Legislative Committee Calls to Action
So far the following bills we have supported are through their house of origin!
SB5371 Sponsored by Senator Liz Lovelett, Protecting southern resident orcas from vessels.
SB 5189 Establishing behavioral health support specialists.
HB1355 Updates property tax exemptions for service-connected disabled veterans and senior citizens.
ESHB1042 Creation of additional housing units in existing buildings.
You are all doing a fantastic job helping make a positive impact in our state! Thank you so much for contacting your legislators, please continue the good work!
- ESHB1042 Creation of additional housing units in existing buildings. Passed the house! Now please email your senator. This bill would enable conversion of existing non-housing buildings for construction of multiple housing units. Municipalities would be restricted from blocking such housing construction within zones where multi-housing units are permitted.
- Email Your Legislators to Support ESHB1042
“Washington state is in the throes of a housing crisis. Unless changes are made to restrictions preventing multi-unit housing construction, Washington will not be able to catch up to our dramatic needs for additional housing at all income levels, but especially for affordable housing. Density housing will accelerate availability of homes for Washingtonians. I urge you to support passage of ESHB 1042.”
- SB5371, sponsored by Senator Liz Lovelett. Protecting southern resident orcas from vessels. Currently in the Senate Rules Committee. Increases the distance a vessel must maintain away from a southern resident orca from 400 yards to 1000 yards. Protections need to be fortified to allow the SRKW* time and space to find food. The SRKW* population is the most endangered mammal in the world. This bill enables the Department of Fish and Wildlife to hold recreational boaters to the same distance standards for SRKW* as commercial whale watching boaters. *SRKW (Southern Resident Killer Whale) is the federal Endangered Species Act designation for the southern resident orca.
- Email Your Legislators to Support SB5371
Contact your House Representatives
“Please support SB5371 and increase the distance a vessel must maintain away from a southern resident orca from 400 yards to 1000 yards.This will allow Orcas the time and space necessary to find food that is in dwindling supply. The Southern Resident Killer Whale population is the most endangered mammal in the world. I urge you to support SB5371.”
Unfortunately some bills do not pass or are blocked, like the following:
HB-1389– Would have created a 7% rent cap
As has been the trend this year, bills aiming to protect tenants from price gouging have been shot down or stalled out by Republicans. HB-1389 was no different. It sought to cap rent increases at the rate of inflation up to 7%. The bill failed to reach the House floor for a vote by its March 8th deadline.
HB-1389 applies to residential housing and manufactured homes, including mobile homes, it prohibits a landlord from increasing rent by more than 3% or the inflation rate of the CPI-U (The Consumer Price Index), whichever is greater, maxing out at 7%. It would also prevent a landlord from increasing rent in the first 12 months of a tenancy. There are exemptions to the maximum annual rent increase limit, including dwelling units less than 10 years old and tenancies where the landlord is required to reduce the rent to 30% or less of the tenant’s income due to federal, state, or local programs or subsidies. HB-1389 also protects tenants against over-zealous landlords by proposing that should a tenant be evicted, for any rental agreement entered within 12 months of the termination of the prior tenancy, the amount of rent that a landlord may charge a new tenant is limited. The bill creates a private cause of action for tenants who wish to recover damages and reasonable attorneys’ fees. The banked capacity program allows landlords to increase rent by an additional 3% for each year of participation. The bill has an emergency clause and an immediate effective date.
This fantastic bill was sponsored by Representatives Alex Ramel and Debra Lekanoff!
Washington State funds government expenses through the budget process. The state government operates on a fiscal biennium that begins on July 1 of each odd-numbered year. A two-year biennial operating budget is adopted every odd-numbered year. The House and the Senate will each produce three budgets: operating, capital and transportation. These documents begin as the Governor’s request budgets. The budgets go through the committee process and will be passed by each house of origin, then negotiations between the House and Senate will result in the final budgets.
- HB 1140 (SB 5187) Operating Budget
- Appropriations are made in the biennial and supplemental budgets for the operation of state government and its various agencies and institutions, including higher education, as well as allocations for the funding of K-12 public schools. Near General Fund-Outlook appropriations for the 2023-25 biennium are $70.4 billion. (Near General Fund-Outlook is General Fund-State, the Education Legacy Trust Account, the Opportunity Pathways Account, and the Workforce Education Investment Account). Total budgeted funds are $129.7 billion (includes state, federal, and other funds).
- HB1147 (SB5200) Capital Budget
- The Legislature authorizes expenditures for capital needs in the State Omnibus Capital Appropriations Act (Capital Budget) for a two-year period, and it authorizes bond sales through passage of a bond bill associated with the Capital Budget to fund a portion of these expenditures. The Capital Budget includes appropriations for the acquisition, construction, and repair of capital. HB 1147 assets such as state office buildings, prisons, juvenile rehabilitation centers, residential habilitation centers, mental health facilities, military readiness centers, and higher education facilities. The Capital Budget also funds a variety of environmental and natural resource projects, parks and recreational facilities, public kindergarten through grade 12 school construction, and grant and loan programs that support housing, public infrastructure, community service facilities, and art and historical projects.
- HB 1125 (SB 5162) Transportation Budget
- Appropriations totaling $12.2 billion are made for state transportation agencies and programs for the 2023-25 fiscal biennium from a number of transportation accounts. Capital-related appropriations total $5.9 billion, and operating-related appropriations total $6.3 billion. Appropriations for the fiscal biennium include: $8.8 billion for the Washington State Department of Transportation; $1.8 billion for debt service; $708 million for the Washington State Patrol; and $447 million for the Department of Licensing.
For a deeper dive into the budgeting process: https://fiscal.wa.gov/