Legislative Updates – Week of 2/25/24

Week of February 25 Legislative Update

We’re in the home stretch! The session ends on March 7, meaning this is the last FULL week.  It’s been a busy week too as we are knee deep in cutoffs. Last Wednesday marked the opposite chamber policy cutoff, and bills only have until tomorrow to be out of their fiscal committee. Once out of their fiscal committee, bills need to be voted off the opposite chamber floor by Friday.  It’s a sprint until the end now.

Not only is this week important for cutoffs, but legislators will start hearing budget proposals for the state.  This is money that can be allocated to building connected communities and more.  Read on for bill and budget updates!

Transit-Oriented Development (HB 2160)

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) HB 2160, which would allow more housing near transit hubs, is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. It had a hearing on Saturday, and it’s scheduled for a vote tomorrow.  That’s good news, but not a guarantee it’ll pass; this committee is a notoriously challenging committee to pass bills through, and is HB 2160’s biggest hurdle so far.  It’s critical that we’re showing massive statewide support to hold the Senators accountable to bringing this bill for a vote.  Can you email the Senate Ways and Means committee to vote YES on HB 2160?

Rent Stabilization (HB 2114)

Rent Stabilization is also in the Senate Ways and Means committee!  It was heard last Thursday and had a massive turn out– over 1800 people signed in con, but over 2200 people signed in pro!  Even when the opposition fully mobilizes, we’re still the majority.  It’s clear that Washington wants stable rents.  But we need to keep reminding our legislators how much people care, especially since the next cutoff is tomorrow.  After you email the Senate Ways and Means Committee, can you ask your friends to reach out too?  The more people we can get to take action the stronger we are.  We made a toolkit with some sample messages to make it even easier!

Bills to Watch

As we near the end of session, we wanted to flag some important bills to watch.  While these are not our top priorities, they are still critical bills our team has been advocating for.  Read on for more info.

HB 2321

Last year, Futurewise passed middle housing (HB 1110), which allowed more housing in all neighborhoods by banning exclusionary zoning.  HB 2321 is a follow up to HB 1110 to address technical and implementation issues identified. As cities have started the process to review and implement HB 1110 we identified a couple of areas for clarity that needed to be addressed around protection of critical areas and maintaining tree protections at the local level. The bill does not change any of the policy or intent of the original legislation, but is an important next step in making sure we’re building more housing.

HB 2071

HB 2071 directs the State Building Code Council to update codes to apply residential code requirements to middle housing. Currently 6-plexes follow the commercial code which adds cost and requirements to middle housing projects that are unnecessary. With the passage of HB 1110 last year allowing 6-plexes in many cities, we need to make sure we are removing unnecessary impacts to see the full potential of that legislation.

State Budget Updates

As mentioned in previous updates, not only are we working to pass important bills, but we’re working to get the state to fully fund projects that will allow cities to build connected communities.  Last year we passed HB 1181, which holds cities accountable to building climate-friendly and resilient communities.  This year the house has added 10 million dollars to make it easy and affordable to do.  After the fiscal cutoff the Senate will be hearing the budget proposed by the House, so stay tuned for an email action alert.

Weekly Volunteer Campaign Meeting

Join us this Wednesday 2/21 at 5:30pm over zoom for the next weekly volunteer campaign meeting.  These are a great way to meet other volunteers, helps make plans for the upcoming session, and get the most up-to-date info on the campaign.

Legislative Updates – Week of 2/25/24

Week of February 25 Legislative Update

We’re in the home stretch! The session ends on March 7, meaning this is the last FULL week.  It’s been a busy week too as we are knee deep in cutoffs. Last Wednesday marked the opposite chamber policy cutoff, and bills only have until tomorrow to be out of their fiscal committee. Once out of their fiscal committee, bills need to be voted off the opposite chamber floor by Friday.  It’s a sprint until the end now.

Not only is this week important for cutoffs, but legislators will start hearing budget proposals for the state.  This is money that can be allocated to building connected communities and more.  Read on for bill and budget updates!

Transit-Oriented Development (HB 2160)

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) HB 2160, which would allow more housing near transit hubs, is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. It had a hearing on Saturday, and it’s scheduled for a vote tomorrow.  That’s good news, but not a guarantee it’ll pass; this committee is a notoriously challenging committee to pass bills through, and is HB 2160’s biggest hurdle so far.  It’s critical that we’re showing massive statewide support to hold the Senators accountable to bringing this bill for a vote.  Can you email the Senate Ways and Means committee to vote YES on HB 2160?

Rent Stabilization (HB 2114)

Rent Stabilization is also in the Senate Ways and Means committee!  It was heard last Thursday and had a massive turn out– over 1800 people signed in con, but over 2200 people signed in pro!  Even when the opposition fully mobilizes, we’re still the majority.  It’s clear that Washington wants stable rents.  But we need to keep reminding our legislators how much people care, especially since the next cutoff is tomorrow.  After you email the Senate Ways and Means Committee, can you ask your friends to reach out too?  The more people we can get to take action the stronger we are.  We made a toolkit with some sample messages to make it even easier!

Bills to Watch

As we near the end of session, we wanted to flag some important bills to watch.  While these are not our top priorities, they are still critical bills our team has been advocating for.  Read on for more info.

HB 2321

Last year, Futurewise passed middle housing (HB 1110), which allowed more housing in all neighborhoods by banning exclusionary zoning.  HB 2321 is a follow up to HB 1110 to address technical and implementation issues identified. As cities have started the process to review and implement HB 1110 we identified a couple of areas for clarity that needed to be addressed around protection of critical areas and maintaining tree protections at the local level. The bill does not change any of the policy or intent of the original legislation, but is an important next step in making sure we’re building more housing.

HB 2071

HB 2071 directs the State Building Code Council to update codes to apply residential code requirements to middle housing. Currently 6-plexes follow the commercial code which adds cost and requirements to middle housing projects that are unnecessary. With the passage of HB 1110 last year allowing 6-plexes in many cities, we need to make sure we are removing unnecessary impacts to see the full potential of that legislation.

State Budget Updates

As mentioned in previous updates, not only are we working to pass important bills, but we’re working to get the state to fully fund projects that will allow cities to build connected communities.  Last year we passed HB 1181, which holds cities accountable to building climate-friendly and resilient communities.  This year the house has added 10 million dollars to make it easy and affordable to do.  After the fiscal cutoff the Senate will be hearing the budget proposed by the House, so stay tuned for an email action alert.

Weekly Volunteer Campaign Meeting

Join us this Wednesday 2/21 at 5:30pm over zoom for the next weekly volunteer campaign meeting.  These are a great way to meet other volunteers, helps make plans for the upcoming session, and get the most up-to-date info on the campaign.

Meet Brooke Frickleton, Deputy Legal Director!

  Futurewise is thrilled to welcome Brooke Frickleton to our team as our new Deputy Legal Director! Brooke will be working with our long-time staff attorney, Director of Planning & Law Tim Trohimovich, on the upcoming comprehensive plan updates. Tell … Continue reading

Kate Brunette
April 22, 2024

March 2024 Executive Director Note – The Seattle Comprehensive Plan Needs Your Help

I have a rule at Futurewise: don’t focus on Seattle. There are so many great places across the state where important planning decisions are being made. Many of those places and decisions get too little attention from the media and … Continue reading

Marcella Buser
April 1, 2024