I was at Olympia this week to speak with Rep. Gerry Pollet (46th District) about House Bills (1233 – Including health in the state transportation system policy goals; 1235 – Prioritizing state investments in storm water control). I supported both the bills, and wanted to propose some improvements.
While the HB 1233 “failed to be voted out of the House before House of Origin cutoff” before my meeting with Rep. Pollet, I still conveyed my support to the bill (which Rep. himself said he supports) and asked if it would come back (and the answer is “most probably yes”). I told that increasing the scope of consideration-set for state’s transportation policies is a good thinking and along that line policy-making shall identify and bear all the stakeholders and affected entities in mind (global optima) and this bill is a right step in that direction.
On HB 1235, we talked about storm-water run-off management (not being great) in Seattle. I had a specific improvement in mind for this bill, which is to include requirement of installation of rainwater harvesting mechanism (roof-top, guzzler…) to reduce storm water runoff – this has multiple advantages: one, reducing pollutant ending up in the Sound via storm-water run-off; two, reducing utility-supplied water usage (and thus its operational costs, inefficiencies) – the grey water re-use covered in Carbon Efficient City book. We could not finish talking through this as Rep. Pollet had to head out for another meeting.
I continued the conversation with Rep. Pollet’s LA, who mentioned that bill sponsors, legislative committee members, and bill-drivers/organizations such as WA Environment Coalition, Transportation Environmental Coalition are best to be contacted for change in language of the bill.
While the experience was exciting (though initially nerve-wracking) and a good learning experience, I completely agree with thoughts on this blog-post about the leverage and influence we have on legislators.