State of Washington
68th Legislature
2023 Regular Session
ByHouse Appropriations (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 new sections.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. Washington state residents have been increasingly impacted by disasters such as floods, landslides, wildfires, earthquakes, and the COVID-19 pandemic and they continue to be at risk from emergency threats and other 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 resilience 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 disaster 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 disaster resilience program. The program should include:
(a) Methods for ensuring ongoing coordination of state and local disaster resilience and response activities, including:
(i) Coordinating funding to maximize federal, state, local, and private investments;
(ii) Serving as a public and private disaster resilience resource center;
(iii) Enhancing interagency collaboration, education, and outreach programs; and
(iv) 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 disaster 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 disaster resilience;
(iii) Coordinating research, data collection, and analysis;
(iv) Researching economic tools to address disaster resilience; and
(v) Recommending investments to mitigate disaster risks from all threats and 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) For purposes of this section:
(a) "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; and
(b) "Disaster resilience" means resilience within the critical infrastructure sectors of emergency services; communications; critical government facilities; transportation; critical manufacturing; commercial facilities; chemical manufacturing and distribution; water and wastewater treatment; and dams, excluding power generation.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3. Before July 1, 2025, the emergency management division of the state military department shall provide a report to the office of the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature on the overall progress of disaster resilience efforts for the hazards and issues where there is not another lead agency for coordinating resilience activities. Each agency with responsibility for resilience activities, including but not limited to the department of ecology, department of health, Washington technology solutions, department of agriculture, and department of commerce, is encouraged to include an update on its efforts and any associated policy recommendations as an appendix to the report.
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