Legislative Day Recap

Washington REALTORS® thanks the almost 500 REALTORS® and Affiliates who showed up for the WR Legislative Day event on January 22-23rd.
Washington REALTORS on the Capitol Steps

Thank you to the 500+ REALTORS® and Affiliates who showed up for the WR Legislative Day event on January 22-23rd. The sheer number of REALTORS® who came from all over our state to represent members and property owners is a statement to our Legislators in itself and we are thrilled that over 120 of the members who registered were first-time attendees!

During the WR General Session Thursday morning, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman addressed the group of REALTORS® heading to the Hill. Wyman emphasized the importance of the effort to meet with their lawmakers and tell their local stories. She said as important as 'Hill Day' is, feel free to book appointments with your representatives anytime throughout the year when a local issue comes up which impacts housing. Our representatives want to hear from constituents anytime.

Hilary S. Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands, gave a fascinating presentation which covered management of wild fires and the growing threat to every Washington community in the state and how Public Lands is gearing up to fight fires as they ignite and the prevention steps they are currently taking. She discussed waterways, flood control and the preservation and expansion of public recreational lands. The audience was very interested in the commercial agricultural efforts of the agency as well as the commercial land holdings they are offering for development and space rental. 

Washington REALTOR® CEO Steve Francks presented the Washington REALTOR® Fair Housing initiative we are developing for 2020. This will be a major undertaking in partnership with several non-profit human rights agencies, HUD and the National Association of REALTORS®.

After the General Session, we bused 500+ REALTORS® to the ‘Hill’ throughout the afternoon. Thank you to all of our members and Legislators who took the time to meet to discuss Washington REALTOR® priorities, including:

  • EXPAND LOCAL HOUSING SUPPLY EFFORTS Last session, the Legislature passed HB 1923 that incentivized cities to adopt regulations and plans to increase housing supply and affordability. This bill was part of REALTORS® Unlock the Door housing supply campaign, and now over 50 cities are implementing the law. In 2020, will expand this program by extending the deadlines for local governments, including additional types of housing ordinances, and increase the number of cities that are eligible to participate. A range of aggressive and sustained action on housing supply is needed from addressing homelessness and low-income affordability, to stopping the alarming trend of decreased of homeownership.
  • EXTEND MULTI-FAMILY TAX EXEMPTION The state’s Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) has been successful in helping create thousands of new units of privately-owned affordable housing. This program has been central to urban redevelopment and housing supply efforts in both small and large cities. These bills extend the authorization for the MFTE and provide additional flexibility so the use of the MFTE can be tailored to meet the variety of needs at the local level.
  • PROTECT REALTORS® INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR & AGENCY LAW PROVISIONS Recently, the Legislature passed bills clarifying independent contractor status for real estate brokers and reaffirmed the state’s real estate agency laws; to include the statutory duties of brokers and dual agency requirements. Despite this, conflicting employment legislation has been proposed that would negatively impact the real estate industry by altering the status of real estate brokers as independent contractors and real estate agency laws. The unique structure of the real estate industry should be acknowledged and protected in future employment legislation.

Here are what some of our members are saying on social media about their experience during the Legislative Day event...


ALISHA HARRISON: "I am so proud to be a REALTOR®️, and days like yesterday solidify the reason why. Over 500 REALTORS®️ from all over the state of Washington descended upon Olympia to advocate for homeownership and private property rights. It was my absolute honor to stand on that stage and address my colleagues and peers to educate them on our Hill Day priorities, and then walk alongside them as we flooded The Hill with our message. We had productive meetings with our elected officials, and many of us in leadership will continue those conversations as this session moves along. A great finale to an inspiring few days."

Van Anderson on Hill Day

VAN ANDERSON: "A day in Olympia calling on our legislators on behalf of the Washington Association of Realtors in support of solutions to the enormous housing shortage we are facing across the state and most particularly in King County. Representative Senn from Mercer Island has been and continues to be an advocate for these solutions as well as protection of children. Her tremendous capabilities are rewards to our entire state not just her own district. I am humbled and proud to be her Key Contact. Thank you on behalf of every home owner and buyer in the state."

This is your Washington REALTORS® Legislative Steering Committee in action during the 2020 Washington REALTORS® Legislative Day in Olympia. When we say Washington REALTORS® is a "member-driven" organization, this is a perfect picture to show how that works. These are the members who listen, consider, and decide how our state voice will be used in addressing active legislation."

Stay tuned for updates from the rest of this Legislative Session and we look forward to seeing you all at next year’s Legislative Day event!

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