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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Licensing and Regulation

New Legislation Targeting Firearms

New Legislation Targeting Firearms

October 8, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Licensing and Regulation

In this blog post, MRSC Legal Consultant Paul Sullivan offers an overview of a number of bills the 2018 Washington State Legislature adopted relating to firearms regulation. 

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Cities and Towns Must Update General Business License Ordinances ASAP!

Cities and Towns Must Update General Business License Ordinances ASAP!

July 16, 2018 by Toni Nelson
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Business Licenses and Taxes

The final model business license ordinance has been released. All current BLS partner cities must adopt its provisions by October 17, and all other cities and towns with general business license requirements must adopt the model provisions by January 1.

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Food Truck Laws and Regulations

Food Truck Laws and Regulations

June 26, 2018 by Oskar Rey
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Business Licenses and Taxes

This post sorts through applicable food truck laws and regulations and cite examples of approaches taken by Washington municipalities that regulate food trucks in their jurisdictions. 

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Bitcoin Comes to Washington

Bitcoin Comes to Washington

May 22, 2018 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Utilities

What is cryptocurrency and why have public utility districts, cities, and counties across the state enacted ordinances and moratoriums impacting the businesses seeking to profit from "mining" cryptocurrency? This blog post looks at the complexities.  

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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 , Business Licenses and Taxes

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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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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12 Examples of Short-Term Vacation Rental Regulations

12 Examples of Short-Term Vacation Rental Regulations

November 22, 2017 by Steve Butler
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Tourism

The issue of internet-based, short-term vacation rentals has been in the news for several years thanks to the growth of companies like Airbnb and VRBO. This post offers local government examples of short-term vacation rental regulations for any jurisdictions that are contemplating adopting them.

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Regulating Sky Lanterns

Regulating Sky Lanterns

June 6, 2017 by Davis Abbott
Category: Licensing and Regulation

Between the Fourth of July, summer weddings, and other celebrations, sky lanterns are becoming an increasingly popular way to celebrate on summer nights. But Sky Lanterns may not be as innocent as they seem. This blog post will explore how sky lanterns are regulated in Washington State.

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Time to Start Thinking About Fireworks . . . for 2018

Time to Start Thinking About Fireworks . . . for 2018

May 2, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Licensing and Regulation

If your community wants to ban the sale or use of fireworks, now is the time for its legislative body to start considering it. It’s too late now for the 2017 season, but if a ban is to be adopted for 2018, it must be adopted by June 28, 2017.

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WATVs (Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicles) Issues and Reminders

WATVs (Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicles) Issues and Reminders

April 12, 2017 by Jim Doherty
Category: Licensing and Regulation

The 2013 legislature made major changes to the authority of riders to use some off-road vehicles on public roads. Since then WATVs have been increasingly used on public roads in the State of Washington. This post will provide some updates and reminders concerning issues related to WATV use.

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What Can Local Governments Do About Drones

What Can Local Governments Do About Drones

March 10, 2017 by Robert Sepler
Category: Licensing and Regulation

Wondering what the latest is regarding drones? This blog post provides a quick overview of what local governments in Washington can and cannot do to regulate drone use in their jurisdiction.

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New Federal Rules Governing Commercial Drones

New Federal Rules Governing Commercial Drones

September 8, 2016 by Robert Sepler
Category: Licensing and Regulation

On August 29, 2016, new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone regulations came into effect that govern the operation of certain “small unmanned aircraft systems” (sUAS) operated for commercial purposes (“sUAS” is what the FAA calls drones weighing less than 55 pounds).

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Regulating Uber, Lyft, and Other Transportation Network Companies

Regulating Uber, Lyft, and Other Transportation Network Companies

September 7, 2016 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Business Licenses and Taxes

Cities and counties in Washington have begun to regulate "transportation network companies" such as Uber and Lyft, and some jurisdictions have taken a more regional approach.

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Paper or Plastic? An Overview of Plastic Bag Bans in Washington State

Paper or Plastic? An Overview of Plastic Bag Bans in Washington State

August 17, 2016 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Licensing and Regulation

This post aims to provide a general overview of what plastic bag bans look like, how effective they’ve been, and what authority cities and counties in Washington have to implement such bans.

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Regulating E-Cigarettes: The Federal Government Steps In

Regulating E-Cigarettes: The Federal Government Steps In

July 11, 2016 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Licensing and Regulation

After months of review, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued final regulations governing the manufacture, distribution, and sale of e-cigarettes, vapor liquids, and some tobacco products. The federal regulations come soon after the passage of a new Washington law (ESSB 6328) that, among other things, also regulates the sale of e-cigarettes and vapor products and prohibits their sale to persons under the age of 18. The federal regulations make additional requirements not covered by the state law, but, where both address the same subject, there does not appear to be any conflict.

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New Law Regulates E-Cigarettes and Vapor Products

New Law Regulates E-Cigarettes and Vapor Products

April 20, 2016 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Licensing and Regulation

The Legislature adopted new legislation (ESSB 6328) this session to regulate the e-cigarette and vapor product industry in Washington. Here is a summary of some of the key provisions of the new law.

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Local Government Catching Up with Airbnb and Other Short-Term Transient Rental Businesses

Local Government Catching Up with Airbnb and Other Short-Term Transient Rental Businesses

February 12, 2016 by Steve Butler
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Tourism

A look at some important issues to address if you plan on regulating short-term rentals in your community.

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New Federal Drone Regulations and Guidance

New Federal Drone Regulations and Guidance

January 27, 2016 by Robert Sepler
Category: Licensing and Regulation

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently took two actions related to the regulation of “unmanned aircraft”—more commonly known as “drones”—that I think are relevant to local governments here in Washington State.

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Drones: Whether Local Governments Can Regulate Unmanned Aircraft

Drones: Whether Local Governments Can Regulate Unmanned Aircraft

February 25, 2015 by Robert Sepler
Category: Licensing and Regulation

Throughout the country, law enforcement, businesses, and private citizens have begun to use drones—or have considered doing so—for a variety of purposes. This raises important issues, including how local governments in Washington State can or should regulate the use of this new technology.

Wait, don’t the feds regulate aircraft?
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Airbnb: Regulation of Internet-Based Businesses

Airbnb: Regulation of Internet-Based Businesses

August 25, 2014 by Carol Tobin
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Tourism , Business Licenses and Taxes

It’s always something. Cities and counties have been grappling recently with the regulation of rideshare services such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, that have been competing for business with taxis and limousine services.

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E-Cigarettes - Can They Be Used in Public Places or Places of Employment?

November 6, 2013 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Licensing and Regulation

In 2005, the voters approved Initiative 901, prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment; that initiative is now codified in chapter 70.160 RCW.  Under RCW 70.160.020(1), the terms “smoke” and “smoking” are...

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