2023 State Legislative Agenda
Defense Community Compatibilty Account (DCCA)
The 2019 Legislature established the DCCA – a grant program to help civilian communities near military installations address compatibility challenges. SSMCP requests the Legislature fund the Commerce recommended list to include $900,000 for the McChord Airfield North Clear Zone.
SSMCP also requests the Legislature amend the statute to improve the program’s long term success. These changes will improve the likelihood that the DCCA grant program will be funded through the biennial capital budget on a recuring basis.
Occupational Licensing Improvements
WA State is making steady progress on reducing barriers for military spouses to obtain occupational licenses, but there is more work to do. SSMCP supports the adoption of additional interstate licensure compacts and policy changes to expedite and ease the occupational licensing process for military spouses. SSMCP recognizes these policy changes must strike a balance to ensure only those with proper qualifications are licensed.
Military/Defense Sector Statewide Economic Impact Analysis
SSMCP has coordinated two regional economic impact analyses over the last several years. The most recent report concluded that JBLM alone generates over $14 billion a year in statewide economic impact. There has been no statewide analysis of impacts from all of Washington’s military installations. SSMCP requests the Legislature allocate $250,000 for a state led military/defense sector statewide economic impact analysis.
I-5 Mounts Road to Tumwater & Nisqually River Delta
The current design of I-5 restricts critical ecological functions impacting salmon survival, is at a high risk of being overtopped by a major flooding event and has limited capacity to handle the growing South Sound economy and population – a key component to national security since 30% of the JBLM workforce live south of the Nisqually River. The Legislature allocated $75 million in the Move Ahead WA package; SSMCP requests phasing of these funds to allow timely delivery of the project. $19 million toward the roundabouts on SR 507 is needed in 2023 and $56 million for the Nisqually River Delta will be needed when NEPA is complete. If additional funding is available, SSMCP supports prioritizing projects along the Mounts Road to Tumwater corridor, including hard shoulder running between Sleater Kinney Rd and Henderson Blvd.
Maintain Active State Support for Military Affairs in Washington
SSMCP believes in a strong commitment from the State in support of military affairs. This support should include:
- Establishing a state level office to promote and coordinate state-wide activities that enhance the quality of life for military personnel and their families and support Washington’s military installations.
- Increasing access to quality affordable childcare for all WA residents, including service members, veterans, and their families.
- Expansion of attainable housing opportunities in the South Sound Region for military members and their dependents.
- Evaluating alternate transportation routes and options to ensure mission readiness.
Support Military & Civilian Compatible Land Use
SSMCP was founded on and strongly agrees that collaborative partnerships are vital in identifying and resolving existing land use conflicts and preventing potential future land use conflicts. SSMCP supports joint land use strategies that do not usurp local control. Specifically, SSMCP supports:
- Designating military installations as regional centers for the purposes of regional and transportation planning
- Coordination with and investment in military-community organizations such as SSMCP, Forward Fairchild, KEDA, Greater Spokane, Inc., etc.
Support Investments in:
- Workforce development organizations to maximize military veterans experience and support transitioning service members to enhance the local economy.
- High-quality behavioral health resources that improve access to care, reduce the stigma associated with mental health treatment and encourage seeking help when needed.
- Addressing the at grade rail crossing and the interchange at Exit 120 for the JBLM main gate.