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Big hearing in BIAW, AGC case challenging illegal Building Code Council appointments

September 16, 2021

Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon will hear preliminary motions in a lawsuit against Gov. Jay Inslee and others over appointments to the Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) at 9 a.m. on Sept. 17. BIAW Outside Counsel Callie Castillo will argue the case on BIAW’s behalf.

The state’s two largest construction trade associations, the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) and the Associated General Contractors of Washington (AGC), allege the governor violated the law when he chose to ignore the groups’ lists of nominees to represent the residential and commercial building industries on the SBCC and made different appointments.

When:                 9 a.m. on Sept. 17

Where:                 Thurston County Superior Court: Remote hearing via Zoom –  directions for access

  • Zoom Meeting ID: 846 3408 9705
  • Passcode: 1234


State law reserves one of the two general contracting positions for residential construction and another for commercial construction. It also requires the governor to appoint only people who have been nominated by those specific industries unless the industry fails to submit nominees. This ensures that groups impacted by the code have a role in changes made to the code and the timing of their implementation.

Both the BIAW and the AGC submitted their nominees timely, but the governor appointed individuals not on their lists.

The lawsuit asks the court to declare these appointments unlawful and to require the governor to appoint the two representatives from the lists of nominees provided within 60 days. It also asks the court to prohibit the governor’s appointees from serving as voting members of the council.

The next meeting of the SBCC is scheduled Sept. 17. BIAW and others are preparing to contest a proposal to restrict the use of natural gas in commercial construction. The meeting will be streamed live on TVW. 

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