January 5, 2017
LEAD: Legislative Education, Advocacy & Direction
2017 Edition 2

2017 Legislative Session Preview

The 2017 Legislative Session starts on January 9 - for a preview of the Session and other Legislative Committee news see the recent legislative update in the Chapter's most recent newsletter article. There are a number of bills that have been filed prior to the start of Session. Most of the pre-filed bills are House bills (51 House bills to 20 Senate bills), and many of these pre-filed bills are more political than substantive; i.e., some might never get a hearing. Many of the bills that will shape the 2017 Session have not been filed yet - the first two weeks will see the bulk of the bill introductions.

Below are a few that may be of interest to the Washington Chapter of the APA:

HB 1009 - (Shea) An act relating to limiting the authority to mitigate environment impacts under SEPA to only significant adverse environmental impacts.

HB 1013 - (Shea) An act relating to reducing overlap between SEPA and GMA laws.

HB 1017 (McCaslin) An act relating to the siting of schools and school facilities.

HB 1051 (DeBolt) An act relating to financing essential public infrastructure.

HJR 4200 (DeBolt) Amending the Constitution to allow the state to guarantee debt issued on behalf of a political subdivision for essential public infrastructure.

SB 5003 (Honeyford) An act relating to clarifying the authority of DOE regarding the minimum flows.

Of the bills listed above, HB 1017 is the latest bill to address the issue of siting public school facilities that serve urban students in areas outside the urban growth boundary. The Washington Chapter of the APA has weighed in on this issue in past Sessions, and the Chapter's Legislative Committee (LC) will be tracking this issue again this Session. The school siting issue dominated the two Growth Management Act (GMA) work sessions held this interim by the House Local Government Committee. This Session, bills impacting the GMA will be heard in the House Environment Committee rather than the House Local Government Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon.

Chapter members interested in working on a subcommittee specific to school siting issues are encouraged to contact LC Co-Chairs Yorik Stevens-Wajda and Esther Larsen.

The weekly phone calls of the LC will begin on Friday, January 6, 2017, at 12 noon. A weekly notice of meeting times will be sent via the Chapter's LC Project on Basecamp. Chapter members who have not joined the LC and who would like to sign up to participate in reviewing bills and making position recommendations should contact the LC Co-Chairs.

American Planning Association, Washington Chapter
[email protected]  206-682-7436  www.washington-apa.org