Futurewise Works for You in Olympia

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To say that this year’s legislative session was a tough one is a huge understatement. In the end, we helped secure a few minor victories and successfully defeated more than 60 bills aimed at weakening our bedrock environmental laws.

To say that this year’s legislative session was a tough one is a huge understatement. In the end, we helped secure a few minor victories and successfully defeated more than 60 bills aimed at weakening our bedrock environmental laws.

As a result of an ”all hands on deck” approach, we were able to prevent major rollbacks to our environmental laws. Here is just a few of the hard fought wins we got.  With the help of your unprecedented engagement through emails and phone calls to legislators, we successfully defeated multiple proposals (SB 6154, SB 6406, HB 2282) to effectively eliminate a citizen’s right to enforce our land use laws protecting our working forests and farmlands and our critical wildlife habitat.  Although SB 6406 passed, together, we were able to get the worst parts out of the bill.   We worked to limit SB 6406’s changes to the State Environmental Policy Act to reduce red tape without compromising environmental protections.  We stopped a proposal (HB 2267) that would have simultaneously allowed sewers to be expanded into rural areas – facilitating poorly planned sprawl – while removing the requirement that cities provide sewers.  And we built a coalition to successfully oppose HB 2162, a proposal that would have limited the public’s ability to stop illegally sited projects like gravel mines and coal export facilities along our shorelines.

We also worked to pass good bills. We supported SB 6082, which will help provide our county officials with better and more complete information about the impacts that new developments can have on nearby farmlands. Our Transportation for Washington  campaign led a strong coalition for long-term, sustainable transportation funding. The campaign organized the support of nearly 200 local elected officials, businesses, labor groups, and other organizations and more than 1,500 individual letters sent to legislators supporting transit funding.  The legislature raised transportation related fees through HB 2660, which temporarily directs additional state investment to transit, bicycle and pedestrian safety, ferries, road maintenance, and other transportation related programs, but failed to pass a long-term solution.

Futurewise is fighting for communities across the state, including yours, to help protect our quality of life for today and future generations.  But we certainly don’t do it alone – thanks so much for your emails & calls to legislators!  In the months to come, Futurewise is working to cultivate even greater political support for building a better Washington with strong communities and a healthy environment.   We will host candidate forums, hold in-district meetings, and better educate legislators about stopping sprawl, protecting farms, saving our Puget Sound, and transforming state transportation policy.  If you want to be involved or join a meeting with your legislators, please contact April april@futurewise.org

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