Conservation Commission News

2024 legislative session wrap-up

2024 legislative session wrap-up

Session is over and the news overall is positive! SCC received an additional $3,500,000 this session for a total of total of $4,500,000 for Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) across the biennium. We go into more depth on the budget in the "hot topics" section of this email or download the spreadsheet here. 

SCC’s 2024 budget priorities were to increase funding for Conservation Technical Assistance, fix proviso language to smooth implementation of existing funding, and to secure additional funding for SCC FTEs.

Operating Budget

  • CTA: SCC requested $10,000,000 in Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) across the biennium. SCC received an initial $1,000,000 last session and an additional $3,500,000 this session for a total of total of $4,500,000 for the biennium. This is a significant success given the current budget climate.
  • SCC FTEs: SCC requested $600,000 to support additional staffing and received $200,000.
  • District Direct Appropriation: Central and Eastern Klickitat Conservation Districts received $500,000 for fiscal year 25 for post wildfire recovery work.
  • Organic and Climate Smart Agriculture Study: The deadline was pushed to May 1, 2025 as requested by     the agency.

Capital Budget

  • CREP: The supplemental capital budget includes an agency requested change to the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) proviso to allow use of state funds to support landowners recently disenrolled by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
  • RCPP: When agency decision packages were due, SCC anticipated it would need $3,000,000 in state match for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Once the most recent round of RCPP awards were announced SCC determined it had sufficient funds from prior appropriations and did not need supplemental funding. The     supplemental capital budget does not include any new RCPP funding.
  • SFF: $24,900,000 of Sustainable Farms and Fields (SFF) funding moved from the operating budget to the capital budget to better align eligible activities with budget constraints.

Request Legislation

SCC’s request legislation, SB 5921- Concerning tribal representation on the conservation commission did not pass. The bill unanimously passed the Senate and received a hearing in the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. However, the bill did not receive a vote in committee and did not advance.


The Legislature faced additional considerations this session created by six initiatives submitted by public petitions. The Legislature held hearings on and passed three of the initiatives.

The three remaining initiatives all would have significant budgetary impacts and did not receive hearings. Because the Legislature did not take action on the remaining initiatives, they will go to the citizens for a vote this November. The three remaining initiatives are:

  1. Initiative 2117 to repeal the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) would have the largest impact on SCC. SCC currently has approximately $86 million in CCA appropriations funding 10 different programs or activities. See the handout for more information on SCC’s CCA funded activities.
  2. Initiative 2111, prohibits state and local governments from imposing an income tax; Initiative 2081, codifies access for parents and guardians of public-school children to materials and records and the opportunity to opt-out of certain activities; and Initiative 2113, removes certain restrictions related to police vehicular pursuit.
  3. Initiative 2124, allows people to opt out of the state’s long-term care tax.