Legislative Session 2022

Legislative Priorities

As we get more information, we will add it here. Here are some bills we've heard about so far, that we are tracking:

Urban Planning

Growth Management Act

These updates are being spearheaded by Futurewise, in it's Washington Can't Wait campaign.

HB 1099Adding Climate to the Growth Management Act

HB 1099 almost passed last year, and is up again this year. It will start in the House Rules Committee and go onto the House floor, and so the Senate should have a fair amount of time to consider it. In 2021, this bill had a funding portion attached, for local jurisdiction to hire additional planners, but the funding portion was actually passed in 2021 as a budget proviso, so it is expected that the funding will be removed. That would remove the need for it to be approved by a Finance Committee, which would improve its chances of passing.

The Dept. of Commerce is working on the budget proviso that was passed in 2021 and it is hiring staff, and to create something like the K4C Climate Toolkit, but for the whole state. So there will be a list of climate actions that local jurisdictions can choose from depending on their local situation, in order to meet their new obligations if HB 1099 passes and the GMA is revised. Larger cities will have to do more than smaller cities. Commerce will hear public input on the development of the toolkit and what should be in it (e.g., examples are inclusion of housing density, transit-oriented development, building electrification, and other greenhouse gas reduction policies).

SB 5042 Closing the GMA Loophole

This loophole allows development outside urban growth boundaries by taking advantage of the appeals process. The county can allow development (e.g. to meet growth goals), and then groups can appeal to the GMA board (e.g., because its outside the urban growth boundary). While the appeal is being heard, the county can issue building permits, and even if the appeal is upheld, the building permits are grandfathered in. Starts in House Rules committee.

Affordable Housing Next Steps

Last year, the Legislature passed HB 1220, which was a huge step forward, but there was no funding for local jurisdictions to implement it. So there is a need for the Legislature to secure funding for local jurisdictions so they can afford to plan for affordable housing.

More generally, the State should have some funding source set aside so that each individual planning task does not have to have a separate funding bill to go with it.

Statewide Rezoning

HB 1782, Middle housing near transit. California and Oregon both passed statewide rezoning. Might Washington be next? A Governor's Request bill, sponsored by Sen Das and Rep Bateman, would legalize duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes located within a half mile of major transit stops in large cities. Backed by Sightline Institute.

Building Decarbonization

Last year's Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings omnibus bill failed to pass due to stiff opposition from fossil fuel companies and labor unions. This year, the same basic policies have been split into four different bills:

  • HB 1770/SB 5669 Building codes. Require all new construction to be ‘net-zero ready’ beginning in 2034, by reducing energy use by 80%, using all-electric equipment and appliances, implementing electrical panel capacity and wiring for solar panels, and incorporating electric vehicle charging and battery storage. Create a state-wide residential reach code with additional requirements for efficiency that local jurisdictions could choose to adopt.

  • HB 1774/SB 5722 Extend Clean Building Act to Smaller Buildings. One pager. Talking points.

  • HB 1766/SB 5668 Clean Heat Act. Requires gas utilities to develop clean heat transition plans by 2024, and prevents gas companies from expanding their service region or providing rebates for gas appliances unless offset by the clean energy plan after July 2022.

  • HB 1767/SB 5666 Targeted Electrification allows Public Electric Utilities to use ratepayer funds to incentivize fuel switching. One-pager. Talking points.

Backed by ShiftZero.

  • HB 1490 Energy for All requires energy utilities to offer low income customers and customers with disabilities the option of having their bills capped at 3% of their household income for residential use. One pager.

Backed by Front and Centered.

A package failed to get passed last year. This year, Democratic lawmakers have been trying to come to an agreement on funding that would not require bonding. This would require all the Democrats to be onboard, but would not require any Republican votes. Lots more info here.

Other Bills

HB 1644 – Student transportation. Referred to Appropriations.

SB 5543 – Cash for clunkers for exchanging gas landscaping equipment for electric.

HB 1682 Pathway for EITE businesses to reduce emissions under Cap & Trade Climate Commitment Act

HB 1753 – Reinstate tribal veto in Washington Climate Commitment Act

HB 1330 – Sales tax exemption for electric bicycles

SB 5510 – Extends time for renewal of Transportation Benefit District sales tax to 10 years

SB 5528 – Allow Regional Transit Authority (such as Sound Transit) sub-areas

SB 5707 – Extend authorization of Seattle to use automated camera enforcement for transit lanes, crosswalks, and intersections by two years

Session Dates

Jan 10, 2022 –First Day of Session

Feb 3 – Last day to pass bills out of policy committees in the house of origin

Feb 7 – Last day to pass bills out of fiscal committees in the house of origin

Feb 15 – Last day to pass bills out of house of origin

Feb 24 – Last day to pass bills out of opposite house policy committees

Feb 28 – Last day to pass bills out of opposite house fiscal committees

March 4 – Last day to pass bills out of opposite house (except for budget related bills)

March 10 – Last day of session