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March 03, 2005

Priorities for a Healthy Washington are moving forward strongly in the Legislature

The Washington environmental community's four "Priorities for a Healthy Washington" are moving forward strongly in the legislature this year.  It's great to see such a broad coalition of folks pulling together to advance a progressive policy agenda.

Amy Zarrett of Washington Environmental Council recently emailed out the following update:

High Performance Green Building

On Thursday February 23rd the High Performance Green Building bill (HB 1272) passed out of House Capital Budget committee on a strong bi-partisan 24 to 5 vote. The bill now goes to the House Rules committee - the gatekeeper for floor votes. Its companion bill in the Senate (SB 5509) also passed out of the Water, Energy and Environment committee on March 2 and moves on to the Senate Ways and Means committee. The legislation requires state buildings, schools, and universities to be built and certified as high performance, green buildings. This will result in buildings that save energy and water, are cheaper to operate, and improve student learning and employee performance. 


Cleaner Air - Cleaner Cars

The Cleaner Air-Cleaner Cars legislation (SHB 1397) passed out of the House Transportation Committee on February 22nd with a bi-partisan 17-8 vote. The Senate bill (SSB 5397) also passed on February 22. The Cleaner Air - Cleaner Cars bill will reduce cancer-causing auto emissions, increase consumer choice for new cars, and save people money at the gas pump through increased fuel-efficiency.


Sound Solutions

Sound Solutions - Saving Hood Canal and Puget Sound also saw progress last week. The part of the Sound Solutions package that would reduce water pollution from leaking septic systems (HB 1458/SB 5431) passed out of both Senate and House committees last week. Land use bills (HB1638/SB5618) requiring consideration of water quality during growth management planning, and legislation supporting the creation of voluntary buffers in open space plans and public benefit rating systems (HB1637/SB5620) also passed out of their original committees.


Phasing out Toxics

Both bills (HB1488/SB5515) prohibiting the sale of products that contain toxic flame retardants (PBDEs) also passed out of their respective committees in House and Senate.

As bills make it out of their current committees, the full floor votes for them could happen anytime in the next few weeks.

If you'd like to get an well-timed action alert at the critical moments for these bills, you can sign up on the Priorities for a Healthy Washington website.

Posted by Jon Stahl on March 3, 2005 at 06:48 PM in Policy | Permalink


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