We’re enthusiastic about HB 1176, which establishes a Washington Climate Corps Network to support climate-related service opportunities for young adults and veterans. Transitioning to a clean energy economy brings with it exciting opportunities for job creation, and this bill would establish an advisory committee on opportunities to expand this workforce.
conserving forest land through the trust land transfer
The Trust Land Transfer tool is used by DNR to identify state trust lands that either do not have productive timber lands or would underperform economically, and manage these lands for conservation, wildlife habitat, clean water, or recreational opportunities. HB 1460 has bipartisan support and would revitalize this tool all while ensuring the beneficiaries are made whole. When combined with funding, communities will have a stronger say in the future of state trust lands and open space, often near under-served or rapidly urbanizing areas.
community investments in wildfire preparedness
The increasing volatility of fire season and the new normal of a ‘smoke season’ has reinforced the urgency with which we must prepare for the threats of wildfire. Passed off the House floor unanimously on March 6th, HB 1578 delivers on a promise made in HB 1168 (2021 legislation that committed $125 million to strengthen wildfire response) to build community resilience to wildfire across the Evergreen State.
This bill improves community response, preparedness, and recovery from wildfire. Elements of this policy include expanding wildland-urban interface programming to the west side of our state, decadal assessments of wildfire risks, evacuation strategies, and response teams for burned area emergency stabilization. HB 1578 is a sound policy improvement and we were glad to see broad, bipartisan support for this in the House.
next up: the budget
In the coming weeks, the Washington State Legislature will be focused on budget decisions. The first auction generating revenue from the Climate Commitment Act’s cap and invest program occurred on February 28th, resulting in $300 million that will be invested in climate resiliency and emission reduction programs. The budget forecast will be released on March 20th, and House and Senate budgets released in the week after the forecast.
These next several weeks will be critical for keeping up momentum, and showing lawmakers that there is community support for these bills. Be sure you’re on our advocacy list so you don’t miss opportunities to take action!
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