Rep. Goehner issues statement on climate change framework bill passed by Local Government Committee

On Tuesday, the House Local Government Committee passed legislation that would add climate change and resiliency goals to the Growth Management Act (GMA).

House Bill 1181 would impose new requirements on cities with a population of 6,000 or more and counties with a population of 100,000 or more to address climate change, social and environmental justice, and reduce vehicle miles travelled and greenhouse gas emissions.

Rep. Keith GoehnerR-Dryden and the lead Republican on the committee, issued the following statement:

“The Growth Management Act has been in place for more than 30 years. Many local entities are challenged to meet the original GMA goals, but the Legislature continues to add more requirements making these goals extremely difficult or unattainable. This will add to the workload of our local governments.

“There have been a number of climate change-related bills passed in recent sessions. We have not had an opportunity to see how those play out, yet here we are passing more cumbersome rules and regulations with the burden falling on those at the local level.

“There is bipartisan agreement in Olympia that we need to address our housing crisis. However, the GMA is part of the reason for our lack of housing. With House Bill 1181 putting additional requirements on cities and counties it will exacerbate the problem.

“Most local entities do not have the planners to implement all the provisions in this bill. This means further permit delays and bogging down the process.

“Our hope this session was to address unnecessary regulatory costs and fees, permitting delays, overly restrictive zoning laws, and making changes to the Growth Management Act to provide more affordable housing. Unfortunately, this bill will make some of those provisions worse.

“There is a lot of time left in the session, but we must start considering legislation that reduces the burdens on our local entities and provide them more flexibility. That can be done while still working to meet our climate goals.”

The bill passed the committee on a 4-3 party-line vote.


Washington State House Republican Communications