2017 Washington State Legislature

On January 9, 2017, the Washington State Legislature convened for a session of lawmaking and budgeting. It’s a big year with many priorities in front of our state officials, ranging from public education to addressing toxic cleanup sites like the Bellingham waterfront.

Track bills on the Washington State Legislature website: leg.wa.gov

Clean Energy Priorities

In collaboration with the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and our state's solar industry, the Clean Energy program is closely tracking legislative activity that would impact Whatcom County and northwest Washington. Issues we are following include:

Updating Washington's solar incentives.

In 2016, the legislature failed to renew the state’s solar program, and now clean energy is in danger. It’s time to update Washington’s solar policy, to protect the positive benefits of this program and to continue our state’s progress deploying clean and renewable energy. 

Bill tracker: HB 1048
More information: solarstrongwa.org

Clean Water Priorities

In collaboration with Washington Environmental Council's Environmental Priorities Coalition, the Clean Water program is closely tracking legislative activity that would impact Whatcom County and the Salish Sea. For more information download a flyer of the 2017 legislative priorities and check out the Washington Environmental Coalition's public bill trackerIssues we are following include:

Reducing toxic pollution in our communities.

Washington must restore and stabilize funding for the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), the voter-approved law dedicated to cleaning up toxic waste sites, preventing harmful chemicals in manufacturing and products, controlling pollution to protect water quality, and supporting communities heavily impacted by toxic pollution threats. 

Bill tracker: HB 1663
More information: Download the flyer

Enough water for people, farms, and fish.

The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled that counties must make sure there is enough available water before issuing permits for new developments in rural areas. After the ruling, requests were made for a “legislative fix” to allow business as usual, neglecting the problem. Any proposed fix needs to protect in-stream flows and existing water rights.

Bill tracker: HB 1918 

Oil transportation safety.

Oil transportation threatens the safety of our communities and the health of our environment. Washington state must prioritize legislation to protect our waterways, improve pipeline safety measures, and ensure funding for oil spill response. 

Bill tracker: HB 1611
More information: Download the flyer
Press release: Washington Legislators Address Growing Safety Threat from Oil Transportation

How you can get involved

As residents of Washington state, it is our civic duty to engage in the legislative process and hold our elected officials accountable on environmental issues. If we don’t speak up for the environment, who will? How you can get involved:
  • Sign up for Clean Water and Clean Energy e-news. Get monthly emails with opportunities to engage in clean water and clean energy issues, plus occasional action alerts with information on how you can help push for progressive policies.

  • Attend our monthly activist meeting. Our activist meetings are focused on protecting the communities of the Salish Sea. Monthly meetings will include a legislative session update and ways to get involved.

  • Contact your legislator. Use this handy tool to enter your city or zip code and find your district and legislator. Then send them an email with comments on proposed legislation.

More information    

Read more about the 2017 legislative session and get action alerts in our Clean Water and Clean Energy blogs.