The end is nigh — let’s debrief the legislative session

The 2023 legislative session is almost over, but what the heck actually happened these past few months? 

A total of 1,655 bills were introduced over the course of the session, with 456 passing the Opposite House Floor Cutoff. Housing, behavioral health, and development processes were all addressed in some capacity, and thus far, Gov. Inslee has signed about 100 bills into law. Review them here. 

The next scheduled bill action for the governor’s office is Thursday, April 20, and the last day of session is April 23. In the meantime, each chamber is tightening up their respective budget proposals, but there are also a few bills still alive — and recently passed — that are of particular importance to the Eastside community.

The hot topic of the session, middle housing bill HB 1110, just passed the legislature, and both HB 1337 (easing barriers to the construction and use of ADUs) and SB 5058 (exempting certain buildings from the multi unit residential building definition) have been signed off on by their respective chambers and are awaiting governor action. 

SB 5352 (concerning vehicular pursuits) and SB 5290 (consolidating local permit review processes) also passed both chambers with few amendments. 

There are also a slew of bills considered dead for the session, including SB 5466 (promoting transit-oriented development) and SB 5334 (providing a local government option for the funding of essential affordable housing programs).

"We really appreciate the amount of work the legislature has put in this session given the magnitude and urgency of the housing crisis in Washington," said Chamber VP of Government Affairs, Jodie Alberts. "It's exciting to see how much effort has gone into coming up with solutions thus far, and we are eager to stay engaged at multiple levels as there is still much work left to do." 

Stay tuned for an official, post-session recap.