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January 15, 2018

The Legislative Bulletin is produced weekly during the legislative session.

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Legislative Bulletin headlines and articles.

Hot topics section

Voting Rights Act bills heard – Senate committee passes substitute
The bills may impact how city elections take place, citywide or divided by voting district. We expect that a bill will pass this session. More

From the director section

Short session – Little time to solve big issues
The pace of work at the Legislature has accelerated quickly in the first week. Learn about issues impacting cities, including the capital budget, addressing stress-related diseases for public safety personnel, combating opioid and chemical dependency addiction, tools to address affordable housing shortages, and preparing for the deployment of new broadband and cellular technology. More

Media time section

City priority: Homelessness, housing, & human services
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Urban and rural communities throughout the state are grappling with increasing challenges on our streets. The number of people experiencing homelessness is growing in many of our communities, spurred on by lack of affordable housing and a poorly-funded mental health and substance abuse system. Cities are struggling to solve these issues with limited resources. Watch this video where AWC Government Relations Advocate Carl Schroeder explores the problem and asks for assistance from the Legislature. Learn how you can help. More

Cities and PUDs seek balance on cellular technology
Telecommunications companies are telling state lawmakers that cities and PUDs should provide them unfettered access to rights-of-way and utility poles. Read this HeraldNet op-ed, co-authored by Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin, to learn what’s at stake, and why we need to balance advanced technology with the interests of our communities. Want more background information? Check out this AWC video about proposed legislation and learn what is a small cell.

Things you can do section

City Action Days logoAre you ready for City Action Days?
Do these three things before you arrive:

  • Make appointments to meet with your legislators. The best day to do this is Thursday, January 25.
  • Invite legislators to the Legislative Reception. Ask your legislators to join you at the Legislative Reception on Wednesday, January 24. Check the conference schedule for details.
  • Contact the media to tell them why you're coming. It is important you use the media to let constituents and state decision makers know what your city needs. Remind them of AWC's Legislative Priorities as well as your city's legislative agenda. Let them know you'll be amongst nearly 400 other city officials in Olympia to tell legislators that strong cities make a great state.

Need to know setion

Energy
Bill proposing elimination of the statutory limit for net metering raises concerns for city electric utilities. More

Economic development
Bill would expand eligibility for nonprofits, but of concern, limits city access to Main Street Program. More

Environment & land use
HB 1740 would extend an expiring tool that promotes development around transit stations. More

Housing
Two new affordable housing proposals get hearings: a state sales tax credit with revenues used for affordable housing purposes, and a property tax abatement program for accessory dwelling units. More

Document recording fee bill gets public hearing. AWC supports this proposal that will bring more revenue to address homelessness. More

Bill would allow for complete deferral of impact fees for low income housing and specify complete exemption for homeless shelters. More

Bill would provide multifamily property tax exemption for unincorporated UGAs in most populous counties, a tool that is currently available only in certain cities. More

Bill would require a city to provide a two-times density bonus to low-income housing developments on lands owned by religious institutions. More

Human services
Bills from Governor and Attorney General addressing opioid crisis set for hearings. AWC to express general support for action to deal with this crisis. More

Infrastructure
AWC supports bill to clearly authorize cities to utilize unit-priced contracts for public works. More

Cities oppose bill that would add new reporting requirements on public works projects. More

AWC supports bill aimed at improving participation by minority and women-owned businesses in public works contracts. The bill also raises project cost thresholds for small-works roster and limited public-works processes. More

Marijuana
A trio of marijuana bills that impact cities will be heard in the House on Monday afternoon. The Commerce and Gaming Committee will hear bills on home grow, delivery of medical marijuana, and preemption of local governments on medical marijuana co-ops. More

Personnel
House and Senate committees will hear three bills seeking to significantly expand presumptive occupational disease coverage for police and fire personnel. More

Wrongful death bill will be heard in the Senate on Thursday. AWC opposes this bill, and its companion in the House, as it would significantly increase a city’s liability and costs associated with these claims. More

Draft rules on the Paid Family Medical Leave program are now available for comment. Cities are encouraged to review and provide comments. More

Telecommunications
Two bills related to local permitting of small cell facilities will have hearings on Thursday. House bill contains new approach incentivizing action by cities. More

Transportation
AWC supports bill that requires railroads to give notice to communities when planning actions. More


www.awcnet.org/Advocacy.aspx | Legislative issues
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