Commissioner Franz Issues Statement on Legislative Budget Proposals
News Date: 
February 21, 2024

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz issued the following statement today about the proposed supplemental state budgets introduced this week in the Washington Legislature

“I am appreciative that the Senate proposed full funding of our critical work to prevent catastrophic wildfires, restore the health of our forests, and make our communities resilient to the effects of climate change. The funding from House Bill 1168 has been incredibly impactful and felt all across Washington in just the first two years. We’ve made clear for nearly a year that now is not the time to cut back on acres treated, habitats restored, and properties saved. I trust that the members of the House understand this and will match the Senate by adjusting its budget proposal to fully fund our efforts to keep Washington evergreen.
“While I understand that we’re facing a budget shortfall, I am disappointed the Legislature chose not to include funding for affordable housing on public lands -- because families struggling to afford housing can’t wait. Using our public lands is a scalable solution to the housing crisis we all agree we’re facing. I urge the legislature to pass HB 2003, which would make it easier to develop housing on public lands, and I implore our legislators to commit to finding ways to fund housing on public lands during the next legislative session. The longer we delay funding creative solutions, the longer families from Aberdeen to Spokane will struggle to afford housing where they live and work.”
Michael Kelly
Communications Director
Phone: 360-878-4217