SENATE BILL 6816
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2002 Regular Session
By Senators T. Sheldon and Hale
Read first time 02/16/2002. Referred to Committee on State & Local Government.
AN ACT Relating to implementing the environmental, regulatory, and land use recommendations of the Washington competitiveness council; and creating new sections.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature finds that an educated and skilled work force, and a 21st century infrastructure, a tax and regulatory environment that encourages entrepreneurship and business growth, and a desirable quality of life for all Washington citizens are necessary elements if the state is to economically and environmentally prosper. The legislature further finds that recent events, including the national economic downturn, the Pacific Northwest drought, the energy crisis, and events of September 11, 2001, all have resulted in a number of business closures in the technology sector, layoffs in the aerospace, airline, hospitality, and aluminum industries, and continuing economic hardship in the agriculture and food processing sectors, compel the reexamination of state plans to accomplish its economic, business growth, development, and environmental objectives. The legislature further finds that the final report of the Washington competitiveness council, issued in December 2001, includes a number of specific recommendations for improving the state's business climate, including the state's environmental, land use, and regulatory environment, many of which require legislative action.
It is the intent of the legislature to consider the recommendations of the Washington competitiveness council for improvement of the state's environmental, land use, and regulatory system, as articulated in its final report, and to implement those legislative recommendations that are in the best interests of the state of Washington.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. (1) The joint select committee on environmental, regulatory, and land use competitiveness is created. The committee is composed of twelve voting members, including four members from the house of representatives, two from each of the two largest caucuses, appointed by the respective caucus chairs; four senators, two from each of the two largest caucuses, appointed by the respective caucus chairs; and four members of the Washington competitiveness council, appointed by the governor.
(2) The committee shall create an advisory committee of not less than eight nor more than sixteen members, composed of representatives of interested and affected industries, businesses, commercial and environmental groups, and state and local governments, and may create technical committees.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. (1) The committee shall consider the recommendations of the Washington competitiveness council for the environmental regulatory and permitting system, and shall draft proposed legislation to implement each of those recommendations that require, or can be implemented by, legislative action. Specifically, the committee shall consider, draft, and recommend legislation for the following recommendations:
(a) 3.0Environmental regulatory and permitting system;
(b) 3.3.4Amend the administrative procedure act under chapter 34.05 RCW;
(c) 3.3.5Consolidate permit processes, reduce the number of permits required to complete a project, and improve permit coordination among the agencies;
(d) 3.3.7Meet the goals of the growth management act under chapter 36.70A RCW, generally;
(e) 3.3.9Reduce the number of environmental adjudication bodies; and
(f) 3.3.10Benchmark and enforce local government permitting timelines.
(2) In drafting legislation to implement the recommendations of the Washington competitiveness council, the committee shall also consider the reports and recommendations of the transportation permit efficiency and accountability committee under RCW 47.06C.030.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. The committee shall monitor, analyze, and report to the legislature as provided in section 7 of this act with respect to ongoing efforts, proposals, and actions taken to implement the following recommendations of the Washington competitiveness council:
(1) 3.3.2Reinvent the department of ecology to increase agency accountability and responsiveness;
(2) 3.3.6Improve Washington's water rights system.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. (1) The committee shall develop and recommend a process, mechanism time schedule, and proposed funding for the creation of a consolidated land use code, as recommended in the Washington competitiveness council report, recommendation 3.3.8, that integrates all of Washington's land use and environmental laws in a single manageable statute while maintaining environmental values.
(2) The Washington competitiveness council report recognized that a consolidated land use code will take time to develop and implement and that it will also require adequate funding.
(3) In 1995, in Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 1724, the legislature recognized the growth management act as the fundamental building block of regulatory reform, and that it provides the means to effectively combine certainty for planning and development decisions, reasonable environmental protection, long‑range planning for cost‑effective infrastructure, and orderly growth and development by the integration and consolidation of the state's land use and environmental laws into a simple, manageable statute.
(4) The land use study commission identified the state environmental policy act, the growth management act, the shoreline management act, the environmental hearings office statutes, the planning enabling statutes, the regional transportation planning act, the subdivision and platting statutes, impact fees, project review, and the land use petition act as appropriate for inclusion in the consolidated land use code, concluding that the growth management act should serve as the integrating framework for land use and environmental decisions.
(5) The committee shall include its recommendations to the legislature in its report as provided in section 7 of this act.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. The committee shall prepare a cost/benefit and fiscal impact analysis for each of the recommendations the committee proposes for consideration by the legislature.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. The committee shall select a chair from among the legislators. The committee shall provide its final report and proposed draft legislation to the legislature on or before December 31, 2002.
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