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Our Legislative Agenda


CURB Act Senate Hearing!

Your hard work is paying off. Thanks to all of you who took action in the last couple of weeks, House Bill 2070 (the CURB Pollution Act) is scheduled for a committee vote on Monday. On top of that, we’ve just heard that the Senate version of the bill is going to get a hearing!

Senate Bill 5990 will be heard this Tuesday, Jan. 30, by the Senate Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee.

Our bill will not get the chance to be voted on by the full Senate unless this committee moves it forward. That means we need you help us to move our bill forward by signing in PRO for the CURB Pollution Act!

(What does it mean to sign in PRO? It means you enter your name and contact information into a form, where you will also mark your position as PRO to show you support our bill!)

Take action in less than a minute by signing in PRO for CURB:

Our 2024 Just Transition Agenda

Communities of color, Indigenous peoples, and people with lower incomes are on the frontlines of the climate and environmental crisis. For the 2024 legislative session, our coalition of frontline communities has chosen to focus on reducing pollution in our most at-risk and overburdened communities and ensuring that state budget allocations meet mandated obligations to overburdened communities and vulnerable populations.

Communities of color and low-income communities are on the frontlines of the climate and environmental crisis. Our coalition of frontline communities advocates for the right to a healthy environment for all by rooting out disparities. We are convening, generating, and analyzing data, building alignment, and mobilizing our communities. We aim to advance a Just Transition for Washington State by shifting power to frontline communities, stopping what harms us, and building the future we need.

Each year, the legislative session offers opportunities to advance our goals, working closely with members, and 2023 was no exception. Our work began well before this session kicked off by listening to and engaging our coalition to create our 2023 Just Transition Agenda for Washington State (see below) which aimed to build upon our previous success and to ensure the legislature meets its obligation to prioritize frontline communities and invest in programs and projects that reduce health disparities in Washington State.

See below for a big picture summary of how we fared. For a deeper understanding of what we achieved, where the legislature fell short, and how we worked together to do our collective advocacy, see our blog post: What the 2023 Legislative Session Means for Frontline Communities.

Mid-session Update:

With 30 days in and 30 days left, we are officially halfway through the 2024 legislative session. Now is a good time to do a temperature check on our priorities.

CURB Pollution Act (House Bill 2070 and Senate Bill 5990)

We’ve seen tremendous support for the Cumulative Risk Burden (CURB) Pollution Act, our priority legislation that would embed environmental justice into the permitting and siting process. Besides the 28 partners and member organizations who formally endorsed our campaign, we saw many other organizations show their support, and crucially, we are so thankful to the thousands of you who took action by contacting lawmakers and signing in PRO for CURB.

Unfortunately, with the fiscal cutoff now behind us, it looks like we are going to have to bring the CURB Pollution Act back next year. It’s usually very hard to get a bill out of committee the first year that it is introduced, especially during a short session, but thanks to your overwhelming support, the momentum behind the CURB Act will be significant as we head into the next legislative session!


Bills We’re Tracking

There are multiple bills that we are tracking at Front and Centered, including supporting community transit-oriented development (TOD) efforts (included in House Bill 2160) and the ReWRAP Act (House Bill 2049). For more information on TOD, read this article in the Washington State Standard. To find out more about the ReWRAP Act, see Zero Waste Washington’s fact sheet. As of today, both of these bills have made it past their first two committees and await a vote by the full House of Representatives.

We’re also supporting Disability Rights Washington in their pursuit to pass House Bill 2191, which would authorize public transportation benefit areas to add two voting transit riders to their board and amplify the voice of transit riders in local transit decisions.

Front and Centered is also tracking House Bill 1589, which would ban Puget Sound Energy from connecting new natural gas lines to new residential or commercial buildings, with some exemptions. Also on our radar are House Bill 2201/Senate Bill 6058, which would facilitate a linked carbon market with California and Québec. The Department of Ecology has still not completed an environmental justice assessment of linking, so these bills would lower the barriers to linkage prior to reaching an understanding of how it would affect overburdened communities.


The Budget(s)

With the first policy and fiscal cutoff behind us, the legislature’s focus on the budget grows. Our top budget priority for this session is accountability: ensuring that the state legislature meets its obligation to fund overburdened communities, makes our communities resilient to the effects of a changing climate, and invests in communities’ long-term health.

