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Using MRSC’s Tax and Population Data

Using MRSC’s Tax and Population Data

May 17, 2018 by Steve Hawley
Category: Economic, Population and Historical Tax Data

MRSC's Population and Tax Data page contains information on property taxes, sales tax distributions, and population from 2010 to present. This data can help you examine basic financial information and trends within your jurisdiction since 2010 or compare your jurisdiction to nearby or peer jurisdictions.

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JLARC Unveils Public Records Reporting System

JLARC Unveils Public Records Reporting System

May 16, 2018 by Oskar Rey
Category: Public Records Act

MRSC has received many questions about JLARC public records reporting requirements as modified by the 2017 bill ESHB 1594. This blog post looks at the reporting requirements for local governments and JLARC's newly unveiled reporting system.

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A Grab Bag of Ask MRSC Questions

A Grab Bag of Ask MRSC Questions

May 10, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Legislative Body

This blog post offers several examples of questions MRSC's legal and policy experts get from local government staff and elected officials. 

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SEC Enforcement in the Municipal Securities Market

SEC Enforcement in the Municipal Securities Market

May 7, 2018 by Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, P.C.
Category: Debt

Over the last few years, the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission has significantly stepped up its enforcement activity in the municipal bond market. This blog post looks at that trend.

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Alternative Fuel Requirement Deadline Fast Approaching

Alternative Fuel Requirement Deadline Fast Approaching

May 3, 2018 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Energy Resources and Conservation

Effective June 1, 2018, all local government subdivisions are required to satisfy 100% of their fuel usage for operating publicly owned vessels, vehicles, and construction equipment from electricity or biofuel. This blog post looks at the legislation, the requirements, and options for local governments. 

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New Limits on Use of Criminal Background Checks During the Hiring Process

New Limits on Use of Criminal Background Checks During the Hiring Process

May 1, 2018 by Summit Law Labor and Employment Group
Category: Selection and Recruitment , HR Advisor

Under the new Washington Fair Chance Act, an employer may only ask about a person’s arrest or conviction history once the employer has made the initial determination that the applicant is qualified.

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New Bills Addressing Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

New Bills Addressing Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

April 25, 2018 by Flannary Collins
Category: Personnel Policies

The Washington State Legislature passed several bills in the 2017-2018 legislative session related to gender equality and sexual harassment that local governments should be aware of.

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Conestoga Huts Offer More Options for Housing the Homeless

Conestoga Huts Offer More Options for Housing the Homeless

April 23, 2018 by Subir Mukerjee
Category: Homelessness

A housing for the homeless program in Eugene using Conestoga Hut program is immensely popular with long waiting lists. Learn more about this program and the city regulations that have allowed it to flourish.

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Is Your City Ready for the New Business Licensing Requirements?

Is Your City Ready for the New Business Licensing Requirements?

April 17, 2018 by Toni Nelson
Category: Licensing and Regulation

EHB 2005, which was passed last year, is intended to simplify the administration of municipal general business licenses for the applicant. This post looks at the actions cities and towns must take to comply.

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New Legislation Targets E-Bikes

New Legislation Targets E-Bikes

April 16, 2018 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Cycling and Walking

As Seattle prepares to make its dockless bike share program permanent, new legislation recently signed by Gov. Jay Inslee set statewide standards and regulations for riding using electric assist bikes (e-bikes).

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Salaries for Elected Officials

Salaries for Elected Officials

April 12, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Administrative and Elected Officials , Administrative and Elected Officials-County

This blog discusses how salaries for elected officials are set, how they can be changed, and whether an official can request not to be paid.

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Where Do Our Sales Taxes Go?

Where Do Our Sales Taxes Go?

April 9, 2018 by Steve Hawley
Category: Revenues

Have you ever wondered exactly where local sales taxes go or why one jurisdiction has higher (or lower) sales taxes than another?  A new tool from MRSC can help provide some answers.

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Why Are We (Sometimes) So Protective of Public Records?

Why Are We (Sometimes) So Protective of Public Records?

April 6, 2018 by Jim Doherty
Category: Public Records Act

There are strong reasons for not disclosing information in public records that appears to be covered by the statutory exemptions and prohibitions. However, MRSC Legal Consultant Jim Doherty argues local government staff should lean toward disclosing records rather than withholding them.

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Using RFPs as a Competitive Procurement Tool

Using RFPs as a Competitive Procurement Tool

April 3, 2018 by Judy Isaac
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

In this post, Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac examines how an agency can use a Request for Proposals (RFP) as a competitive procurement tool.

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The Future of Voting in Washington

The Future of Voting in Washington

March 29, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Elections

With the Voting Rights Act of 2018, ​Washington State took a step towards ensuring the right to vote for all Washingtonians, especially those in certain protected classes. Legal Consultant Linda Gallagher provides an overview. 

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Increased Marijuana Excise Tax Distributions for Cities and Counties

Increased Marijuana Excise Tax Distributions for Cities and Counties

March 28, 2018 by Toni Nelson
Category: Revenues , Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Cities and counties that allow marijuana businesses will soon be seeing an increase in state shared revenue distributions following passage of the 2018-2019 state supplemental budget. Finance Consultant Toni Nelson addresses the issue. 

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Having Great Budget Discussions

Having Great Budget Discussions

March 26, 2018 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Finance Advisor

Budget discussions offer local governments the opportunity to identify concerns, priorities, and goals. It's also a great opportunity to get and provide updates on key issues, challenges, and accomplishments across the organization. Finance Advisor Mike Bailey offers suggestions on how to make your budget conversations work more efficiently.

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Firearms Regulation at the Local Government Level

Firearms Regulation at the Local Government Level

March 20, 2018 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Licensing and Regulation

In the wake of the latest mass shooting, many are asking what their local governments can do to prevent such tragedies.This blog post discusses state preemption of firearms regulation and explores known options available to municipalities.

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Autonomous Vehicles: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?

Autonomous Vehicles: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?

March 16, 2018 by Steve Butler
Category: Planning , Transportation and Land Use

Widespread use of autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars) may seem too futuristic to seriously contemplate, but autonomous ridesharing vehicles will be here before you know it. Planning Consultant Steve Butler discusses what it means for local governments.

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Safe Parking Programs: A Safe Place to Sleep in Your Car

Safe Parking Programs: A Safe Place to Sleep in Your Car

March 14, 2018 by Oskar Rey
Category: Homelessness

In light of a recent Superior Court ruling, safe parking programs, often sponsored by religious organizations, can offer relief for individuals living in vehicles. Legal Consultant Oskar Rey examines the regulatory role of local government when a religious organization seeks to establish a safe parking program.

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