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First Cutoff Date Looms

February 8, 2021

The first major deadline of the 2021 Virtual Session is Monday, Feb. 15 – policy committee cutoff. This means all policy bills need to be voted out of their policy committees by next Monday.

Brief update on important legislation

HB 1084: Decarbonization of Buildings – As noted in a previous post, this bill allows local jurisdictions to adopt residential energy codes more stringent than the state’s residential energy code. It also changes the timeline of the state’s energy efficiency goals from 2030 to 2027 and contains an expensive transition to electrification.

Status:  Scheduled for a committee vote in its policy committee, House Environment & Energy, this week. If approved, it will likely go to House Appropriations due to fiscal implications.

SB 5141: Environmental Justice – This bill, also featured in a previous post, gives an environment justice advocate virtual control over all “significant agency action,” including rulemaking and permit approvals. We’re opposed to giving this much authority to an unelected bureaucrat who could put additional standards and conditions on permits and rules above what’s required by law.

Status: Scheduled for a committee vote this week in the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee.

SB 5042: GMA Vesting – SB 5042 removes the presumption of validity by any jurisdictions that change the urban growth areas (UGA) or critical areas ordinances (CAO). Instead it requires approval from the quasi-judicial Growth Management Hearings Board. This undermines the foundation of what all laws are built on. Laws are considered lawful, especially when a legislative body votes on them, until a court says they are not. This bill says a law isn’t valid until a court says they are.

Status: Passed out of the Senate Housing and Local Government Committee and now in the Senate Rules Committee.

Bills up for public hearing in policy committees

SB 5380: This is a BIAW priority to help streamline our permit processes. This bill limits the number of times that a permit can be reviewed to three. Housing is in crisis and builders need permits to processed in a reasonable amount of time so that BIAW members can produce homes for Washington’s populations.

Status: Scheduled for hearing TUESDAY, Feb. 9 at 8 a.m. in the Senate Housing and Local Government Committee. If you’d like to testify in support of HB 5380, please email for help signing in– or simply sign in SUPPORT here.  Deadline to sign in is 7 a.m. on Feb. 9

HB 1232: This addresses some accountability in GMA around the housing element. This is the one element with the least amount of accountability for local government. If Washington is going to actually get the housing that Washington needs, local governments need to start saying yes to residential housing in all forms. HB 1232 takes a step in that direction.

Status: Scheduled for hearing in House Local Government Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. Sign in SUPPORT here.  Deadline to sign in is 9 a.m. on Feb. 9


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