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Conflict of Interest and the Spouse

Conflict of Interest and the Spouse

February 22, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

Contractual situations involving spouses of local government officials can present complications that are not immediately apparent. This blog post delves into the issue. 

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New City and County Revenue Guides Published!

New City and County Revenue Guides Published!

February 19, 2019 by Toni Nelson
Category: Revenues

For many years, city and county officials have relied on MRSC’s Revenue Guides to better understand their various revenue options. In partnership with the State Auditor’s Office, we’ve completely rewritten and republished these important documents.

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Point of Order and Appeal Are the Heart of Democracy

Point of Order and Appeal Are the Heart of Democracy

February 11, 2019 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Legislative Body

This blog post answers the question: What is a Point of Order and how do I use it? 

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Cannabis Laws – What’s New?

Cannabis Laws – What’s New?

February 8, 2019 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Marijuana

This blog post offers 10 things to know about what's new with the cannabis industry from the perspective of local, state, and federal government. 

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Two New Guides Address Dockless Vehicles

Two New Guides Address Dockless Vehicles

February 4, 2019 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Cycling and Walking

This blog will summarize some of the main points of agreements between new reports issued that provide guidance on regulating small, dockless shared vehicles like e-bikes and e-scooters.

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Court Rules that Proposed Initiative Allowing Unfettered Questioning of Immigration Status by City Employees Not Subject to Initiative

Court Rules that Proposed Initiative Allowing Unfettered Questioning of Immigration Status by City Employees Not Subject to Initiative

January 30, 2019 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations

This blog post will summarize the recent decision in Global Neighborhood v. Respect Washington, as well as provide links to resources regarding the power of initiative and referendum for Washington cities and counties.

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Annexing Territory Outside City Limits

Annexing Territory Outside City Limits

January 24, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Annexation

An annexation of territory outside a city's geographic limits can be tricky but is not impossible. Legal Consultant Paul Sullivan covers the basics in this blog post.

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Does the Shutdown Mean Shutoffs?

Does the Shutdown Mean Shutoffs?

January 23, 2019 by Laura Crandall
Category: Utilities - Billing and Collection

For utility deferments and fee waivers, the key is to have policies in place to avoid gifting of public funds, and to ensure that the jurisdiction is not being arbitrary in its decision-making. 

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Reading the Economic Tea Leaves: When and How to Prepare for an Eventual Downturn

Reading the Economic Tea Leaves: When and How to Prepare for an Eventual Downturn

January 18, 2019 by Mike Bailey
Category: Financial Management

While it's impossible to predict the economic future, this blog post pulls together insights from a variety of sources to help you try to understand when and how to prepare for a slowing economy.

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Pop Quiz: Family Leave and Sick Leave Edition

Pop Quiz: Family Leave and Sick Leave Edition

January 14, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Leave Policies

Take a short quiz to test your understanding of the Paid Family Leave and Sick Leave for employees.

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Balance of Power Struggles in City Government Redux

Balance of Power Struggles in City Government Redux

January 10, 2019 by Flannary Collins
Category: Administrative and Elected Officials

With a focus on code and second-class cities, this blog post looks at power struggles that often arise between city staff and elected officials and among elected officials themselves. 

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FCC’s Declaratory Ruling on 5G Small Cell Wireless Facilities

FCC’s Declaratory Ruling on 5G Small Cell Wireless Facilities

January 8, 2019 by Laura Crandall
Category: Telecommunications

The FCC recently issued a 2-part Declaratory Ruling with the intent to streamline the deployment of 4G and 5G mobile communication infrastructure. Key points of the ruling are listed and briefly discussed in this post.

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Year End is a Busy Time for Finance

Year End is a Busy Time for Finance

January 4, 2019 by Toni Nelson
Category: Financial Reporting

This article reviews some of the most important year-end reporting requirements and deadlines, including the "open period" and federal W-2, W-3, and 1099-MISC reporting requirements.

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Nothing but a Number: Age-Based Employment Discrimination After <em>Mount Lemmon</em>

Nothing but a Number: Age-Based Employment Discrimination After Mount Lemmon

January 3, 2019 by Sarah Doar
Category: Recruitment and Hiring , Termination

Examining age discrimination laws that apply to local governments in Washington, following the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Mount Lemmon which held that all local governments, including those with less than 20 employees, are subject to the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

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Meeting Discussion: When Should You Interrupt a Speaker?

Meeting Discussion: When Should You Interrupt a Speaker?

December 27, 2018 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Legislative Body , Council-Commission Advisor

Under Robert's Rules, there are significant instances in which a board member or councilmember should be interrupted during a meeting in order to preserve preserve politeness and fairness for all.

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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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