HB 1040

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Reported by House Committee On:

Housing, Community Development & Veterans

Title: An act relating to the creation of a work group to study and make recommendations on natural disaster mitigation and resiliency activities.

Brief Description: Concerning the creation of a work group to study and make recommendations on natural disaster mitigation and resiliency activities.

Sponsors: Representatives Reeves, Stanford, Barkis, Slatter and Ryu; by request of Insurance Commissioner.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Housing, Community Development & Veterans: 1/16/19, 1/23/19 [DPS].

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Creates a work group to review disaster mitigation and resiliency activities in Washington, other states, and at the federal level.

  • Directs the work group to submit a final report with recommendations by December 1, 2020, on whether Washington should create an ongoing disaster resiliency program and the activities the program should engage in.


Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 9 members: Representatives Ryu, Chair; Morgan, Vice Chair; Jenkin, Ranking Minority Member; Gildon, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Barkis, Entenman, Frame, Leavitt and Reeves.

Staff: Serena Dolly (786-7150).


Many states, including Washington, have embarked on efforts to mitigate loss from future disasters, including earthquakes, floods, and fires. For instance, in 2012, Washington's Emergency Management Council's Seismic Safety Committee issued a report and recommendations on improving statewide recovery after an earthquake. In 2016 the Governor created the Resilient Washington Subcabinet to help the state better prepare for natural disasters. Other states have created public entities, such as the California Earthquake Authority, to assist in the recovery process following a natural disaster.


Summary of Substitute Bill:

A work group is created to study current natural disaster and resiliency activities being implemented in Washington, other states, and at the federal level. The work group will also review information on uptake in Washington for disaster-related insurance.

The work group will consist of 24 members, comprised of the following:

The work group may add other participants for specific topic discussions or subcommittees. The work group must submit a preliminary report of recommendations by November 1, 2019, and a final report by December 1, 2020.

The work group must review disaster mitigation and resiliency activities being implemented by federal agencies, other states, and public and private entities in Washington. In addition, the work group must review information on the use of disaster-related insurance, how other states are coordinating disaster mitigation and resiliency work, and the work of entities such as the California Earthquake Authority.

The report must include recommendations on:

Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill:

The substitute bill adds the following five members to the work group:


Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date of Substitute Bill: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) This bill is request legislation from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. The state needs to think strategically about natural disasters. We can do more to prepare for and mitigate the impact of natural disasters. This bill is about bringing stakeholders together to see if the state can have an ongoing, coordinated effort to address the impacts of natural disasters. This will continue the work of the Governor's Resilient Washington Subcabinet. Representatives from the Department of Agriculture and the Conservation Commission should be added to the work group because they address the impacts of natural disasters in rural areas.

(Opposed) None.

(Other) The issue of unreinforced masonry buildings needs to be retrofitted continues to be a concern.  Local governments have different approaches to establishing requirements and funding for the repair and retrofitting of existing buildings.  These buildings could be hazardous in an earthquake, and this existing housing needs to be preserved.  The work group hopefully will consider this issue.

Persons Testifying: (In support) Representative Reeves, prime sponsor; Robert Ezell, Washington Military Department; Dave Norman, Department of Natural Resources; Lonnie Johns-Brown, Office of the Insurance Commissioner; and Mark Streuli, Washington Cattlemen's Association.

(Other) Roger Valdez, Seattle For Growth.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.