The 2019 State Legislative session was adjourned on April 28, 2019. Read our final session report here.
Practice Act Amendments
Enact NCARB changes addressing the path to licensure and “clean up” less important issues dealing with nomenclature around non-licensed associates and clarifying the practice of architecture.
Oppose this recurring bill which will potentially take away work from private firms and contribute to a lack of transparency as to how and when contracts are awarded. With this language, firm selection criteria becomes more fee-based instead of based on qualifications (QBS).
- Amend bill to exempt architects, engineers and other construction professions.
Condo Liability Reform
Support condo liability reform in general and ultimately reduce the liability of design professionals so architects can work on condo projects. Specifically:
- Support further defining the warranties under the Act – this does not apply to architects but it is important for other industries.
- Support language to require the board of directors for the building to obtain approval of the majority of the unit owners to file a lawsuit.
- Address the HOA’s responsibility with respect to addressing developer decisions in a lawsuit if the developer is no longer in existence.
- Investigate language related to required maintenance schedules and HOA reserve accounts.
Oppose efforts to expand the class of plaintiffs in wrongful death cases without joint and several liability language.
Protect the state’s 3-year code cycle.
Taxes, Education & Capital Budget
Support a robust capital budget that fully fund projects. Advocate for a fair and reasonable budgetary process and address the need for greater consistency and oversight in the bidding process.
Do not make the B&O worse. Support for comprehensive tax reform that will make the system more equitable, one that distributes the tax burden to a system based on income rather than gross sales and receipts.
Support avenues to increase funding for K-12 school construction.
- Support legislation to lower the voter threshold for school bonds to a simple majority.
- Support legislation to increase school construction assistance program funding levels per student and to increase the student space allocation.
- Engage with the OSPI initiative to reform funding.
Stock School Plans
We do not expect this to reemerge in 2019 but will watch for it.
Overall policy: support efforts to reduce carbon emissions but focus on policy changes that make a larger impact.
Identify the most important/logistically viable incentives that will reduce carbon emissions from the built environment:
- Public building energy efficiency incentives – Capital Budget.
- Net Zero Energy or Net Zero Ready incentives for new buildings and retrofits.
- Fuel-switching (taking advantage of benefits to using grid electricity over gas/oil for building equipment).
- An incentive structure for system upgrades for building equipment related to energy efficiency/fuel-switching.
Support bills that reduce carbon emissions:
- Stretch Code: allow local governments to voluntarily tighten their energy codes to 10% and 20% above state residential energy code.
- Buy Clean WA: embodied carbon bill that addresses carbon emissions in building materials via environmental product declarations (for public projects only).
- HFC refrigerant phase out.
- Work with Toxic Free Future to address the use of toxic materials in building products.
Livability & Affordability
Overall policy: support a comprehensive approach to creating livable communities and housing affordability, including funding mechanisms and preserving the integrity of the GMA through instruments such as upzoning around mass transit and smart planning policies.
- Continue to support the robust funding of the Housing Trust Fund and other financing options that fund affordable housing construction.
- Support efforts to allow local jurisdictions to impose a local sales tax, credited against the state sales tax, for affordable or supportive housing.
- Support transit-oriented development such as opportunity zones to authorize additional height around transit stations.
- Support efforts to investigate the feasibility of high-speed rai
Growth Management Act
Support efforts that will allow the planning process to work so that jurisdictions can avoid having to create loopholes between plan years.
- Support additional funding for local planning efforts.
- Support development impact accounts for infrastructure costs (traffic, schools, utilities)
- Find a way to better address school planning at GMA boundary areas.