Image of the WA State capitol building, with TCC logo and text: Dispatch from Olympia / Your guide to the WA State Legislative Session

Dear friends,

This week is a big one, with both the House and Senate dropping their versions of a supplemental transportation budget. The House budget was just released, with a hearing scheduled for 4 PM today. The Senate’s version is expected tomorrow, with a hearing on Wednesday. We’ll be testifying at both hearings, in support of continued investments in sustainable transportation from Climate Commitment Act funds. The two budgets will likely be voted on towards the end of the week and early next week, and then proceed to a reconciliation process. We’ll share more about that next week.

Last week, we were disappointed that our Free to Walk bill to reform Washington’s jaywalking laws was not voted out of the Senate, ending its chance to become law this year. We want to express our profound gratitude to everyone who helped champion this legislation, from our partners in the Free to Walk Washington coalition to everyone who signed in PRO and contacted their legislators. Thank you to Senator Rebecca Saldaña for sponsoring SB 5383 and to her team for working with us in the interim to revise the bill. Finally, special thanks to Ethan C. Campbell, who authored an incredible report on the impacts of jaywalking enforcement in Washington, which we know will be an invaluable tool in the ongoing fight to reform these laws.

After last week’s cutoff, several bills we’re tracking are still alive, including a bill to extend the Sandy Williams Connecting Communities Program, and one to create more transit-oriented development. More on those below!

Read on for actions you can take, and check out our Bill Tracker to see the status of other bills we’re keeping an eye on this Session.  

Transportation Choices


Support extending the Sandy Williams Connecting Communities Program

The Sandy Williams Connecting Communities Program funds critical investments in active transportation in communities that are most impacted by environmental health disparities and barriers to opportunities. The program name honors Sandy Williams, a Black community activist who worked tirelessly to reconnect her Spokane neighborhood after the construction of Interstate 90 split it in half. 

SB 6283 would remove the July 1, 2027, expiration date for this program.

The Senate unanimously voted to pass this bill, and now it’s scheduled for a public hearing in the House Transportation Committee on Feb. 22 at 1:30 PM. Please join us in supporting this bill: 


Support transit-oriented development

We need affordable housing to be built near transit, to ensure that people of all income levels can access safe, equitable, and low-carbon transportation. 

HB 2160 is a bill promoting community and transit-oriented housing development. We’re continuing to monitor changes in parking requirements in the bill and anticipate it will continue to evolve should it move into the Senate Ways & Means Committee. 

This bill passed the House, and is currently scheduled for executive session in the Senate Committee on Local Government, Land Use, & Tribal Affairs on Feb. 20. 

Take action with our friends at Futurewise to support transit-oriented development: 



A bill to expedite the completion of pedestrian and bike trails

If you walk, bike, or roll, you know how frustrating it can be to encounter a gap in a safe and protected trail. Legislators are trying to make it easier to fill in those gaps, by streamlining regulatory decisions about the development or extension of certain trails or paths.

SB 6010 would exempt certain limited trails from State Environmental Policy Act appeals.  

This bill passed the Senate, and is currently scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on Local Government on Feb. 21.


Jaywalking reform failed to get out of the Senate

Jaywalking enforcement doesn’t protect people from getting hit by cars, disproportionately impacts Black and unhoused individuals, and is an inefficient use of public resources. 

Senator Saldaña’s Free to Walk bill would have made it so officers can only stop pedestrians for jaywalking if they create a danger to themselves or others. 

Unfortunately, the Senate did not vote on SB 5383, ending its chances of becoming law this year. 

A bill to expand the kinds of transportation a border fuel tax can fund was heard in the House Transportation Committee

Funding multimodal transportation in Washington is notoriously difficult, in part because the State’s gas tax revenues are constitutionally limited to funding roadways. But other fuel taxes could be used more broadly – and that’s what SB 6017 aims to do for one particular border area in Washington with unique geographic challenges. 

SB 6017 is a bill to expand the use of a voter-approved border fuel tax to be able to fund high capacity transportation and public transportation.

This bill passed the Senate, and had a public hearing in the House Transportation Committee on Feb. 15.

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