Legislative Updates – Week of 3/3/24

Week of March 3 Legislative Update

The 2024 legislative session officially ends this Thursday, March 7!  Unfortunately, our two priority bills, Transit-oriented development (HB 2160) and Rent Stabilization (HB 2114) did not pass out of the Senate Ways and Means committee last week and are dead this session.  However, we got both of these bills further than we ever had before, all thanks to your hard work and outreach.

And just because HB 2160 and HB 2114 didn’t pass doesn’t mean this is the end of session for us.  Read more for updates and upcoming events.

Transit-Oriented Development (HB 2160) & Rent Stabilization (HB 2114)

HB 2160 and HB 2114 both dies in the Senate Ways and Means committee last week.  This is disappointing; Washington needs action now if we’re going to build dense, livable, connected communities.  However, while we didn’t get them over the finish line this year, these bills made huge progress this year compared to years previous.  That’s thanks to the thousands of emails, phone calls, letters, lobby meetings and more that you helped make possible.

Both of these bills are big, important issues, and it often takes several years to successfully negotiate a policy that everyone can be excited about.  We’ll be using this as an opportunity to continue to promote TOD that centers density, equity and affordability. Read below to see how you can get involved.

Local Advocacy Training to Support TOD

Over the next couple years, many major cities across the state are updating their comprehensive plans, their plans for growth and development for the city.  These updates mark a time of big change; it’s an opportunity for local leaders to change zoning to allow and encourage more housing, walkability and affordability.  It’s a key time for cities to allow transit-oriented development as well.

TOD is such a large, complex policy that if we want to win a strong policy, it’s not enough to return each session and try again.  We need to use the months in between to build support at a local level.  That’s why we’re hosting a training on March 27 from 5:30-6:30 pm over zoom covering how to get involved in your local comprehensive plan update.  We’ll hear from Futurewise staff working on these issues already and share what you can do. Anyone and everyone is welcome, but please RSVP below.

Bills to Watch

I highlight HB 2321 and HB 2071 last week as important “clean up” bills to our successful middle housing bill (HB 1110) from last year. While these are not our top priorities, they are still critical bills our team has been advocating for.  Read on for updates.

HB 2321

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.  This bill passed concurrence last week, where both chambers agree on amendments made, and is likely to pass in the upcoming days!

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.  Similarly, this bill is expected to pass before the March 7 update.  No action needed at the time.

State Budget Updates

In addition to working on passing important bills, we’ve been advocating for funding for 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.  This last week the chambers are hearing the budget and will decide in the next few days.  No action needed at this time.

End of Session Celebration

Join us Monday March 11 at 6pm at Stoup Brewing in Capitol Hill (1158 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122) in Seattle for our in-person end of session celebration!  Come celebrate another session on the books and meet Futurewise staff, volunteers and partners.  Stoup Brewing is a great location with plenty of drinks on tap, non-alcoholic beverages, and a rotating food truck.  It’ll be a great time and I hope to see you there!

Legislative Updates – Week of 3/3/24

Week of March 3 Legislative Update

The 2024 legislative session officially ends this Thursday, March 7!  Unfortunately, our two priority bills, Transit-oriented development (HB 2160) and Rent Stabilization (HB 2114) did not pass out of the Senate Ways and Means committee last week and are dead this session.  However, we got both of these bills further than we ever had before, all thanks to your hard work and outreach.

And just because HB 2160 and HB 2114 didn’t pass doesn’t mean this is the end of session for us.  Read more for updates and upcoming events.

Transit-Oriented Development (HB 2160) & Rent Stabilization (HB 2114)

HB 2160 and HB 2114 both dies in the Senate Ways and Means committee last week.  This is disappointing; Washington needs action now if we’re going to build dense, livable, connected communities.  However, while we didn’t get them over the finish line this year, these bills made huge progress this year compared to years previous.  That’s thanks to the thousands of emails, phone calls, letters, lobby meetings and more that you helped make possible.

Both of these bills are big, important issues, and it often takes several years to successfully negotiate a policy that everyone can be excited about.  We’ll be using this as an opportunity to continue to promote TOD that centers density, equity and affordability. Read below to see how you can get involved.

Local Advocacy Training to Support TOD

Over the next couple years, many major cities across the state are updating their comprehensive plans, their plans for growth and development for the city.  These updates mark a time of big change; it’s an opportunity for local leaders to change zoning to allow and encourage more housing, walkability and affordability.  It’s a key time for cities to allow transit-oriented development as well.

TOD is such a large, complex policy that if we want to win a strong policy, it’s not enough to return each session and try again.  We need to use the months in between to build support at a local level.  That’s why we’re hosting a training on March 27 from 5:30-6:30 pm over zoom covering how to get involved in your local comprehensive plan update.  We’ll hear from Futurewise staff working on these issues already and share what you can do. Anyone and everyone is welcome, but please RSVP below.

Bills to Watch

I highlight HB 2321 and HB 2071 last week as important “clean up” bills to our successful middle housing bill (HB 1110) from last year. While these are not our top priorities, they are still critical bills our team has been advocating for.  Read on for updates.

HB 2321

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.  This bill passed concurrence last week, where both chambers agree on amendments made, and is likely to pass in the upcoming days!

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.  Similarly, this bill is expected to pass before the March 7 update.  No action needed at the time.

State Budget Updates

In addition to working on passing important bills, we’ve been advocating for funding for 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.  This last week the chambers are hearing the budget and will decide in the next few days.  No action needed at this time.

End of Session Celebration

Join us Monday March 11 at 6pm at Stoup Brewing in Capitol Hill (1158 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122) in Seattle for our in-person end of session celebration!  Come celebrate another session on the books and meet Futurewise staff, volunteers and partners.  Stoup Brewing is a great location with plenty of drinks on tap, non-alcoholic beverages, and a rotating food truck.  It’ll be a great time and I hope to see you there!

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