Planning leaders name Larry Springer “2011 Legislator of the Year”

State Rep. Larry Springer’s leadership for new laws that help local communities save tax dollars and plan for better futures was celebrated last night (Dec. 8) by the Washington chapter of the American Planning Association (APA), which honored Springer as their 2011 Legislator of the Year.

“As a former mayor of Kirkland, well known for its good planning, his long record of public service shows his understanding of and commitment to the principles of good planning,” said Jill Sterret, President of the APA Washington Chapter, in a statement announcing the award.

“No one understands the importance of cost-effective planning better than the American Planning Association, so this is truly an honor I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” said Springer, who represents the 45th District and serves as the Deputy Majority Floor Leader for Jobs & Economic Development in the state House of Representatives.

The APA award announcement highlighted a number of Springer’s 2011 successes, including:

  • A new law that gives local governments added flexibility in how they can use previously collected real estate excise taxes. The law is helping cash-strapped local governments to preserve parks and other facilities without further raising taxes or diverting scarce resources from other important functions of government. (HB 1953)
  • Springer’s work for cost-effective annexations, including a new law that allows local governments to use existing census data to meet state headcount requirements regarding annexations. The law saved Kirkland and other local governments hundreds of thousands of dollars. Springer sponsored the House version of the measure, and helped shepherd the Senate version sponsored by Sen. Andy Hill (R-45) into law. (SB 5505)
  • The Landscape Conservation and Local Infrastructure Program. Springer sponsored legislation—and led House passage of a Senate bill sponsored by the late Sen. Scott White (D-46)—that gives landowners, developers, and local leaders new tools to preserve rural lands and efficiently finance infrastructure for urban areas. (SB 5253)
  • Help for the homeless, in the form of a new law that Springer championed that ensures faster services to the homeless and safeguards their privacy rights.  (HB 1811)

The American Planning Association (APA) describes itself as an independent, not-for-profit professional organization that supports practicing professionals in urban planning and provides leadership in the development of vital communities. The Washington chapter serves 1,400 members and is one of the largest and most active APA chapters in the nation.