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BIAW Bulletin: Preparing for House Origin Cutoff March 9

March 1, 2021

Salutations – it’s another tremendously fabulous edition of The Hammer with Himebaugh, again – they continue to refuse permission to call it this so I am contractually obligated to also say this is the BIAW Bulletin or hosting duties will be reassigned.

March first marks the 50th day of session and still no real legislative involvement in managing the COVID 19 emergency. Washington legislative majorities continue to be the rare state example of not wanting to engage in the management of the emergency or address the governor’s emergency authority.

On that note, we also mark the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a state emergency. Happy birthday, COVID, please leave. And we are still waiting for direction on how a region of the state moves from the most current version of Phase 2 to phase 3 – this plan was rolled out in early January, and there also still no details on what phase 3 will look like.

Back to the legislative session – it’s predominantly floor action as we approach the next cutoff deadline – house of origin cutoff on March 9. BIAW’s team and you continue to connect with legislators to support those pieces of legislation that would assist in reducing the cost of housing and to oppose those very many bills that will only exacerbate and increase the cost of housing for Washington residents.

We continue to work on bills that would add some accountability into the GMA housing element, allow some narrow flexibility to limited areas of more intensive rural development and rural economic activity and push for more relief for unemployment insurance.

We also continue to share the message that bills that add vague terms and increased liability around land use, permitting, rulemaking, and the process will significantly slow and add costs to housing of all kinds. Housing that our state needed yesterday.

Remember when you’re communicating with your state representatives and senators to talk about the impacts on access to housing increased costs have: Washington’s median new home prices is nearly $200,000 MORE than the national median price at just over $522,0000. That means more than 72% of our 3 million households are priced out, to begin with – and then with every $1,000 in added costs 2,500 more households are priced out.

Legislators need to know that additional exactions in land use, additional complicated labor liabilities, increased regulatory schemes lead to LESS housing access – not more. We work hard every day to carry that message and thank you for also carrying that message.

If you’d like to stay up-to-date on what’s going on, make sure to join our member legislative update call on Tuesday mornings – email me if you’d like to learn how to connect in.

Again – thank you for watching this pretty baller episode of the hammer with Himebaugh

Homes start here.

Himebaugh out.

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