2013 Legislative Agenda
Our 2013 Legislative Agenda focused on smart growth solutions to create communities that thrive with strong local businesses and jobs, safe efficient transportation choices, affordable places to live, and healthy natural systems.
Equitable livable communities.
We know that one of the biggest roadblocks to accommodating growth in our cities is an inadequate supply of affordable housing and a lack of funds to pay for the infrastructure needed to service it.
Unfortunately the legislature did not authorize Value Capture Financing - a local tool cities can use to facilitate affordable and sustainable development. We partnered with Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, Housing Development Consortium of King County, Forterra, and local governments to begin educating the legislature about the critical need for creating such a tool. We'll keep working with our partners to fully develop this and other tools needed to accommodate growth equitably and sustainably.
But thanks to the leadership of Representative Fitzgibbon and support of local governments, business, builders, HB 1717 passed to promote upfront environmental planning by making it easier for cities to collect latecomer fees and giving developers more certainty that later development will pay them back for their upfront investments.
Transportation for Washington.
Six months went by and the legislature refused to take action to prevent bus cuts, or to make it safer for all of us to walk, bike, and drive. While the Governor and House of Representatives stepped up to address our needs, the Senate refused to act.
Together -- with your help -- we organized more than a dozen lobby days and generated more than 1,000 phone calls from the average citizen to the COO of Microsoft. We sent in more than 10,000 emails to legislators asking that they stop neglecting our roads, bridges, sidewalks, and buses.
The State House - led by Representative Clibborn, Speaker Chopp, and Representatives Liias, Fitzgibbon, Farrell, Fey, Habib, and Zeiger - was so committed to addressing our transportation crisis that they voted twice to send a bill over to the Senate. But the Senate's Majority Coalition Caucus refused to take action despite strong leadership from Senators Eide, Murray, Billig, Harper, and Frockt. And despite pleas from constituents to save bus service or pressure from CEO’s from around the state asking to fund freight mobility projects and create jobs. Despite signatures of hundreds of local elected officials asking for more local control to fund essential roads and transit in their communities.
With the Senate's failure to act, we are taking matters into our own hands. Partners across the state want to stand with us to find a path to prevent devastating bus cuts across King County and around the state. We know we have champions in the House, Senate and Governor's office - and we know you're as committed as we are. We haven’t given up and we certainly won’t quit.
Stop environmental rollbacks.Powerful industries and some elected officials tried using the recession as justification to roll back environmental regulations. We were able to prevent environmental rollbacks. Our state laws like the Growth Management Act, Shoreline Management Act, and State Environmental Policy Act are critical tools to keeping Washington State and our communities special --- and thankfully those laws are still in tact.
While one bad bill did pass - HB 1652 - it was vetoed by the Governor! HB 1652 would have delayed when impact fees are collected, making it harder for local communities to sustainably accommodate growth. We worked with local governments, school districts, fire districts, and others to stop the bill from becoming law.
Fortunately we were able to leverage other attempts to weaken environmental laws to ultimately strengthen them.
HB 1074 was a bill brought forward by the building industry to allow plats to have an additional one year extension before they expire. Thanks to our work, the bill also extinguishes all old plats starting in 2015 - so now projects from decades ago that run counter to today's local anti-sprawl laws will have to conform with today's protections.
SB 5399 now encourages local governments to delay implementation of a local zoning regulation if it has been appealed. This will mean that projects can't lock-in or be "grandfathered" in to a law that is later deemed illegal.
2013 Environmental Priorities
The Legislature adjourned ending a very long session with a number of missed opportunities to improve the health of our environment, make sure oil companies pay their far share in taxes, and protect our families from toxic chemicals. Despite the missed opportunities, there were two main bright spots – passage of a Governor-request bill to evaluate climate change mitigation options and adoption of a capital budget with an unprecedented level of investment in win-win projects that create jobs in communities throughout the state, restore Puget Sound, reduce water pollution, and promote recreation. Click here to read more about the 2013 Coalition Priorities.
For more information about Futurewise's legislative agenda or priorities, please contact:
(206) 343-0681 x120