January 21, 2016
LEAD: Legislative Education, Advocacy & Direction
2016 Edition 2

2016 Week One

Week one of the 2016 Legislative Session is complete, and both the House and the Senate finished the week with hearings on the Governor's proposed supplemental capital budget. During the 2014 session, the Legislature did not pass a supplemental capital budget. Yet, with the damage from the wildfires and the need to address federal pressure to create more mental health facilities, most expect a capital budget bill to pass.

Last week, the House Local Government Committee held a hearing on HB 1420, the school siting task force bill. While that bill is not expected to pass, another bill, HB 2377, was introduced, and it would make all schools, not just state education facilities, essential public facilities (EPFs), thereby including all school in the category of EPFs which cannot be precluded by local jurisdictions. The Committee will hold a work session during week two, and among the discussion items anticipated is the School Siting Task Force Report produced in December 2015. Thus, the issue will linger through this session.

The House Local Government Committee also held a hearing on HB 1802, which would allow permit fees to be used to fund long-range planning. APA Washington Chapter President Paula Reeves testified for the chapter, and the bill is expected to pass from committee.

Hearings of interest during week two include a hearing on SB 6168, which would remove drainage ditches from the definition of fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas as set forth in the definition of critical areas in the Growth Management Act [RCW 36.70A.030(5)]. APA Washington has set forth its opposition to SB 6168 in a letter to the Senate Government Operations and Security Committee. The Senate Energy Committee will hear both SB 6173 which would prohibit rules and policies that limit greenhouse gas emissions and SB 6306 which would create a fossil fuel pollution tax.

If you have any questions about the Chapters Legislative Committee (LC), please contact Yorik Stevens-Wajda or Esther Larsen, the LC Co-Chairs. A big thanks to Michael Shaw and all the members of the Legislative Committee for contributing their time, bill summaries, and discussion this regular session.

American Planning Association, Washington Chapter
[email protected]  206-682-7436  www.washington-apa.org