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2019 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting - Part I: ESSB 5418

2019 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting - Part I: ESSB 5418

July 10, 2019 by Judy Isaac
Category: Purchasing and Contracting , New Legislation and Regulations

This post provides details for ESSB 5418, a complicated bill from the 2019 Legislative Session that impacts unit-price contracts, bid thresholds, and other topics involving municipal procurement. 

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Financial Policies: Travel, Expense Reimbursement, Credit Cards, and More

Financial Policies: Travel, Expense Reimbursement, Credit Cards, and More

July 8, 2019 by Mike Bailey
Category: Accounting , Financial Management

MRSC has partnered with the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) Center for Government Innovation to expand the Financial Policies Tool Kit we first launched two years ago. This blog post covers some of the highlights.

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The Hidden Power of the Government Form Letter

The Hidden Power of the Government Form Letter

July 5, 2019 by Dana Howard Botka
Category: Management

Your routine letters and forms may be creating more internal costs and constituent frustration than you realize. This post shows how reducing the jargon, simplifying the message, and talking to the reader can, instead, win over citizens.

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Seven New Election Laws Promote Citizen Participation, Increase Transparency

Seven New Election Laws Promote Citizen Participation, Increase Transparency

July 3, 2019 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Elections , New Legislation and Regulations

This blog post covers seven new election-related laws that promote transparency in the process and candidate funding, as well as make it easier for Washington State citizens to participate in local, state, and federal elections. 

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Affordable Housing Legislative Round-Up

Affordable Housing Legislative Round-Up

June 26, 2019 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Housing , New Legislation and Regulations

This blog post summarizes bills passed in 2019 that address affordable housing issues.

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From Tenant Protections to Vaping: A Peek at New Local Legislation

From Tenant Protections to Vaping: A Peek at New Local Legislation

June 24, 2019 by Laura Crandall
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Housing , New Legislation and Regulations

This post presents a potpourri of interesting legislation that local governments in Washington State have passed, from the City of Kenmore to Clark County. 

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Promising Practices: Police (and Beyond) Drone Programs

Promising Practices: Police (and Beyond) Drone Programs

June 20, 2019 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Law Enforcement

This post highlights promising practices in the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for law enforcement and other purposes. 

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Overtime Work: Time Off or Additional Pay?

Overtime Work: Time Off or Additional Pay?

June 14, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: FLSA

This post addresses that age-old question: What is comp time, anyway?

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Limits on Pre-Election Litigation Involving Local Ballot Initiatives

Limits on Pre-Election Litigation Involving Local Ballot Initiatives

June 13, 2019 by Sarah Doar
Category: Elections , Court Decisions and AGO Opinions

A recent court ruling now means that Washington local governments cannot spend public funds to judicially challenge proposed ballot initiatives. This blog post provides an overview of that ruling. 

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The Importance of Documentation in Risk Management

The Importance of Documentation in Risk Management

June 10, 2019 by Roger Neal
Category: Management

This blog explores the importance of documentation as it relates to risk management. 

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Homelessness and the Limits of Enforcement

Homelessness and the Limits of Enforcement

June 4, 2019 by Oskar Rey
Category: Homelessness

This blog post looks at the legal issues involving homelessness, and how these issues can limit a municipality's response to unauthorized encampments, panhandling, and car camping. 

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Bidder Responsibility Criteria Changing July 1

Bidder Responsibility Criteria Changing July 1

May 31, 2019 by Judy Isaac
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Beginning in July, agencies awarding contracts to bidders must first confirm that the bidder has completed a required training on prevailing wage and public works requirements or that the bidder is exempt from this training. 

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Another Legislative Session, Another Round of PRA Changes

Another Legislative Session, Another Round of PRA Changes

May 29, 2019 by Flannary Collins
Category: Public Records Act , New Legislation and Regulations

This blog reviews some of the public records bills affecting local governments from the 2019 legislative session.

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Natural Composting of Human Remains - A First for Washington State

Natural Composting of Human Remains - A First for Washington State

May 23, 2019 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Cemeteries

ESSB 5001 allows natural composting of human remains as an option to cremation services and traditional burials. This blog post provides an overview of the bill and the processes now allowed by it. 

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Finance-Related Legislation Passed During The 2019 Session

Finance-Related Legislation Passed During The 2019 Session

May 21, 2019 by Toni Nelson
Category: Finance , New Legislation and Regulations

Interested in learning more about recently passed bills that offer increased use of taxes or authority to increase certain taxes? This blog post covers the basics. 

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Time To Set The Policy Framework For Your Next Budget

Time To Set The Policy Framework For Your Next Budget

May 16, 2019 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

Developing sound policy goals as a preface to budget planning is one of the most important ways an elected official can make a real difference in their community. 

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Legislature Paves the Way for Tiny Houses

Legislature Paves the Way for Tiny Houses

May 14, 2019 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Housing , New Legislation and Regulations

This blog post covers ESSB 5383, a new bill intended to enable the development of tiny house communities throughout the state.

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Elected Officials and Benefits Programs

Elected Officials and Benefits Programs

May 8, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Compensation , Leave Policies

Are elected officials covered by various state employee programs? This blog post answers that simple—and complicated—question.  

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Regulating Sky Lanterns

Regulating Sky Lanterns

May 6, 2019 by Davis Abbott
Category: Fire Protection

This blog post explores how sky lanterns—or mini air balloons—are regulated in Washington State.

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Firefighting in the Wildland Inter-Urban Interface

Firefighting in the Wildland Inter-Urban Interface

May 2, 2019 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Emergency Management , Fire Protection

This blog post looks at the most challenging type of firefighting—where wild lands meet human development—and how some Washington local governments are attempting to mitigate risk in these areas.

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