Washington Legislative Review
While we have been focused on REALTOR® issues in the 2023 Legislative Session, there are several other key developments worth mentioning that affect you, your clients and your business.
READ MORE ON THE YEAR OF HOUSING HERE
Following a Washington State Supreme Court decision that our drug possession laws were unconstitutional, legislators needed a special session to come up with a solution.The bill:
- Makes possession of an illegal substance a Gross Misdemeanor, punishable to up to one year in jail.
- Offers Pre-Trial Diversion programs for first-time offenders
- Makes “Public Use” of illegal drugs a crime
An officer must observe someone using drugs in public in order to make a citation. There are concerns Spokane may not have a proper diversion program in place.
North South Freeway
With early session concerns that the Governor was cutting funding to the Spokane North South Freeway project, Spokane area lawmakers from both sides of the aisle worked to return $1 billion to fully fund the project on an accelerated timeline.
PCB Ban from the Spokane River
Both sides of the aisle in Spokane backed a bill help get rid of harmful chemicals in the Spokane River. GA bipartisan effort to rid the Spokane River of harmful chemicals. The bill would require the Department of Ecology to petition the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reassess its regulations on PCBs, with the hopes that the agency would eliminate all PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) from manufacturing. The ban extends to restricting paints and printing inks with PCBs as early as June 1st.
Capital Budget items of interest
- $5.8 million for Avista Stadium upgrades
- $5 million Housing Trust Fund St Agnes
- $5.5 million for Behavioral Mental Health
- $2.5 million for a Youth Shelter
- $5 million for Eastern State Hospital repairs
In total – this year’s budget exceed $69-billion, with a record $3 billion in reserves