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Published on Friday, February 7, 2014

Status of bills as we reach the first cut-off

Today, February 7 is the deadline for policy bills (i.e. not budget/fiscal related) to pass out of committee. Here’s a quick rundown of the status of housing, land use and environment related bills we have been following.

Bills that have passed out of committee:

  • SB 6008 – Requires a vote for any assumption of a water-sewer district by a city.
  • HB 2368/SB 6313 – The bills to remove the sunset from the document recording fees that fund state and local homelessness programs have both advanced. In the Senate an amendment was hung by Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver) that would require 45 percent of the monies to go to private for-profit landlords. We are working to understand the impact of this amendment and have concerns that it may be problematic.
  • SHB 2724 – Provides for an exemption to the public records act for certain archaeological and cultural resources information obtained by cities from a Native American tribe or the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.
  • SB 2168 – Removing mandatory minimum room size and floor area coverage from the building code and preempting local governments from establishing their own minimums.
  • HB 2738/SB 6330 – Bills that would extend the multifamily tax credit exemption to certain urban growth areas. The Senate bill is limited to only urban growth areas that already have sewers in counties with a single unincorporated city.
  • SHB 1579 – Creating a product stewardship program for paint.
  • SHB 2246 – Developing a funding structure for the state’s mercury lights product stewardship program.
  • SHB 2186/SB 5995 – Provides an optional threshold/definition for “cost prohibitive” for cities to allow repair of certain septic systems rather than hookup to sewer. The bill is now limited to repairing already existing septic systems, single systems, and they must meet current environmental standards. The cost threshold is still 15 percent or $5,000 – whichever is higher. We are still trying to increase that threshold.
  • HB 2677 – Requiring all cities to offer the deferral of impact fees until the time of closing or 18 months.
  • HB 2251 – Creating a coordinated approach to fish passage barrier projects and encouraging state/local/private partnerships to tackle full stream systems rather than a scattershot approach.
  • SB 6060 – Providing notice to private water systems operators of GMA comprehensive planning activities.
  • SB 6194 – Providing a limited opportunity for certain slow growing rural counties to opt out of the GMA with consultation with their cities.
  • SB 6089 – Prohibiting eminent domain for economic development purposes.

Bills that failed to pass out of committee:

  • HB 2499 – Allowing siting of schools outside UGA boundaries
  • HB 2161 – Prohibiting SEPA traffic mitigation outside of jurisdictional boundaries without an interlocal agreement

If you have questions or comments on any of these bills e-mail Dave Catterson.