Friends—Global changes and their impacts on our state and communities are critical issues which FCWPP will be including in its legislative focus. This week is an important one, with four major bills before the legislature dealing with how we can build more sustainable communities . Climate change and fossil fuel energy peaking are real and demand serious responses at all levels. If you can make some calls or write some emails on these issues, this is an excellent time. Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. Thank you!
—Carol Estes, FCWPP Legislative Advocate and Policy Analyst
—Dan Clark, Chair FCWPP Global Changes Working Group
HB 2797 & SB 6580, Local Solutions to Global Warming
In order to achieve the State’s goal to significantly reduce global warming pollution, responsible decisions need to be made to reduce driving and promote more efficient, livable communities. The choices made in local land use and zoning plans about where a growing population will live and work and how they will get around have a major impact on global warming emissions. This bill would add a goal of reducing climate impact to the Growth Management Act (GMA) and identify reducing global warming as an important aspect of comprehensive planning.
Planning cities with more than 30,000 people and counties with more than 50,000 people would be required to: 1) Evaluate decisions that increase emissions and determine howbest to reduce those impacts; 2) Evaluate current emissions and impacts of future decisions; 3) Include plans to achieve the state’s global warming pollution reduction goals in their comprehensive planning process. Provisions include encouraging more compact and transit oriented development in urban growth areas; focusing growth in areas with transit options; establishing transfer of development right programs to protect forests and farmland; encouraging use of new technologies that reduce global warming pollution and increase efficiency; and providing more urban forest investments.
ACTION ITEM. DEADLINE—FRIDAY, Jan. 25
1. ASK the committee members of the House Local Government Committee and Senate Committee on Government Operations & Elections to pass this important bill.
2. COME TO THE HEARINGS in Olympia at 1:30 on Tuesday, Jan. 22 in the House and 1:30, Friday, January 25, in the Senate, if you can.
HB 2815 & SB 6516, Climate Action & Green Jobs
The Climate Action and Green Jobs bill is a critical next step our state can take in the fight against global warming. 2008 is a crucial year for action. We can’t wait any longer for the federal government to solve the problem. The bill creates a structure and timeline for implementing the state’s global warming pollution reduction goals, and creates a program to prepare Washington workers for good jobs in the clean energy economy. Among other provisions, the bill would make the Washington State Department of Ecology responsible for achieving the state’s emissions reduction goals. It would direct Ecology to develop responsible limits on all major sources of global warming pollution in the state.
ACTION ITEM. DEADLINE—Wednesday, Jan. 23
1. ASK the committee members of the House Ecology &Parks Committee and Senate Committee on Water, Energy, and Telecommunications to pass this important bill.
2. COME TO THE HEARING in Olympia at 1:30 on Wednesday, Jan. 23 in the House and at 3:30 on Jan. 23 in the Senate, if you can.
HB 2844 & SB 6469, Evergreen Cities
Tree planting and tree renewal are important for carbon sequestration and energy savings, among other values. Climate change is increasing runoff pollution and flooding. Trees in our cities are one of the most cost-effective ways to improve our water quality, air quality and our quality of life. The Evergreen Cities Act restores, retains and increases trees and forests in our communities by directing the Department of Natural Resources to develop a statewide inventory and assessment of our communities’ forests, providing critical technical assistance for local government ordinance and forest plan development, generating new revenue by utility ratepayers for cities and counties to develop and implement tree ordinances and forest management plans, and for utilities to increase service reliability, leveraging increased federal funds, engaging volunteers, conservation, homeowners and civic groups in forest plan development and implementation, providing regional performance standards for tree retention, forest restoration,urban forest canopy, ordinances and management plans to achieve environmental objectives, and funding local governments to update or adopt tree ordinances and urban forest management plans to meet these standards.
ACTION ITEM. DEADLINE—Soon
1. ASK the committee members of the House Ecology & Parks Committee and Senate Committee on Agriculture & Rural Economic Development to pass this important bill
2. COME TO THE HEARINGS in Olympia at 10:00 on Tuesday, Jan. 22 in the House and a later hearing yet to be scheduled in the Senate, if you can.
HB 2798 & SB 6483, Local Farms—Healthy Kids & Communities
Promoting local agriculture is one way to fight global warming and build sustainable communities. When food is consumed near where it is grown and processed, there is less need for wasteful packaging, refrigeration, storage and freight. By creating sustainable markets for our farmers, we help keep our farms working and help preserve farming communities near our cities and towns. Our schools represent an enormous potential market for Washington’s farmers, and the best vehicle for improving kids’ access to healthy food. This legislation will make Washington a national leader in getting locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to those who need it most by easing purchasing restrictions that currently make it difficult for schools and institutions to buy from local farms, establishing a state “Farm To School” program that will connect schools with community farmers, and will provide necessary information and technical assistance to both school districts and farms, fund a fresh food snack program in schools with high numbers of low-income students, and make it easier for low income families to purchase locally grown food by enabling farmers markets to accept food stamps, increasing funding of the Farmers Market Nutrition Program and creating pilot projects for food banks to purchase fresh food directly from Washington farms.
ACTION ITEM. DEADLINE—Thursday, Jan. 24
1. ASK the committee members of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee and Senate Committee on Agriculture & Rural Economic Development to pass this important bill.
2. COME TO THE HEARINGS in Olympia at 10:00 on Thursday, Jan. 24 in the House and 3:30 on Jan. 24 in the Senate, if you can.
House Local Government Committee members are: Geoff Simpson – Chair (D), Dean Takko – Vice Chair (D), Judy Warnick – Ranking Minority Member (R), Lynn Schindler – Asst Ranking Minority Member (R)
Deborah Eddy (D), Sharon Nelson (D), Joe Schmick (R)
Senate Government Operations & Elections Committee members are: Darlene Fairley – Chair (D),
Eric Oemig – Vice Chair (D), Pam Roach – Ranking Minority Member (R), Don Benton (R), Adam Kline (D), James McDermott (D), Craig Pridemore (D), Dan Swecker (R)
House Ecology & Parks Committee members are: Dave Upthegrove – Chair (D), Christine Rolfes – Vice Chair (D), Bob Sump – Ranking Minority Member (R), Mary Lou Dickerson (D), Hans Dunshee (D), William “Ike” Eickmeyer (D), Dan Kristiansen (R), Al O’Brien (D), Kirk Pearson (R)
Senate Committee on Water, Energy, & Telecommunications members are: Phil Rockefeller – Chair (D), Ed Murray – Vice Chair (D), Jim Honeyford – Ranking Minority Member (R), Jerome Delvin (R), Karen Fraser (D), Brian Hatfield (D), Janéa Holmquist (R), Bob Morton (R), Eric Oemig (D), Craig Pridemore (D), Debbie Regala (D)
Senate Committee on Agriculture & Rural Economic Development members are: Marilyn Rasmussen – Chair (D), Brian Hatfield – Vice Chair (D), Mark Schoesler – Ranking Minority Member (R), Ken Jacobsen (D), Bob Morton (R), Paull Shin (D)
House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee members are: Brian Blake – Chair (D), Kevin Van De Wege – Vice Chair (D), Joel Kretz – Ranking Minority Member (R), Judy Warnick – Asst Ranking Minority Member (R)
William “Ike” Eickmeyer (D), Bill Grant (D), Steve Hailey (R), Patricia Lantz (D), Liz Loomis (D), John McCoy (D)
Sharon Nelson (D), Daniel Newhouse (R), Ed Orcutt (R)
For email addresses and phone numbers of legislators, to read bills, see their status, and for other legislative information go to http://www.leg.wa.gov/.