Washington State House Democrats


Safer buildings, safer communities through a cooperative approach

OLYMPIA – The organization charged with creating codes to ensure safety of the buildings within which Washingtonians live, work and play would continue operating, under a bill approved by the state House Tuesday night. HB 2841, sponsored by Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island), makes several significant changes to the State Building Code Council which is responsible for establishing the minimum building, mechanical, fire, plumbing and energy code requirements necessary to promote the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state of Washington.

senn-0226“In order to keep the Council solvent and retain faith in the code process, we needed to revisit its structure, fees, and business processes,” explained Senn.

HB 2841 makes some important administrative changes to the Council and charges a legislative task force with determining whether additional reforms are necessary. While the task force considers whether a permanent fee increase is warranted, a small temporary fee will be in place, the first since 1989.

The measure enjoys support from a broad group of stakeholders, including the Association of Washington Business, the Building Industry Association of Washington, labor, environmental organizations, realtors and members of the State Building Code Council.

“It’s not often that we see agreement coming from such a wide range of interests,” Senn said. “I’m grateful that we recognize the important work of the Council in developing building codes, even as we seek to improve it.”

HB 2841 was approved by the state House on a 62-35 vote. It now goes to the state Senate for further consideration.