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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

The 2022 legislative session ended on Thursday, March 10th with mixed results. The good news this session came in the form of key conservation and climate funding plus a new bill that encourages equitable, well-sited solar energy. Unfortunately, some Audubon priority bills were unable to get across the finish line in a whirlwind legislative session where the crunch for time doomed a lot of important legislation.

Check out the tracker below to see how our priorities fared.

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 passed out of both chambers and has been delivered to the Governor for his signature.

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 bill did not pass.

It was a major priority for the environmental community. Unfortunately, the House ran out of time to accept last minute changes to the bill and it did not move forward.

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 did not pass.

It was amended in a problematic manner that would have prevented state and local agencies from using the comprehensive assessment in enforcement actions. Along with our partners we've asked legislators to remove this bill from consideration. Efforts to fund the shoreline assessment in the operating budget were unsuccesful.

Outdoor School for All

Creates a new Outdoor Education Experiences grant program in the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to support outdoor learning opportunities for fifth and sixth grade students in Washington public schools.

Legislation: HB 2078

This bill passed out of both chambers and has been delivered to the Governor for his signature.

   
 
OTHER KEY PRIORITIES  

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 passed out of both chambers and has been delivered to the Governor for his signature.

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

This bill passed out of both chambers and has been delivered to the Governor for his signature.

OTHER LEGISLATION WE'RE TRACKING

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 passed out of both chambers and has been delivered to the Governor for his signature.

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