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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for New Legislation and Regulations

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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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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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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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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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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Cannabis Laws – What’s New?

Cannabis Laws – What’s New?

February 8, 2019 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Marijuana , New Legislation and Regulations

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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New Laws Change Rules for Service Animals

New Laws Change Rules for Service Animals

December 18, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Animal Control , New Legislation and Regulations

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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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 , New Legislation and Regulations

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 , New Legislation and Regulations

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

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New Legislation Targeting Firearms

New Legislation Targeting Firearms

October 8, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: New Legislation and Regulations

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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New Laws Address Collective Bargaining

New Laws Address Collective Bargaining

September 21, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Collective Bargaining , New Legislation and Regulations

This blog post gives an overview of four new laws passed by the 2018 Washington State Legislature regarding public employers. 

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A Review of 2018 Legislative Outcomes Related to Public Works

A Review of 2018 Legislative Outcomes Related to Public Works

September 11, 2018 by Judy Isaac
Category: Purchasing and Contracting , New Legislation and Regulations

The 2018 legislative session made some additions and some changes affecting public works contracting. MRSC Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac recaps the rulings and highlights some of the impacts in the post.

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New Legislation Related to Affordable Housing

New Legislation Related to Affordable Housing

August 30, 2018 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Housing , New Legislation and Regulations

This post looks at laws from the 2018 Legislative Session that promote the development of affordable housing and address the housing affordability crisis, including 3SHB, 2382, HB 1085, SHB 2538, ESSB 5143, and ESSB 1570.

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Land Use and Nuisances Legislative Update

Land Use and Nuisances Legislative Update

August 1, 2018 by Oskar Rey
Category: New Legislation and Regulations , Automobile Nuisances , Property Nuisances , Homelessness

In this blog post, Legal Consultant Oskar Rey looks at several bills passed in the last legislative session that address land use, nuisance, and code enforcement issues.

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Food Truck Laws and Regulations

Food Truck Laws and Regulations

June 26, 2018 by Oskar Rey
Category: Licensing and Regulation , New Legislation and Regulations , 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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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 Group
Category: Recruitment and Hiring , HR Advisor , New Legislation and Regulations

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 , New Legislation and Regulations

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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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: New Legislation and Regulations , 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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New Legislation Targets E-Bikes

New Legislation Targets E-Bikes

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

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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Legislature Addresses Whatcom County v. Hirst

Legislature Addresses Whatcom County v. Hirst

January 24, 2018 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Water Resources , Court Decisions and AGO Opinions , New Legislation and Regulations

A new law addressing Whatcom County v. Hirst was recently enacted, providing some clarity and a way in which some development can be permitted in rural areas. Legal Consultant Jill Dvorkin reviews the major points of the legislation in this post. 

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Legislature Enacts Paid Family Leave

Legislature Enacts Paid Family Leave

September 13, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Leave Policies , New Legislation and Regulations

The state legislature has adopted a bill that provides most employees in Washington State with paid leave to care for their health conditions, the health condition of a family member, or for the birth or placement of an adopted or foster child. This post summarizes the new legislation and some of the differences between it and the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

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Recent Changes to Washington’s Land Use and Planning Laws

Recent Changes to Washington’s Land Use and Planning Laws

August 31, 2017 by Steve Butler
Category: Land Use Administration , New Legislation and Regulations

The most recent Washington state legislative session resulted in changes to the Growth Management Act and tweaks to other land use/planning-related statutes. This blog post will provide a summary of some of those recently passed bills.

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New Open Government Legislation: The Odds & Ends

New Open Government Legislation: The Odds & Ends

August 28, 2017 by Robert Sepler
Category: Open Public Meetings Act , Public Records Act , New Legislation and Regulations

In addition to some big changes to the PRA, the legislature also made a number of other, relatively minor, tweaks to both the PRA and the OPMA this session. In this blog post, MRSC Legal Consultant Robert Sepler gives a quick overview of these odds and ends.

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New Options for Creating Fire and Metro Park Districts

New Options for Creating Fire and Metro Park Districts

July 31, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: New Legislation and Regulations , Special Districts

The 2017 legislative session yielded new options for establishing a fire and/or metro park district. Consultant Lynn Nordby looks at these changes. 

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New Legislation Impacts Purchasing, Contracting

New Legislation Impacts Purchasing, Contracting

July 26, 2017 by Judy Isaac
Category: Purchasing and Contracting , New Legislation and Regulations

Purchasing and contracting procedures for Washington local governments changed on July 23, 2017.  Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac reviews the changes. 

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New Public Records Data Reporting Requirement

New Public Records Data Reporting Requirement

July 24, 2017 by Jim Doherty
Category: Public Records Act , New Legislation and Regulations

2017 was a big year for the PRA, with the legislature making several high-profile changes to the law. In this blog post, MRSC Legal Manager Jim Doherty discusses one change that may come as a surprise to many agencies: the new public records data reporting requirement. 

