House passed HB 1331, sponsored by Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley

OLYMPIA – Yesterday, the

(D-Seattle), modifying childcare and early learning facilities’ impact fees based on the actual effects they have on their communities.

Unlike other public facilities, such as hospitals and recreation clubs, childcare and early learning centers do not have the same impact. Typically, these buildings are not primary destinations for commuters because they are just dropping off children, traffic in the area is minimal throughout the day, and the facilities are closed on the weekend.

Rep. Harris-Talley says our underrepresented communities face major disadvantages due to impact fee calculations.

“It places a burden on low-income, rural, and BIPOC families,” Harris-Talley said. “Without childcare and early learning facilities in these communities, not only are job opportunities limited for parents, but it will be difficult to find education programs for children.”

This legislation will ease these barriers, allowing childcare and early learning facilities to be excluded from impact fees up to 80 percent and 100 percent full exemption. To be eligible, the construction developer would have to indicate that 25 percent or more of the children and families using the facilities are qualified for state-subsidized childcare.

“Childcare providers provide public services in their communities,” Harris-Talley said. “They have such a strong influence early in children’s lives, teaching them skills such as sharing, communicating and playing with others, and cleaning up after themselves. These changes will not only boost local economies, but it also removes a layer of stress for families struggling to find their kids childcare.”

This is Rep. Harris-Talley’s first bill passed out of the House. It will now head to the Senate for further debate and voting.