We want our legislators to the start the 2021 Legislative session with Audubon’s bird-friendly priorities in mind. Since we won’t be able to meet with our legislators in person, we will be meeting over Zoom.
If you live in the 49th Legislative District, join us for our Virtual Advocacy Day with Senator Annette Cleveland and Representative Sharon Wylie on December 9 by signing up at this link.
We will be discussing Audubon’s legislative priorities for the 2021 session:
1. Funding Conservation – Since state government is facing a budget shortfall due to COVID, the Legislature will be looking for places to cut spending. We will ask our legislators to protect conservation funding in the state’s operating budget, particularly for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. We will ask for the Legislature to invest $140 million in the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, which funds outdoor projects all across the state, from urban parks to working farms to mountain trails.
2. Reducing Transportation Emissions – A Clean Fuels Standard failed to pass the Legislature last year, so we will be asking them to take it up again. A Clean Fuels Standard will require oil refineries and distributors to ensure that Washington’s fuel supply gets cleaner over time, reducing carbon pollution from gasoline and diesel by 10% over 10 years. Producing local, low-carbon fuels will create jobs in Washington, give consumers more choice at the pump and ensure healthier air now and for future generations. Washington is now the last West Coast jurisdiction without a clean fuels standard, and it’s time we catch up with California, Oregon and British Columbia.
3. Climate Resilience – We will support legislative action to update the Growth Management Act to address climate change, housing affordability and environmental justice. By making our urban areas affordable and accessible to all through affordable housing policy, preventing disproportionate impacts of local pollution on communities of color, and ensuring that cities and counties are planning for climate change, we have the opportunity to transform the lives of Washingtonians and the natural environment around us. Washington has a brief window to make big changes to the GMA before our cities and counties embark on their next comprehensive plan updates, which will lock in policy for the next decade.