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Bill Tracker: 2022 Legislative Session

Weekly updates and actions to support the passage of priority bills for birds
Barn Swallow. Photo: Mick Thompson
Get Involved

Bill Tracker: 2022 Legislative Session

Weekly updates and actions to support the passage of priority bills for birds

2022 Weekly Legislative Update

Week two of the legislative session was a busy one, with a number of environmental priority bills being introduced or heard before committee. Because it’s a short, 60-day session, there is a vanishingly small amount of time to get key bills voted out of committees.

This week we have two priority actions we’re asking you to take (note, these are committee actions, so for the action alert to work, your legislator needs to be on the relevant committee):

Ask your representative to vote YES for well-sited, equitable solar energy (HB 1814)

Ask your senator to vote YES for enhanced shoreline protection in Puget Sound (SB 5885)

Note: we’ve broken the following table into “top priorities,” “key priorities,” and “other legislation we’re tracking.” Legislation we’re tracking does not imply we’re advocating for or against the policy, unless otherwise specified.

Policy Priority Latest Update
TOP PRIORITIES

Well-sited, Equitable Solar Energy

Creates a new incentive program to provide funding to support low-income solar installations on buildings, parking lots, existing impervious surfaces, and other locations that don’t displace habitat or prime farmland.


Legislation: HB 1814

This bill, recently introduced by Rep. Shewmake (D-42), had its first hearing on Friday, January 21st at 10am. It is now scheduled for an executive session (vote) on January 27th in the House Committee on Environment & Energy.

 

Ask your representative to vote YES for well-sited, equitable solar energy

Growth Management and Climate Change

Updates our state’s growth management act to include climate change as a planning element. If passed, it would fund a requirement that counties in Washington plan for emissions reductions and climate resilience.


Legislation: HB 1099

This legislation passed off of the House floor on Friday, January 21st. It has been referred to Committee on Housing & Local Government in the Senate.

 
 

Shoreline Protection in Puget Sound

Requires a comprehensive assessment of Puget Sound shoreline conditions, identifying structures that are either unpermitted or have fallen into disrepair. It also requires replacement structures to meet the same (more environmentally protective) standards as new structures.

 

Legislation: SB 5885

 

This bill has its first public hearing in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks on January 27.

 

Ask your senator to vote YES for enhanced shoreline protection in Puget Sound (SB 5885)

 
 
OTHER KEY PRIORITIES

Lorraine Loomis Act 

Addresses habitat quality and water temperature in Washington’s watersheds. The bill would create a standard for tree height next to rivers and streams, establish a new Riparian Habitat Conservation Grant Program to help landowners meet this standard, and provide the accountability and oversight necessary for programmatic success.


Legislation: HB 1838 / SB 5727

This bill won't be moving forward this session, but proponents are exploring opportunities to advance elements of the bill through other policy and budget vehicles.

 
 

Solar Energy in Parking Lots

As we work to encourage better siting of solar energy projects, parking lots present a unique opportunity to produce clean electricity in the built environment while also reducing the urban heat island effect.


Legislation: SB 5714

This bill has been scheduled for an executive session (vote) in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology on Friday, January 27th.

 

Click here to tell your senator to vote YES on the solar canopy bill.

 

Conservation Futures Levy Lid Lift

Fourteen counties rely on the Conservation Futures program to generate funds needed to permanently protect and maintain open space, farms, forests, parks, and trails. This bill removes a cap on the amount of money counties can raise to invest in local conservation projects. 


Legislation: HB 1672

This legislation had its first public hearing in the House Committee on Finance on Tuesday, January 18th at 1:30 PM. No executive session has been scheduled.

 

Click here to tell your representative to vote YES on Conservation Futures.

 

Technical Support for Sustainable Farms and Fields

One of our priorities for 2022 is funding the Sustainable Farms and Fields program, which was created in 2020 but because of the pandemic, never funded. We’re asking legislators to not only fund the program, but to pass this bill which provides more technical assistance for landowners who want to adopt carbon-smart farming practices.


Legislation: HB 1631
This bill passed out of the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources by a vote of 8-6.
OTHER LEGISLATION WE'RE TRACKING

Protecting Washington’s Eelgrass and Kelp

Calls for a collaborative plan to conserve and restore 10,000 acres of kelp and eelgrass beds by 2040.


Legislation: SB 5619 / HB 1661

The Senate version of this bill is scheduled for an executive session in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks on Thursday, January 27th.

The House version passed unanimously out of the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources on January 25th

Waste Reduction

This legislation, an Environmental Priorities Coalition priority, addresses plastic waste by funding improvements in waste infrastructure, uniform access for residents across the state, and a clear list of what people can recycle. This bill will have the added benefit of shifting recycling costs away from ratepayers and onto the manufacturers.


Legislation: SB 5697
This bill had a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology on Tuesday, January 18th. No executive session has been scheduled

GMA Sprawl Loophole

 

This legislation, an Environmental Priorities Coalition priority, closes a sprawl loophole that undermines the intent of the Growth Management Act (GMA). The loophole allows counties to subvert the Growth Management Hearing Board (GMHB) appeals process to illegally build sprawling developments that devours farmlands, forests, and critical habitats. 


Legislation: SB 5042
This bill is expected to get a vote on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.

How you can help, right now