House Environment Committee holds public hearing on three bills sponsored by Rep. David Taylor

House Environment Committee holds public hearing on three bills sponsored by Rep. David Taylor


Rep. David Taylor completed a rare trifecta in the legislative arena by having three bills receive public hearings today in the House Environment CommitteeTaylor, R-Moxee, says his legislation would reduce the regulatory burden on the public, increase job creation, reduce the costs of transportation construction projects and save taxpayer dollars.

“I always try to keep in mind the mantra, 'lower taxes, less government, more freedom,” said Taylor.  “The legislation heard in committee today falls right in line with that philosophy.”

Taylor's first bill, House Bill 2090, would create a categorical exemption under the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) for projects deemed consistent with a locally-adopted comprehensive plan, development regulations and shoreline master programs.  The goal, he said, is to further implement regulatory reform legislation passed almost 20 years ago.  Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1724 from the 1995 legislative session sought to address “the increasing number of local and state land use permits and separate environmental review processes required by agencies has generated continuing potential for conflict, overlap, and duplication between the various permit and review processes.”

“Unfortunately, here we are almost 20 years later and we have seen little in the way of reducing or eliminating duplicative and overlapping permit review processes,” said Taylor.  “I've had conversations with local jurisdictions and asked them why they weren't relying on existing environmental documentation and review, as allowed by current law, and their response was as telling as it was simple: fear.  Fear of being sued by state agencies or environmental groups.”

Taylor said his bill would help relieve the staff and financial pressure many jurisdictions face with duplicative and overlapping reviews, saving time and money in the process.

“This bill is an opportunity to further implement regulatory reform efforts from 20 years ago,” said Taylor.  “It will assist local government's economic development activities and lead to more jobs being created.”

Taylor's other bills, House Bill 2095 and House Bill 2269, are designed to create a 'mitigation bank' from lands previously purchased by state agencies to mitigate transportation and other infrastructure construction projects.

“Both bills are nearly identical.  HB 2095 only pertains to transportation projects while HB 2269 covers all infrastructure projects,” said Taylor.  “Our state and local governments, essentially TAXPAYERS, have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in land purchases to protect wildlife habitat, riparian areas, and other environmentally-sensitive areas.  These bills would simply link the lands previously purchased to state and local construction projects as mitigations for impacts, greatly reducing construction costs to the taxpayers.”

All three bills remain in the House Environment Committee where they await potential executive action.

The 60-day 2014 regular legislative session is scheduled to end on March 13.


Washington State House Republican Communications