Hello from Olympia, where today is day 26 of our 105-day Legislative Session! This week, I have been busy attending committee hearings, visiting with constituents and testifying on my parental rights bill.
As you may remember from my last newsletter, I reintroduced Senate Bill 5024 which would seek to increase transparency and parental participation in our K-12 school system.
I want to thank everyone who submitted testimony on this key piece of legislation. The support for this policy has been overwhelming. If you missed it, click here to view a recording of the committee hearing.
Participating in YOUR state government
Now that we are back in person, there are many events, hearings and activities happening on the Capitol Campus. Additionally, we will continue to offer virtual options which may be more convenient. To help you navigate the legislative website and external resources, I have provided the following frequently used links to make your participation in the legislative process a little easier:
Watch legislative hearings, floor sessions and press conferences – https://www.tvw.org/
Testify in a committee – https://leg.wa.gov/legislature/Pages/Testify.aspx
Provide remote testimony – https://leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/Pages/RemoteTestimony-RegisterToTestify.aspx
Comment on a bill – https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/
Visit my website – https://perrydozier.src.wastateleg.org/
Senate Page Program. If you know a teen (between the ages of 14-16) interested in spending a week in Olympia learning about our state government, have them apply here – https://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Administration/PageProgram/Pages/default.aspx
Addressing our state’s housing shortage
It is no secret that our state does not have enough housing units to adequately meet the needs of our state’s growing population. According to the Building Industry Association of Washington, in the last 30 years, the population in Washington increased by 60%. We have fallen behind in building enough housing units for the people of our state. Below are the major proposals lawmakers are bringing forward this year.
Streamline permitting process
the average permit approval timeline to build a home in our state is 6 and a half months. Senate Bill 5290 would consolidating local permit review processes and speed up the process, requiring final decisions for residential permit applicants to be notified within specific time frames. This will reduce costs and encourage more construction as builders would become more confident in the permitting process.
Reforming the Growth Management Act
Senate Bill 5374 is a bipartisan bill which would ease regulations regarding the Growth Management Act critical areas requirements for cities with a population under 25,000. This would make it easier for our small cities to acquire permits for housing development while also protecting the environment.
Accessory dwelling units outside urban growth areas
Senate Bill 5357 would allow for more housing units referred to as accessory dwelling units – or more commonly known as Mother-in-Law units. These are small, self-contained residential units that are on the same property or lot as an existing single-family home.
This legislation has been brought forward in an effort to make it easier for existing homeowners to build an additional structure on their existing property. These units be used for an adult child or loved one. It would also be an excellent option to help care for an aging parent.
Senate Bill 5258 is another bipartisan bill aimed at increasing the supply and affordability of condos and townhouses, making them more affordable for homebuyers.
The Seattle Times recently reported that our state may need 2.5 million more homes by 2050 to create a healthy housing market. Making condos and townhouses more affordable and available will help meet that goal.
Please remember that I am here to serve you. Although we may not always be able to meet face to face, I encourage you to reach out to my office and to share your thoughts, ideas and concerns on matters of importance to you. Please, if you don’t already, follow me on Facebook. I look forward to hearing from you.