WSAC/WACO Joint Conference Save the Date
Scott Blonien
The Lazarus Effect

Today is the 54th day of the 2017 regular Session.  As of today, 2097 bills have been introduced, 927 of which have cleared the second cut-off date.  But no bill is truly “dead” for the 2017 session until Sine Die. Even though bills might lay dormant for several weeks and miss cut-off dates, they could be resurrected at any time. Some could be judged “necessary to implement the budget,” and others could be part of a negotiation process to move other bills.  
But even this session leaves a bill behind; they will rise to live again. Because this is the first year of the 2017-2019 biennium, and those bills that do die in 2017, will be re-animated for the short 2018 session, with the same bill number.
We continue to work to get our bills off the table, so when the budget is introduced we can devote most of our attention to it. There are still predictions of doom and gloom when the Senate, presumably later this month, drops their budget. Ever thing we hear is that it will be disastrous for local government.
We are very pleased with the success we’ve had so far this session, and we still have a long way to go. Thanks you to all who have called legislators or appeared to testify, both have been extremely helpful.

Priority Bills

Assessors: (HB 1309SB 5188) The Assessors’ bill to remove land from the current property tax classification bill execed out of the House Finance Committee today, and will be in Rules. This bill had previously not made the second cut-off - but was revived.
Auditors: (HB 1161, SB 5187) the Auditors' cleanup bill. The Senate Bill cleared the Senate and is now in the House with a referral to the House Local Government Committee. The House bill is still in rules.

(HB 1345) The Auditors' licensing fee bill did not make the second cut-off.

Clerks: (HB 1396SB 5327) The Senate version of the bill is currently on the floor calendar for a potential vote. The House version did not make the second cut-off.

Coroners: (HB 1794SB 5612) The Coroners' bill concerning the death investigations account bill is currently on the House floor calendar for a potential vote. The Senate version did not make the second cut-off.

FSI: (HB 1764SB 5772) Replacing the one percent property tax revenue limit with a limit tied to cost drivers did not make the second cut-off.

Prosecutors: (HB 1355SB 5278) The Prosecutors' Public Safety Review Board bill did not make the second cut-off.
Treasurers: (HB 1283SB 5189) The Treasurers’ anticipated tax bill cleared the Senate today 45-0. The House version has already passed the House and is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Local Government March 9 at 1:30 (link to future video feed).

Our Progress Thus far

Other Bills of Interest

The following bills of interest were discussed by the Legislative Committee, who then voted to take a position on the bills. 

Support: (HB 1209, SB 5396) This bill allows counties more options in depositories by opening up the pool to credit unions. The House version of this bill has passed the the House and is introduced in the Senate.

Support: (HB 1594) This bill concerns training and consultation regarding public disclosure. This bill is currently on the House floor calendar for a potential vote.

Support: (HB 1595) This bill concerns the costs associated with public records, allowing governments to collect a modest fee for electronic records gathered. This bill is currently on the House floor calendar for a potential vote.

Legislative Reception
WACO and WSAC staff and members mingle with legislators and staff during the February 15 legislative reception at Water Street Cafe.

Legislative Receptions

During session we are partnering with WSAC for four legislative receptions at the Water Street Café in Olympia. Please put these receptions on your calendars and give your local legislators a call to invite them to join us.

The remaining receptions are:

  • March 15, 6:00-8:00 PM, Water Street Café
  • April 5, 6:00-8:00 PM, Water Street Cafe
Legislative Website

Passing Notes onto the Floor

In the final video on legislative advocacy, our partners at WSAC have produced a great video on "Passing Notes onto the Floor".

McCleary Roundup: A Week of Analysis and More Waiting
(Courtesy of the Seattle Times)

This week brought some thoughtful analysis of the four competing proposals to change how Washington funds its public-school system.


Final Deal on School Funding in Washington Could Be Months Away
(Courtesy of the KOUW)

Washington state’s 105-day legislative session is almost at the halfway point. But a final, bipartisan deal on school funding could still be months away.


Confirmed: Republicans were $1 Billion Short on School Funding
(Courtesy of the Crosscut)

Republican state senators knew all along they’d have to come up with some extra money to pay for education, but now it looks like they’ll be needing a bit more of it.


Legislature Shines Spotlight on Public Records Requests, Costs
(Courtesy of the The Kent Reporter)

Public records are one of the most important tools citizens use to keep tabs on government, but emerging technologies have made maintaining their accessibility in the digital age for government agencies a challenge.

This legislative session two bills winding through the House of Representatives are tackling the cost of accessing public records off the Internet.


Why Republican Lawmakers are Pushing for Votes on Democratic Governor's Tax Raises
(Courtesy of the The News Tribune)

Washington’s GOP-led state Senate might hold floor votes this week on more than $5 billion in new taxes proposed by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, despite having no intent of approving them.


Restructure Education Taxation
(Courtesy of the The Spokesman Review)

The Legislature plans to revise how schools are funded but still fund schools by taxing property. This is a very positive step toward redesigning our racially and socioeconomically discriminatory education system. However it continues a disastrous and outdated way of funding education.


State Senate OKs Bill to Add Hundreds of Ballot Drop Boxes
(Courtesy of the The Herald)

OLYMPIA — A Monroe lawmaker's bill that could more than double the number of ballot drop boxes in Washington is on its way to the state


Lift Tax Cap to Maintain Vital Services
(Courtesy of the The Spokesman-Review)

The 1 percent cap is the product of two ballot initiatives. I-722 imposed a 2 percent cap, but the courts ruled it was unconstitutional. I-747 lowered it to 1 percent, and it passed in 2001. The state Supreme Court tossed it in 2007. Then-Gov. Chris Gregoire called for the Legislature to adopt the limit, and it did. Local governments have been struggling to maintain services ever since.


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