Sometimes there is a bill in the legislature that is so egregious that you hope no one is dumb or evil enough to let it leave committee. In the case of HB1233, all the sponsors are from the same party and the opposing party is in charge of the committee. At issues is this line, a dangerous precedent, a slippery slope:
“reaffirms that ultimately elected officials have the authority to make decisions that differ from what the science and expert opinions in the public record may advocate. “
Read it for your self. The sponsors of this are
• Carolyn Eslick (R) – 39th
• Morgan Irwin (R) – 31st
• Dan Griffey (R) – 35th (Mason)
• Drew MacEwen (R) – 35th (Mason)
If they are your representatives, take notes.
HOUSE BILL 1233
State of Washington
2019 Regular Session
Representatives Griffey, MacEwen, Eslick, Irwin, and Dent
Read first time 01/17/19.
Referred to Committee on Environment & Energy
AN ACT Relating to the use of science pursuant to the growth management act; amending RCW 36.70A.172; and creating a new section.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. Science is innovative, constantly evolving, and provides for flexibility and improvement in public policy.
Often in creating growth management act comprehensive plans and development regulations, elected officials are presented
scientific information from multiple, conflicting sources with differing levels of credibility.
Officials must make policy choices about its use for their communities. Small counties, cities, and towns often do not have
the resources to obtain current, community-specific science evaluations. The legislature recognizes that a more flexible
statutory standard on use of science is more realistic for local authorities. Therefore, the legislature declares that local
authorities must consider science while creating critical area ordinances, yet reaffirms that ultimately elected officials have the authority to make decisions that differ from what the science and expert opinions in the public record may advocate.
The growth management hearings board may not overturn choices made by local elected officials to deviate from documents presented
as best available science, state agency recommendations based on science, or other materials claiming to present science or scientifically modeled information.
RCW 36.70A.172 and 2010 c 211 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
(1)In designating and protecting critical areas under this chapter, counties and cities
((shall include the best available ))***(struck out)changed to must consider available
science in developing policies and development regulations to protect the functions and values of
critical areas. In addition, counties and cities shall give special consideration to conservation
or protection measures necessary to preserve or enhance anadromous fisheries.
(2)If it determines that advice from scientific or other experts is necessary or will be of substantial
assistance in reaching its decision, the growth management hearings board may retain scientific
or other expert advice to assist in reviewing a petition under RCW 1536.70A.290 that involves critical areas.
Expert opinion on a topic indicating local authorities did not adopt policies consistent with scientific
information in the record or presented later before the board are not grounds for finding noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter.