Bill Proposal Subcommittee

The Bill Proposal Subcommittee falls under the chapter's Legislative Committee. Initiated in 2008, the Subcommittee's purpose is to expand the chapter's legislative efforts by proactively introducing legislation.

Bill Proposal complements the typical functions of the Legislative Committee which are focused on reviewing and commenting on introduced bills, serving on task forces, and managing the chapter's lobbying efforts. The chapter's Board adopted the Process for Proposing Legislation in 2008 and streamlined it in 2010.

Overview of Process

The chapter ran the Process in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. The decision to run the Process is based on chapter resources, an assessment of legislative status, general planning deadlines, and other factors.

The Process starts with the chapter's membership — the subcommittee solicits ideas for potential bills from through communication to the members. Ideas are then compared to the adopted criteria and are vetted by the subcommittee and the chapter Board.

Once approved, the process lays out a timeline and identified steps for turning the idea into a bill that can be introduced… and passed into law.

Accomplishments & History

The chapter has successfully worked to introduce and pass bills that were first generated in the bill proposal process. These include the following:

  • 2007: just prior to process being adopted, the chapter floated a proposal to add an optional Climate Change Element to Comprehensive Plans. This morphed into a full Energy Bill, which did not pass. However, effort led to APA Washington having a seat on a State Climate Change Action Team.

  • 2008: as an outcome of ideas generated during this year's Process, the chapter developed a white paper entitled Towards a State Smart Growth Strategy. The Strategy contained a recommendation to prohibit UGA expansions in the 100-year floodplain. The chapter matured this recommendation into a legislative proposal and it passed into law through House Bill 1967.

  • 2009: during the interim, chapter members discussed issues related to limitation on subarea plan adoption. These discussions were brought into the Process and a proposal was developed. This proposal passed into law through Senate Bill 6611, providing more flexibility to local governments to adopt subarea plans.

  • 2010: the Process generated an idea to create a funding mechanism for Planned Action EIS which would allow fee recovery (i.e., a latecomers fee). This concept became part of the larger SEPA Modernization bill. The larger bill passed in 2011 without this concept. In 2013, this concept returned and bill that allows this approach passes through House Bill 1717.

  • 2011: Chapter does not run process due to chapter budget limitations.

  • 2012: the Process led to the chapter proposing a Budget Proviso to fund a two-year study and report on the Growth Management Act (GMA).

  • 2013: The Bill Proposal Process was featured at the APA National Conference as the recipient of the 2013 Karen B. Smith Award for Outstanding Outreach to the Community!

Although not included in the budget, the Legislative Committee continued through the 2013 Interim to work on efforts addressing review of GMA, including a survey of the Chapter membership regarding a variety of issues related to planning and GMA. The chapter was invited to participate in the House Local Government Committee's work session with other stakeholders to discuss GMA and what changes or issues should be addressed in the 2014 legislative Session.

Relevant Documents