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New Laws Change Rules for Service Animals

New Laws Change Rules for Service Animals

December 18, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Animal Control

SHB 2822 amends the Washington Law Against Discrimination in order to reduce and prevent both the intentional and mistaken misrepresentation of pets and other animals as service animals when they are not. 

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Let

Let's Talk Winter

December 13, 2018 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Governance , Ethics and Conflicts of Interest , Snow and Ice Removal

In this blog post, Legal Consultant Jill Dvorkin compiles existing MRSC resources to address some of the challenging issues jurisdictions routinely face during the winter months. 

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Winter Weather Shelter Programs for the Homeless

Winter Weather Shelter Programs for the Homeless

December 11, 2018 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Homelessness

This blog looks at winter weather shelter programs in Washington State. These programs offer temporary housing for homeless persons when weather conditions pose a substantial threat to life or health.

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The Perils of Piggybacking

The Perils of Piggybacking

December 6, 2018 by Oskar Rey
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Piggybacking allows a local government agency to purchase goods, equipment, material, and supplies using another agency’s purchasing contract. However, whether your agency can piggyback on a purchasing contract depends on the contract's criteria and the applicable statute for your agency type. 

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HB 2578 Prohibits Source of Income Discrimination

HB 2578 Prohibits Source of Income Discrimination

December 3, 2018 by Laura Crandall
Category: Housing

Passed in 2018 by the legislature, HB 2578 enacts source of income discrimination protections that prohibit landlords from discriminating against prospective and current tenants based on alternative, non-wage sources of income.

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Providing Exceptional Customer Service at Your Permit Counter

Providing Exceptional Customer Service at Your Permit Counter

November 30, 2018 by Steve Butler
Category: Land Use Administration

This blog post looks at how a city, town, or county can take steps to ensure its front desk staff provide excellent customer service at the permit counter. 

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Paid Family & Medical Leave Act: What does finance/payroll need to do?

Paid Family & Medical Leave Act: What does finance/payroll need to do?

November 27, 2018 by Toni Nelson
Category: Leave Policies

With 2019 on the horizon, local governments must begin to comply with new Paid Family & Medical Leave requirements. Finance Consultant Toni Nelson looks at what steps the finance department should take, beginning today. 

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Oh Boy! A Gift!

Oh Boy! A Gift!

November 26, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

With the holidays just around the corner, Legal Consultant Paul Sullivan explores the rules surrounding municipal gift "giving" and "receiving." 

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A Recycling Crisis in Washington?

A Recycling Crisis in Washington?

November 21, 2018 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Utilities

Since the beginning of the year, the costs to collect, sort, store, and ship recycled materials have risen dramatically while the market for these goods has collapsed. This blog post looks at the impact this has had on waste management efforts across the state. 

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Washington Women Led the Way: National Women’s Suffrage Centennial 2020

Washington Women Led the Way: National Women’s Suffrage Centennial 2020

November 19, 2018 by Flannary Collins
Category: Elections , Inclusive Communities

The Governor’s Women’s Commission has partnered with the Washington State Historical Society and the Women’s History Consortium to create a campaign commemorating the historical achievement of granting women the right to vote in Washington State in 1910.

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2018 General Election Part 3: Non-Revenue Edition

2018 General Election Part 3: Non-Revenue Edition

November 13, 2018 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections , Forms of Government-City , Annexation , Marijuana , Forms of Government-County

In this blog post, we examine non-revenue local ballot measures, including city and county charter changes, a city adopting the council-manager form of government, fire district annexations and mergers, and advisory votes on marijuana and downtown plazas and stadiums.

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​2018 General Election Part 2: Property Tax and Bonds Edition

​2018 General Election Part 2: Property Tax and Bonds Edition

November 13, 2018 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections , Property Taxes

This article looks primarily at local property tax measures from the recent general election — including levy lid lifts, EMS levies, bond measures, and funding for parks, libraries, and affordable housing.

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2018 General Election Part 1: Local Sales Tax Edition

2018 General Election Part 1: Local Sales Tax Edition

November 13, 2018 by Steve Hawley
Category: Revenues , Elections

There were a number of interesting sales taxes on the ballot this year for public safety, transit, and TBDs, as well as Tacoma’s first-of-its-kind cultural access program. We’ll also briefly discuss I-1634, which prohibits local soda taxes but will have no impact on sales tax revenues.

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Trust: The Secret Ingredient in Your Budget Deliberations

Trust: The Secret Ingredient in Your Budget Deliberations

November 8, 2018 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

Can trust building be a part of a local government's budget process? In this post Finance Consultant Mike Bailey argues that trust is a critical component to creating a high-functioning team that can then make the best possible decisions in how to serve their constituents. 

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Walking on Murky Waters: The New PRA Exemption for Religious Affiliation

Walking on Murky Waters: The New PRA Exemption for Religious Affiliation

November 5, 2018 by Sarah Doar
Category: Public Records Act

With the passage of HB 2097, the Washington State Legislature prohibited state or local agencies from providing personally identifiable information that could be used to create a federal religious affiliation, national origin, or ethnicity registry for law enforcement or immigration purposes. 

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A Summary of New Laws Addressing Elections in Washington State

A Summary of New Laws Addressing Elections in Washington State

November 1, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Elections

This blog post summarizes six new election laws passed during the 2018 legislative session.

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3 Ways to Make Your Public Plaza More Successful

3 Ways to Make Your Public Plaza More Successful

October 29, 2018 by Steve Butler
Category: Parks and Recreation

This blog post highlights three characteristics that will make your public gathering space more successful, including finding the right location, considering access to nearby buildings, and creating public programming to support plaza use.

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An Inquiry Response Sampler

An Inquiry Response Sampler

October 25, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Governance

This blog post is a grab bag of questions posed to MRSC's consultants through our Ask MRSC service. Covering broad but common local government concerns, the questions (and answers) should interest all our readers.

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Reported, Remote Sales Taxes Likely to Increase

Reported, Remote Sales Taxes Likely to Increase

October 22, 2018 by Mike Bailey
Category: Revenues

Washington local governments should see an increase in reported, remote sales taxes thanks to a recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair. This post provides an overview of the case and its potential impact locally. 

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Regulating Non-Commercial Temporary Signs During Election Season

Regulating Non-Commercial Temporary Signs During Election Season

October 15, 2018 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Sign Control

This blog post will provide a brief refresher of how a jurisdiction may regulate temporary signs in a post-Reed v. Gilbert environment.

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