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2023 session ends with good news for builders and remodelers

April 24, 2023

There’s plenty of good news for builders and remodelers as legislators leave Olympia.

Thanks to pressure from builders and other BIAW members, great information from our BIAW Housing Research Center and pent-up frustration from families across Washington who can’t afford to buy a home, both the Governor and many legislators finally made the housing supply and affordability crisis a priority.

The 2023 legislative session ended on April 23, 2023, after passing a number of BIAW’s high-priority bills. They now head to the Governor’s desk for signature.

Good news for builders and remodelers

  • ESHB 1042: Using existing buildings for residential purposes.
  • E2SHB 1110: Increasing middle housing in areas traditionally dedicated to single-family detached housing.
  • ESHB 1293: Requiring counties and cities planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA) to apply only clear and objective design review standards to the exterior of new development, with exceptions.
  • HB 1308: High school graduation pathway options, including trades.
  • EHB 1337: Expanding housing options by easing barriers to the construction and use of accessory dwelling units.
  • E2SSB 5258: Increasing the supply and affordability of condominium units and townhouses as an option for homeownership.
  • 2SSB 5290: Consolidating local permit review processes.
  • 2SSB 5412: Categorically exempting from the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) project actions that propose to develop one or more residential housing units within the incorporated areas in an urban growth area. It also exempts middle housing within the unincorporated areas in an urban growth area, if the proposed projects do not have transportation system safety or operational deficiencies.

Legislators also included a budget proviso in the capital budget to study the effects of a three-year code cycle versus a six-year code cycle.

Bad bills that died

  • SHB 1735: Adding new ecological gain standards in GMA and permitting
  • ESHB 1589: Banning new natural gas hooks-ups in Puget Sound Energy service territory and discontinuing natural gas service to current customers by 2050.
  • SB 5770: Increasing local property taxes.
  • 2SHB 1628: Increasing high-dollar real estate transactions and allowing a new local real estate excise tax (REET) option.
  • HB 1389: Limiting rent increases.
  • HB 1124: Requiring six months’ notice for rent increases, limiting late fees and allowing tenants to terminate without penalty.
  • HB 1078: Requiring the Department of Natural Resources to establish optional model ordinances and recommendations for the use of tree banks.

Bad bills that survived

Despite all the good news, several troubling measures made their way to the Governor’s desk as well, including:

  • E2SHB 1181: Adding climate change to the GMA.
  • ESHB 1106: Expanding qualifications for unemployment insurance when an individual voluntarily leaves work.
  • SB 5452: Authorizing impact fee revenue to fund improvements to bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
  • ESSB 5217: Allowing L&I to pass new ergonomics rules.
  • SHB 1068: Allowing workers to record independent medical examinations in worker’s compensation cases.

Thank you to all

Thank you to all the BIAW members who participated in our weekly legislative calls, answered our calls to action and traveled to Olympia for our Builder Action Day and Hammers & Highballs reception.

And congratulations to the government affairs team and lobbyists for a successful legislative session!







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