Futurewise’s 2016 Legislative Priorities
The 2016 Legislative Session convened on Monday January 11, 2016. This is a short 60 day session, and Futurewise has a robust positive legislative agenda to make this another successful year.
We believe that the right land use policies help build community, provide for affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while addressing climate change, protecting working farms, forests, and providing for clean water and healthy wildlife habitat. Our legislative priorities reflect these values.
This year we will work hard on the following legislative priorities, while also supporting additional positive legislation that helps achieve our mission and working to defeat bad legislation that undercut the health and environment of our communities and our state.
Preservation Property Tax Exemption
This creates a local option in Washington for a 15-year tax exemption for property owners in the private market who agree to set aside 25 percent of their buildings for low-income tenants.
Housing Trust Fund
The Housing Trust Fund is Washington State’s most important investment toward achieving the goal of providing housing for all. We are working with our affordable housing partners and communities to increase funding for the Housing Trust Fund and help us move closer to that goal. By building strong communities, this investment contributes to our quality of life, making Washington the kind of state we all want to and can live in.
Climate change is continually intensifying and we can see it across Washington in the shape of bigger and longer fire seasons and our unprecedented drought. Promoting solar power is a great way to combat and offer alternative power sources for our communities.
White Center Annexation
This bill allows the City of Seattle to annex White Center while providing for infrastructure upgrades. It will also greatly reduce the cost burden on King County to upgrade infrastructure as well as patrol the area with the King County Sheriff.
When new development occurs it should be subject to the most up to date standards for environmental protections, it should also have to follow all applicable laws that unduly impact local communities. We are working to make sure that our land use laws continue to protect lives and our environment.
King County Roads and Bridges Taskforce
This summer and fall Futurewise sat on a taskforce for King County to address the structural funding deficiency for road and bridge maintenance. We are working to pass a bill that incorporates many of the recommendations, these include efficiencies as well as transferring road sections boarding cities over to the city for maintenance. We are working on reducing the cost to a shrinking number of county residents for many miles of roadways that all people use.
In addition to all this proactive legislation, we will continue to work to protect funding we secured last year in our state’s Transportation Package for transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as protecting implementation of Express Tolling Lanes on I-405 to manage congestion.
If you would like to become involved in our legislative priorities and help make a difference in 2016, sign up for our email action alerts at http://futurewise.org/action/full_signup.