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Five BIAW bills signed into law  

March 25, 2024

OLYMPIA…Members of the Building Industry Association of Washington and staff joined five bill-signing ceremonies over the last two weeks as the governor signed priority bills into law.

“Our members and staff worked hard this session to pass bills to help homebuilders build more housing and keep their workplaces safer,” said BIAW President Jay Roberts. “We’re happy to see these bills signed into law.”

Bill improving safety signed into law

Three women and two men with governor signing bills into law.
(Photo credit: Legislative Support Services Photo Department)

After builders complained about the state Department of Labor and Industries notifying them of safety violations months after the alleged violation occurred, BIAW Lobbyist Tom Kwieciak worked with Sen. Karen Keiser, longtime Chair of the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee, on a solution.

Keiser joined BIAW at its Fall Board of Directors meeting then sponsored SB 5980.  This bill improves the timeline for issuing safety violation citations. That means builders can fix potential problems sooner, creating safer workplaces and helping to eliminate unnecessary fines.

BIAW 2022 President Joseph Irons, lobbyist Tom Kwieciak, and Sr. Leg. Manager Tricia Gullion joined Sen. Keiser at the bill-signing on March 13. The bill goes into law on June 6, 2024.

Bills ease regulatory barriers

SB 5792 eased rigorous condominium development regulations to allow builders of multi-unit residential buildings/condominiums that are two stories or less with 12 or fewer units to add one story of above or below-ground parking or retail space. Previously, they had to build these structures under the more restrictive condominium codes. Gullion testified on this bill and worked with legislators to pass it into law.

Recognizing the need for more flexibility in rural development, Managing Director of External Affairs Jan Himebaugh joined local governments and other in supporting SSB 6140. A bipartisan bill, SSB 6140 will bring both jobs and essential services to rural areas.


Builders, the environmental community and local planning professionals all voiced concerns over the imprecise and confusing maps used to develop the state’s Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) code. As BIAW’s lead staff on the building code, Policy and Research Manager Andrea Smith helped pass SB 6120. This bill allows local governments more opportunity to weigh in on these maps to help ensure better land management and more opportunities to build.

After the governor signed SB 6120, the Washington State Building Code Council voted to suspend the new WUI indefinitely.

Social media manager Sailor Rozema joined Smith and Gullion as the governor signed all three bills on March 15. SB 6120 took effect on March 15. The other two bills take effect on June 6.

Streamlining the building code, cementing certainty

The governor signed SB 6291 into law on March 18.  This measure streamlines the state building code council operating procedures and creating more certainty. Smith worked with Sen. Linda Wilson, a member of the building code council, on these important improvements. Smith and Wilson joined the governor as he signed this bill into law. It becomes effective on June 6.

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