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New Developments in PRA Land

New Developments in PRA Land

December 9, 2019 by Flannary Collins
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions , Public Records Act

This blog post provides an overview of two recent Washington State Supreme Court cases that involved the Public Records Act and offers some key takeaways for local governments to consider. 

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The Oath of Office for Local Elected Officials

The Oath of Office for Local Elected Officials

December 6, 2019 by Sarah Doar
Category: Administrative and Elected Officials

This blog post covers the basics of the oath of office for local elected officials, such as when it can be taken, who can administer it, and how it should be worded. 

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Changing Forecasts for Transportation Revenues and Other Impacts of I-976

Changing Forecasts for Transportation Revenues and Other Impacts of I-976

December 5, 2019 by Toni Nelson
Category: Revenues , Finance

This blog post looks at the impact the passage of I-976 will have on transportation revenues, the state's multimodal account, and transportation benefit districts. 

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How Can Local Governments Celebrate the Holidays?

How Can Local Governments Celebrate the Holidays?

November 22, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Governance

Many local governments may be considering how to celebrate the holiday season through holiday decorations, nativity scenes, or Christmas cards. Can local governments do this? As this blog post suggests, some caution is warranted before proceeding.

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Community Paramedicine: Filling Gaps in Healthcare

Community Paramedicine: Filling Gaps in Healthcare

November 18, 2019 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Emergency Medical Services

This blog post looks at community paramedicine, a healthcare approach that uses emergency medical technicians to deliver basic medical services to patients, often in their own home.

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You’ve Been Elected; Now What?

You’ve Been Elected; Now What?

November 12, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Elections , Administrative and Elected Officials

Congratulations on your election! Now, where to start? This blog post reviews the first steps you will need to take and offers links to resources that can help prepare you for the duties ahead. 

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Ballot Measure Results from the 2019 General Election

Ballot Measure Results from the 2019 General Election

November 12, 2019 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections , Forms of Government-City , Housing , Public Transit

This blog post provides a brief summary of I-976 as well as many of the city, county, and special purpose district ballot measure results across the state.

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New FCC Order on Cable Franchising

New FCC Order on Cable Franchising

November 7, 2019 by Elana Zana
Category: Telecommunications

This blog post looks at the recent order from the Federal Communications Commission, which addresses franchise fees local governments often charge cable operators, as well as what defines an in-kind contribution. 

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New Guidance in Accounting for and Reporting Leases

New Guidance in Accounting for and Reporting Leases

November 4, 2019 by Mike Bailey
Category: Accounting , Revenues , Financial Reporting

This blog post looks at the new standards the Governmental Accounting Standards Board has released regarding accounting for and reporting leases. 

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Recounts, Ties, and Other Post-Election Scenarios

Recounts, Ties, and Other Post-Election Scenarios

November 1, 2019 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Elections

This post addresses issues or events that may arise after a general election, such as recounts, ties, election contests, and assumption of office.

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Dealing with Snow and Ice on Streets and Sidewalks

Dealing with Snow and Ice on Streets and Sidewalks

October 28, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Snow and Ice Removal

What can or should a municipality do to deal with accumulations of snow and ice on sidewalks and streets? Who is liable when a citizen falls due to an icy sidewalk? This blog post covers some basics. 

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Records Requests from Agency Elected Officials

Records Requests from Agency Elected Officials

October 24, 2019 by Oskar Rey
Category: Public Records Act

What happens if your elected official files a public records request with your local government? This blog post looks at how to handle what should be a simple request, but often isn't due to extenuating circumstances. 

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Cyber Response and Insurance

Cyber Response and Insurance

October 22, 2019 by Laura Crandall
Category: Cybersecurity

How should your agency prepare itself for a cyberattack? This blog post looks at the role an emergency plan and cyber insurance can play in helping an agency recover from a cyber incident. 

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Announcing an Updated Homelessness & Housing Toolkit

Announcing an Updated Homelessness & Housing Toolkit

October 18, 2019 by Steve Butler
Category: Homelessness

In 2017 MRSC partnered with the Association of Washington Cities to develop the Homelessness & Housing Toolkit for Cities. This publication has been updated for 2019 and covers such hot-topic items as SHB 1406, Martin v. City of Boise, and more. 

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Please Stop: Handling Public Requests

Please Stop: Handling Public Requests

October 15, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Public Records Act

Municipal employees sometimes must deal with a variety of requests, and some can be quite challenging. This article looks at what local governments can and cannot broadly do in terms of responding to large public records requests and complaints.  

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Budget Hearings: How Many Do You Need to Hold?

Budget Hearings: How Many Do You Need to Hold?

October 11, 2019 by Toni Nelson
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Legislative Body

One question we get asked often this time of year is: “How many public hearings are required for the budget process?" This post reviews the requirements. 

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Sanctioning Rogue Board Members

Sanctioning Rogue Board Members

October 8, 2019 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Legislative Body

This post looks at how a board can sanction a member that repeatedly disrupts the work — and progress — of that governing body.

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Cyber Plans: What to Do If Your System Is Attacked

Cyber Plans: What to Do If Your System Is Attacked

October 4, 2019 by Laura Crandall
Category: Cybersecurity

This blog is the first installment of a 2-part series on cybersecurity preparation, with a focus on the most popular ways criminals are using to gain access to systems and how to plan for a service interruption.

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Long-Term Care Trust Act Brings Services and Support to Washington Residents

Long-Term Care Trust Act Brings Services and Support to Washington Residents

September 27, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Compensation , New Legislation and Regulations

The newly created Long-Term Care Trust Act will offer an employee-financed program to provide payment or partial payment for long-term services and support to qualified Washington residents who have paid into the program and need assistance. 

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Preparing for and Responding to Emergencies: 2019 Legislation

Preparing for and Responding to Emergencies: 2019 Legislation

September 26, 2019 by Sarah Doar
Category: Emergency Management , New Legislation and Regulations

This blog post looks at SB 5514, HB 1147, and SB 5012, three pieces of recent legislation that address how local governments and law enforcement should respond during active emergencies. 

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