State of Washington
68th Legislature
2023 Regular Session
ByHouse Innovation, Community & Economic Development, & Veterans (originally sponsored by Representatives Donaghy, Rule, Reeves, Morgan, Ramel, Reed, and Leavitt)
AN ACT Relating to creating a statewide resiliency program; adding a new section to chapter 38.52 RCW; and creating a new section.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. Washington state residents have been increasingly impacted by natural disasters such as floods, landslides, wildfires, earthquakes, and the COVID-19 pandemic and they continue to be at risk from these and other natural disasters, with communities of color and vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted. Residents are also negatively impacted by certain responses to disasters, including border closures. The legislature finds that it is critical to better prepare Washington for disasters and to mitigate the impacts with coordinated resiliency strategies. The legislature further finds a resilient Washington increases quality of life for Washingtonians while every one dollar spent on mitigation saves six dollars spent on recovery. To address this critical need, the legislature intends to implement a statewide resilience program for the benefit of all Washingtonians while conserving expenditures by both public and private sectors.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 38.52 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the emergency management division within the department shall develop and administer a statewide resilience program. The program should include:
(a) Methods for ensuring ongoing coordination of state and local resilience and response activities, including:
(i) Developing, administering, tracking, and communicating progress of overall resilience efforts;
(ii) Coordinating funding to maximize federal, state, local, and private investments;
(iii) Serving as a public and private resilience resource center;
(iv) Enhancing interagency collaboration, education, and outreach programs; and
(v) Identifying and leveraging respective roles, authorities, and expertise of agencies;
(b) Strategies for addressing the impacts of all hazards, both natural and human-caused, such as border closures, including:
(i) Developing, coordinating, and communicating resilience initiatives and projects across state agencies and local governments on hazards and issues where there is not another lead agency for coordinating resilience activities, including projects that give special consideration to exclave communities;
(ii) Conducting policy research and recommendations related to enhancing resilience;
(iii) Coordinating research, data collection, and analysis;
(iv) Researching economic tools to address resilience; and
(v) Recommending investments to mitigate risks from all hazards; and
(c) Participating and collaborating in interagency efforts to advance statewide climate resilience activities under chapter 70A.05 RCW, including collaborating on the development of a statewide strategy and identifying opportunities to leverage funding to advance solutions that improve the resilience of communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems.
(2) Beginning June 30, 2025, and every two years thereafter, the emergency management division shall provide a report to the office of the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature on the overall progress of resilience efforts for the hazards and issues where there is not another lead agency for coordinating resilience activities. Agencies with responsibilities for resilience activities are encouraged to include their efforts as an appendix to the report.
(3) For purposes of this section, "resilience" means the ability to prepare, mitigate, plan for, withstand, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events and changing conditions, and reorganize in an equitable manner that results in a new and better condition.
--- END ---