SHB 2775

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 Passed House:

February 10, 2010

Title: An act relating to membership on the state building code council.

Brief Description: Regarding membership on the state building code council.

Sponsors: House Committee on Local Government & Housing (originally sponsored by Representatives Dammeier, Hasegawa, Hunt, Armstrong, Short, Kristiansen, Springer, Kelley, Morrell, Pearson, Chase and Kretz).

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Local Government & Housing: 1/21/10, 1/27/10 [DPS].

Floor Activity:

Passed House: 2/10/10, 97-0.

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Requires that, in order to remain on the State Building Code Council, members representing private sector industries must maintain employment within the specific industry they represent.


Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 10 members: Representatives Simpson, Chair; Nelson, Vice Chair; Angel, Ranking Minority Member; DeBolt, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Fagan, Short, Springer, Upthegrove, White and Williams.

Staff: Becca Kenna-Schenk (786-7291) and Ethan Moreno (786-7386).


The State Building Code Council (Council) is responsible for the adoption and maintenance of the various building, residential, fire, and other model codes that comprise the state building code (SBC).

The Council is comprised of 15 members, who are appointed by the Governor. At least six of the 15 Council members must reside east of the Cascade Mountains.

In addition, the Council must consist of:

The Council also includes the following ex officio, nonvoting members:

Before making any appointment to the Council, the Governor must seek nominations from recognized organizations with an interest in the building construction trade or industry. Members serve three-year terms on the Council.

Summary of Substitute Bill:

Any Council member appointed to represent a specific private sector industry must maintain similar employment throughout his or her term on the Council. If a Council member enters into new employment outside of the industry he or she was appointed to represent, he or she must be removed from the Council. If the member remains on the Council, any vote taken 30 days after the start of the new employment is null and void. Retirement or unemployment may not be cause for termination from the Council.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

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

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) The citizens of Washington expect and deserve better scrutiny on the Council. Requiring Senate confirmation of the appointees to the Council would provide more accountability in the process. The bill also ensures that industry stakeholders are part of the building code process. There are currently Council members who were appointed to represent a certain industry sector, but who have since become employed in a different sector. This results in some sectors having an enhanced voice, while other sectors have little or no voice in the process. In order for stakeholders to maintain a voice in the process, we need to ensure that those Council members appointed to represent specific industry sectors remain employed within that specific sector. By excluding certain sectors from the rulemaking process, they may become disenfranchised and may take actions outside the building code process, such as legal actions. The SBC process works, but it is important that industry representatives truly represent the specific interest that the Governor appointed them to represent, especially when the Council is considering controversial proposals that may result in close votes.

(In support with concerns) Requiring Senate confirmation of Council appointees would be a disincentive because the Council is a volunteer board, and the Senate confirmation process could politicize the appointment process more than is necessary. The requirement might also delay the building code process when vacancies arise on the Council that are not immediately filled due to the confirmation process.

It is also important that Council members vote in a way that is best for the citizens of the state, rather than just representing the interests of their specific constituencies.

(Commented) Cities are concerned with the requirement for Senate confirmation of Council appointees.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: (In support) Representative Dammeier, prime sponsor; Kraig Stevenson, International Code Council; Van Collins, Associated General Contractors; Brian Minnich, Building Industry Association of Washington; and Jon Napier, State Fire Marshals.

(In support with concerns) Stan Bowmen, American Institution of Architects Washington Council.

(Commented) Victoria Lincoln, Association of Washington Cities.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.