WWRP Bill Passes Legislature!

March 9, 2016


The WWRP bill just made it over the final legislative hurdle and is now on its way to the Governor’s desk!

News flash! – This just in from Olympia… On March 8th, the Senate voted to concur on the House amendments to SSB 6227 by a 45-2 vote. At a moment when much of the buzz in Olympia is focused on bipartisan
conflict, a bill modernizing a successful 25-year old program has received remarkable bipartisan and bicameral support. The Senate’s decision clears the way for the bill to be signed into law by the Governor later this month. Once the paperwork is completed, it will be transmitted to the
Governor, where he will have up to 20 days to take action.

The Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP) is our state’s premier recreation and conservation grant program, founded in a historic bipartisan effort led by former Governors Dan Evans (Rep.) and Mike Lowry (Dem.). That bipartisan legacy continues today with a freshly passed bill that modernizes the program and was co-sponsored by Republicans and Democrats in both chambers.

The popularity of these updates is largely due to an extensive campaign of stakeholder engagement by the Recreation and Conservation Office, the Washington Recreation and Park Association, and the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition.

review of the 25-year-old grant program was extensive, including dozens
of meetings and comments from more than 400 people,” said Kaleen
Cottingham, director of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers WWRP. “The
thousands of thoughtful comments we received helped shape the bill that
passed yesterday. It’s really a great outcome. The Legislature made
substantial changes to improve the WWRP, ensuring
that it will remain a premiere and important grant program for the next
25 years and beyond.”

Much work remains to be done to implement the changes, and the Coalition
will be following the rule making and policy development closely
through the coming weeks and months. Thank you to all our partners, sponsors, and friends for the terrific collaborative effort that brought such great results this session!