The environmental-explicit portion of the Growth Management Act (GMA) revision, HB 1099, regarding vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was introduced as part of the GMA suite of bills. This is one of the legislative priorities identified by participants in the Justice Summit.
Provisions of HB 1099 include, inter alia:
Transportation: Encourage efficient multimodal transportation systems that help achieve statewide targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and per capita vehicle miles traveled, and are based on regional priorities and coordinated with county and city comprehensive plans.
Housing: Encourage the availability of affordable housing to all economic segments of the population of this state, promote a variety of residential densities and housing types, and encourage preservation of existing housing stock.
Take Action: HB 1099 passed the House 56-41. (See below for notes on House committee hearing) It went next to the Senate Committee on Housing & Local Government for executive action (see below for March 16 hearing). It passed the Housing & Local Government committee and the Ways and Means, but was stopped in the Senate Transportation Committee. There is an opportunity to incorporate provisions of 1099 in another GMA bill, HB 1241, which has passed the house and is pending in the senate. You can find your state senator and send a message at https://futurewise.salsalabs.org/amendhb1241/index.html.
Hearing, House Appropriations Committee, February 16, 2021
A Futurewise representative said plans would put cities and counties on track to reduce GHG. Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters said resiliency of an important aspect of the bill. A Clallam County representative said the county is already planning on GHG reductions and can use provisions of the bill. An Association of Washington Cities discussed revenue drops from pandemic and said increased state aid would be welcome.
Washington Realtors: bill elevates climate change above other goals of GMA such as housing, requires high planning costs. An Association of Washington Business representative said the bill would impose major costs on communities. A Building Contractors Association said the bill would reduce rural development and housing affordability.
Hearing, Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee, March 16, 2021
Staff: GHG reduction applies to dense areas; and resiliency to all. Reduction of vehicle miles traveled is major element, also transit and transportation planning.
Rep. Duerr (D-Bothel, prime sponsor) discussed commuting and density as elements in GHG emissions, and called for a walkable community; she said it is more expensive not to plan for climate change, and the bill is based in widespread consultation with local governments.
Futurewise and Sierra Club said the bill will change impact of transportation on GHG emissions. Until EVs are more common, we need more public transit, fewer vehicle miles. Department of Commerce supported including climate change in planning. Washington Environmental Council commended the resiliency provisions of bill. Black Diamond City Council said bill is essential for planning green growth. League of Women Voters said that climate change demands planning for resiliency. Washington Park and Recreation Association said that the bill will improve planning for green spaces. 43rd District Environmental Caucus commended the planning provisions. Spokane City Council President discussed the resiliency provisions in bill as a support for city climate plans. Association of Washington Cities mentioned role of Department of Commerce in helping cities plan growth. Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility alluded to GHG emission effects on children and the resiliency impacts of climate change. King County Climate Preparedness Office commended provisions on planning.
Association of Washington Cities mentioned the cost of implementing the bill. Association of Washington Business also mentioned cost. Washington Realtors discussed destabilization of housing market. Building Association of Washington is concerned about adding requirements to GMA without taking action on housing affordability. Washington Policy Center said the bill entrenches the urban-rural divide.