Legislature Completes First Step in Passing Priorities for a Healthy Washington Bills

The environmental community is half way home this year in enacting their top four legislative bills collectively called Priorities for a Healthy Washington . The following four bills are still alive and moving, after having been passed by their house of origin in the Washington State Legislature before the Feb 19, 2008 cutoff date. They must now be passed by the other house.

* Climate Action and Green Jobs passed the House, 64 – 31.
* Local Solutions to Global Warming passed the Senate, 31 – 17.
* Evergreen Cities passed the House, 73 – 22.
* Local Farms – Healthy Kids passed the House, 95 -1;
companion legislation passed the Senate, 48 – 0.

Brief Description of bills taken from a recent e-mail from Priorities for a Healthy Washington:

* Climate Action and Green Jobs: The Climate Action & Green Jobs bill would lay the framework for limiting the sources and activities that cause the greatest amounts of global warming pollution in the state. It will also establish a program to prepare Washington workers for good jobs in the clean energy economy.

* Local Solutions to Global Warming: The choices made in local land use and zoning plans about where a growing population will live and work and how they will get around have a huge impact on global warming emissions. Local Solutions to Global Warming will help cities and counties shape communities in ways that will reduce climate pollution.

* Evergreen Cities: The Evergreen Cities bill would restore, retain and establish more trees and forests in our communities. The bill would also leverage partnerships with volunteers to steward the urban forests and provide funding for cities’ and counties’ forest plans.

* Local Farms – Healthy Kids: By getting more Washington fruits and vegetables into our schools, we can improve children’s health and create new and thriving markets for our farmers. The Local Farms – Healthy Kids bill will help preserve farmland and will expand children’s access to locally grown produce through our schools, food banks and farmers markets.

You can help keep the momentum going to pass these bills by contacting your representatives in the Washington State Legislature. Click on this Legislative link to find your legislators and send them an e-mail thanking them for their action to date and urging that they complete action by passing all four of the Priorities for a Healthy Washington bills coming from the other house.

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