single-family homes built in Washington State in 2018.

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2019 BIAW Scholarship Award Winners
July 18, 2019

After 31 applications were received, BIAW is proud to announce the 18 recipients of the 2019 Education Scholarship.

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State to Mandate Overtime for Salaried Employees
July 17, 2019

The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has proposed changes to the executive, administrative and professional overtime exemptions. Among the changes is an increase in the minimum salary threshold that affects all employers who will be required to pay salaried, overtime-exempt workers. The current threshold to be exempt from overtime pay set by the U.S. Department of Labor is $23,660 per year.

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BIAW files suit against Governor Inslee and State due to violations of State Constitution
July 16, 2019

BIAW filed suit against Governor Jay Inslee, the State of Washington, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) because the governor and legislature overstepped their constitutional authority in legislation that created new fines for builders.

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Housing Forum Highlights
July 11, 2019

BIAW joined forces with the Association of Washington Business (AWB) and eight other partners to hold a Housing Forum July 8 at the Hilton Bellevue that covered the necessity of increased market-rate housing supply across the state at all price points. Participants heard from local elected officials, home builders, legislators, economists, attorneys, realtors and many more about issues facing our industry from supply to permitting.

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2019 Excellence in Remodeling Award Winners Announced
July 3, 2019

The Excellence in Remodeling Award (EIR) Program recognizes the outstanding remodeling projects throughout the state with categories including bath updates, historic renovations, entire home transformations and many more.

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Housing Forum - July 8, 2019
July 2, 2019

BIAW has partnered with the Association of Washington Business to host a crucial discussion on housing attainability and availability to identify solutions that will deliver affordable workforce housing in communities all across our state.

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Legislative Session Wrap Up
May 21, 2019

While the 2019 legislative session was one of the worst sessions for the business community in decades, BIAW had a moderate number of legislative wins. On the downside, we will see all of the harmful bills that were killed again next year.

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Urban Density Capacity Bill Signed
May 9, 2019

BIAW joined Governor Jay Inslee as he signed HB 1923 - addressing urban residential building capacity - into law today and added that, “If you care about ending homelessness, build more houses.” The bill encourages cities to choose from a menu of options to “get to yes” on projects. If a city chooses to take two “get to yes” development regulation code changes, such as up zones or cluster lot development, they are eligible for up to $100,000 in planning grant dollars, and these newly adopted ordinances would be protected from State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) appeal.

Amicus Brief Filed in Contractor Liability Case
May 2, 2019

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) filed an amicus brief on May 2, 2019 in Gildardo Crisostomo Vargas, et al. v. Inland Washington, LLC, et al. pending the Washington State Supreme Court to challenge the Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I’s) broad interpretation of general contractor liability. Read more »

Condo Liability Reform Bill Signed
April 30, 2019

Condo Liability Reform, SB 5334, was signed into law on April 30, will help revise overreaching condo warranty liability from the 90s and allow for new condo construction. It’s not a silver bullet to the housing crisis, but it is another option for consumers seeking a path to affordable homeownership, by increasing supply and options for families of all sizes and incomes.

BIAW Offers Amicus Brief in Church of the Divine Earth
April 29, 2019

BIAW filed an amicus brief in this case because the Court of Appeals decision effectively gutted the statute that provides damages when a builder is wronged by a permitting body. Specifically, the Court of Appeals said Tacoma was not responsible for damages as the City did not know it was violating constitutional law. This is wrong because ignorance is no excuse for violating someone’s constitutional rights” stated Jackson Maynard, General Counsel for BIAW. Read more »

Good News Out of Olympia
April 26, 2019

BIAW would like to thank Senator Jamie Pederson (D-Seattle) and Senator Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley) for their leadership on SB 5334, the Condo Liability Reform bill, which has passed the House and Senate unanimously and is headed to Governor Inslee for signature. This bill helps revise overreaching condo warranty liability from the ‘90s, which will allow for new condo construction in Washington State. Read more »

Latest Session Update
April 19, 2019

With 10 days remaining … taxes increases still await.

Wednesday was opposite house of origin cut-off, which means the legislature will be focused primarily on fiscal matters, including a new mix of taxes. In the days winding down to the end of regular session, constitutionally mandated to be April 28th, rumors abound about the need for a special session again this year. One thing remains clear, it’s not a question of when taxes will be raised, but by how much. Read more »

Surviving Bills From Cutoff
April 12, 2019

Tuesday was opposite house of origin fiscal committee cutoff, which means budget negotiations have started and legislators are moving from the committee rooms to the floors.
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Taxes, Taxes, Taxes
April 12, 2019

With the House and Senate passing record-setting budgets that spend 18% more than the previous budget, committees continue to evaluate new taxes and tax increases that could be as high as $1.4 billion needed in new revenue -- in addition to $5.6 billion in windfall revenue.
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Seattle First-In-Time Rule
March 7, 2019

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) filed today an amicus brief supporting a suit brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a property rights. Learn more »

TVW's Interview with BIAW
February 20, 2019

BIAW Government Affairs Director Jan Himebaugh filmed a segment for TVW's The Impact about the affordable housing crisis impacting Washington on February 20. Watch interview here »