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New Open Government Training Requirements for Public Records Officers

New Open Government Training Requirements for Public Records Officers

July 21, 2017 by Brooke Frickleton
Category: Public Records Act , New Legislation and Regulations

Earlier this year, the legislature made a number of changes to the Public Records Act (PRA). One key update is that the PRA and records retention training currently required for PROs must now include training on electronic documents and improving technology information systems. In this blog post, MRSC Legal Extern Brooke Frickleton outlines this new requirement.

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New Law on Restraining Dogs

New Law on Restraining Dogs

July 10, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Animal Control , New Legislation and Regulations

In this blog post, Paul Sullivan provides an overview of a new law adopted by the legislature that regulates the tethering of dogs. The new law goes into effect on July 23, 2017. 

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New PRA Legislation: To Boldly Go Where the PRA Hasn’t Gone Before

New PRA Legislation: To Boldly Go Where the PRA Hasn’t Gone Before

May 30, 2017 by Flannary Collins
Category: Public Records Act , New Legislation and Regulations

Governor Inslee signed ESHB 1594 and EHB 1595 on May 16, putting into place a number of notable changes to the PRA and records retention laws applicable to electronic records. So, what has changed in the PRA? In this blog, Flannary Collins takes a look at the highlights.

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Legislature Considers PRA-related Bills

Legislature Considers PRA-related Bills

March 20, 2017 by Nancy Krier
Category: Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act , New Legislation and Regulations

In the 2017 regular session, the Washington State Legislature is considering several bills that could impact the Public Records Act. This blog post highlights several that have the possibility of being far-reaching if enacted.  

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New EEOC Rules Affect Employer Wellness Programs

New EEOC Rules Affect Employer Wellness Programs

December 7, 2016 by Beth Kennar
Category: Personnel Policies , HR Advisor , New Legislation and Regulations

The EEOC recently issued a final rule to amend the regulations implementing Title I of the ADA and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 as they relate to employer wellness programs. This post discusses the impact of this new rule.  

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OSHA Takes Aim at Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

OSHA Takes Aim at Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

November 1, 2016 by Nate Bailey
Category: Personnel Policies , New Legislation and Regulations

Workplace policies that require mandatory drug or alcohol testing after an injury has taken place may be out of compliance—and may lead to steep fines—according to a new OSHA rule set to take effect in November. Written by attorney Nate Bailey, from Sebris Busto James, this Advisor column explores the rule in greater detail. 

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New Rule Requires Notice When Transporting Oil

New Rule Requires Notice When Transporting Oil

September 28, 2016 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Pipeline Safety , New Legislation and Regulations

The Department of Ecology (DOE) recently adopted a new regulation, chapter 173-185 WAC, requiring that the DOE receive advance notification when crude oil is moved to certain facilities in the state by railroad car, as well as biannual reports from the owners of certain oil transmission pipelines regarding the volume of crude oil transported through their pipelines. Local governments can, upon request, get this information from the DOE.

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New Federal Rules Governing Commercial Drones

New Federal Rules Governing Commercial Drones

September 8, 2016 by Robert Sepler
Category: New Legislation and Regulations

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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Recent Legislative Changes to Landlord/Seller Disclosure Requirements

Recent Legislative Changes to Landlord/Seller Disclosure Requirements

August 3, 2016 by Jim Doherty
Category: New Legislation and Regulations

In 2015, the Legislature enacted EHB 2122, which contained a requirement that cities, towns, and counties provide to MRSC, for posting on our website, all regulations that impose requirements on sellers or landlords to disclose designated information to purchasers or renters. This year the Legislature again took action on this issue by adopting EHB 2971, which amended the 2015 legislation and clarified the ambiguity regarding how the information must be posted 

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New Federal Drone Regulations and Guidance

New Federal Drone Regulations and Guidance

January 27, 2016 by Robert Sepler
Category: New Legislation and Regulations

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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New Rules Addressing Use of Gender-Segregated Facilities by Transgender Individuals

New Rules Addressing Use of Gender-Segregated Facilities by Transgender Individuals

January 14, 2016 by Flannary Collins
Category: New Legislation and Regulations , Inclusive Communities

Effective December 26, 2015, the Washington State Human Rights Commission (HRC) adopted new rules requiring that individuals be allowed to use gender-segregated facilities, such as restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and homeless or emergency shelters, that are consistent with their gender expression or gender identity.

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New Property Disclosure Requirements Will Impact Some Cities and Counties

New Property Disclosure Requirements Will Impact Some Cities and Counties

September 25, 2015 by Joe Levan
Category: New Legislation and Regulations

This past legislative session, the Legislature enacted EHB 2122. Although EHB 2122 relates primarily to real estate excise tax (REET) authority, it includes new requirements that apply to any city or county in the state that has in place, or is contemplating enacting, regulations that require certain disclosures by landlords and sellers of real property to buyers and tenants regarding the property and the surrounding area.

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