GMA Bill on Climate Change Stalls in the House

Substitute SB 6580, regarding climate change impacts on the Growth Management Act processes, failed to pass the House Local Government Committee. The bill was subject to a great amount of debate and several amendments in committee. Representative Geoff Simpson (D-47, Covington) offered a striking amendment that tweaked the latest version of the bill. Republican amendments and one Democrat amendment were either ruled out of order or defeated. In the end the bill fell several votes short of getting out of committee. All of the Republicans and two Democrats voted against the bill.

Representative Deb Eddy (D-48, Kirkland) offered an amendment that would have removed the pilot projects and CTED rulemaking provisions and left the study provisions intact. The amendment was ruled as outside the scope and object of the bill by the Chair and thus was not allowed to be brought up for a vote.

Today’s move functionally kills the bill. Although, bill can be resurrected by being referenced in a budget document. However, the provisions of the bill could be added to the budget as proviso language directing the Department of Community Trade & Economic Development (CTED) to implement the study, initiate the pilot projects and conduct the rulemaking. While a budget proviso would only be in effect until the end of this biennium (July 1, 2009) it would be more than enough time for the study to be completed and give a head start to the other provisions. It would basically get the program started and the proponents would have to finish the work in the 2009 legislative session.

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