Some of our budget priorities include the funding of Community Assemblies, a Community Land Acquisition Fund, the Department of Commerce’s Clean Energy Decarbonization Fund, and our environmental violations reporting tools study. (Learn more about our 2024 Supplemental CCA Budget Priorities in our legislative agenda outlined below.)

The House and the Senate will each propose their budgets sometime late this month and then negotiate over the differences during the last two weeks of the legislative session. Front and Centered staff and community members will work to shape the budget in favor of frontline communities and share updates.

Multiple key deadlines remain and anything can happen between now and March 8th, the last day of the legislative session. We look forward to bringing you more updates at the end of session!

Hundreds and hundreds of you signed in PRO for Senate Bill 5651—our bill to take the HEAL Act to the local level by embedding environmental justice into Washington’s Growth Management Act.

We have some great news for you: our bill is moving forward! That’s right, SB 5651 has advanced out of its first committee and will be heard this Wednesday by the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Our bill will not get the chance to be voted on by the full Senate unless this new committee moves it forward. That means we need you help us to move our bill forward by signing in PRO for environmental justice in the Growth Management Act. Even if you signed in PRO for our bill before, we still need you to take action because it’s in a new committee now and we need to keep the momentum going!

Learn more about this Front and Centered bill and take action by signing in PRO for environmental justice in the Growth Management Act:

What does it mean to sign in PRO? It means you provide your name, email, city, and ZIP code, and that you mark your position as being “Pro” for Senate Bill 5651. By taking just one minute to sign in PRO on this bill, you will help bring equity and environmental justice into the planning that goes on in your city, town, or county.

Click the buttons to take action ASAP, before the hearings on Wednesday!

Come to our virtual briefing to help us kick off the legislative session!
Thank you for joining our legislative briefing to kickoff 2024!
In case you missed it, you can watch it here:
Play Video
Group of advocates standing in front of the Capitol building in Olympia.

What Our Coalition Achieved

While we are celebrating new investments in community capacity, participation, and resiliency, we are questioning some of the decisions made by budget leaders to leave environmental justice out of the picture and are frustrated by the lack of action around critical community needs despite the availability of significant new revenues.

Key Achievements of the 2023 Legislative Session:

  • Climate Planning in the Growth Management Act: Our biggest policy win this session is HB 1181, which incorporates environmental justice in Washington State’s Growth Management Act to address both the growing impacts of climate change and the state’s contribution to greenhouse gas pollution, with a focus on transportation. The budget included $40 million to implement this bill, including grants to community-based organizations for which Front and Centered advocated.
  • Community Participatory Solutions: The final budget reflects one core environmental justice principle — community participation — by including investments in participatory budgeting ($36.6 million) and community capacity grants ($26.3 million) to help boost the participation of our frontline communities in the implementation of HEAL and application of the Environmental Health Disparities (EHD) Map. This wouldn’t have happened without pressure from our frontline communities!
  • Disproportionately Impacted Workers: Front and Centered and Community to Community led efforts to achieve a $10 million investment supporting a workplace health and safety program for workers affected by climate impacts, including extreme heat and cold, wildfire smoke, drought, and flooding. This program aims to support farmworkers, construction workers, and others who are most risk from climate-related environmental impacts.

We achieved these wins through strategic advocacy including staff and members joining our Legislative Advocate Guillermo Rogel Jr. in Olympia to lobby, testify, and host public events such as our inaugural reception for legislators of color and a press conference with the BIPOC Mobility Action Coalition to highlight just transportation – watch our short video. We also reached growing audiences via email, social media, media coverage including The Seattle Times, The Urbanist, and The White House, as well as through calls to action, resulting in thousands of people signing in PRO for our priority bills and sending 500 budget-related emails to legislators.

Our ongoing, day-to-day work on the ground creating real change with our frontline communities continues throughout the year. Join us as we continue to organize, mobilize, celebrate, and build a Just Transition in Washington State!

Our 2024 Legislative Agenda

The Cumulative Risk Burden (CURB) Pollution Act

Environmental Justice 40 — Investing Public Monies

Additional Issues Our Coalition is Tracking

A Just Transition requires more than what currently existing policies and programs can provide for communities of color, Indigenous peoples, and others on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

During the 2024 session, our statewide coalition is asking the legislature to put the focus back on frontline communities. We know that when frontline communities are engaged in creating solutions, we see better results.

— Deric Gruen, Co-executive Director of Policy and Programs

Download Our 2024 Just Transition Agenda

“We know that when frontline communities are engaged in creating solutions, we see better results.”

Download Additional Infosheets