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State Seeks Input on its Vehicle Miles Traveled Reduction Strategy

State Seeks Input on its Vehicle Miles Traveled Reduction Strategy

January 27, 2022  by  Celeste Gilman
Category:  Climate Change Comprehensive Planning-Growth Management Guest Author

The State of Washington is seeking input from local governments across the state as it works to establish reduction targets for local vehicle miles traveled and other proposed programs in order to meet key climate action targets.
 

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Treasury Releases Final Rule on American Rescue Plan Fiscal Recovery Funds

Treasury Releases Final Rule on American Rescue Plan Fiscal Recovery Funds

January 24, 2022  by  Eric Lowell
Category:  Revenues COVID-19

Local governments seeking guidance on how to use Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) now have an answer in the recently released Final Rule from the ​U.S. Department of Treasury.

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Severe Weather Shelters for Winter and Beyond

Severe Weather Shelters for Winter and Beyond

January 20, 2022  by  Justin Sharer
Category:  Homelessness Guest Author

During a severe weather event, unsheltered individuals are most at risk of adverse impacts. This blog looks at how local governments in Washington State have prepared to care for at-risk populations during periods of extreme heat, extreme cold, or poor air quality.

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Supreme Court Issues First Opinions on Federal COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

Supreme Court Issues First Opinions on Federal COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

January 18, 2022  by  Steve Gross
Category:  Court Decisions and AGO Opinions Personnel Policies Operating Policies COVID-19

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily stopped the implementation and enforcement of a federal rule calling for large U.S. employers to require employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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New Interactive Map, Webpage Highlight Local Climate Plans

New Interactive Map, Webpage Highlight Local Climate Plans

January 14, 2022  by  Lisa Pool
Category:  Climate Change MRSC News and Updates

As part of its Local Climate Response Project, MRSC is pleased to unveil a new webpage featuring an interactive map and detailed information about specialized planning efforts being taken by local governments across Washington State. 

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives in Washington State – 2021 Update

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives in Washington State – 2021 Update

January 11, 2022  by  Nick Fisher
Category:  Inclusive Communities Guest Author

This blog looks at the many ways that local governments can build diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in their communities by highlighting specific policy examples from across Washington State.

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No Responses to Your Bid: What Next?

No Responses to Your Bid: What Next?

January 10, 2022  by  Josh Klika
Category:  Purchasing and Contracting

Does your procurement process suffer from an empty inbox? This blog provides some practical guidance and next steps to consider when there are no responses to your bid.

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Investing in Equity To Prepare for Environmental Challenges

Investing in Equity To Prepare for Environmental Challenges

January 6, 2022  by  Tracy Burrows Leah LaCivita
Category:  Climate Change Inclusive Communities

Some Washington local governments have placed equity front and center when preparing for the impacts of climate change. This blog looks at efforts in Lakewood and Shoreline.

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Green Building Incentives that Work: Follow the Roadmap

Green Building Incentives that Work: Follow the Roadmap

January 4, 2022  by  Chris van Daalen
Category:  Climate Change Tools for Planners Guest Author

This guest blog introduces the Zero Carbon Buildings Policy Toolkit, a free resource available to help cities, towns, and counties understand and apply green building incentives in their communities.

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Affordable Housing and the Impact of Short-Term Rentals

Affordable Housing and the Impact of Short-Term Rentals

December 30, 2021  by  Steve Butler
Category:  Housing Tourism

Do an increasing number of short-term rentals impact the local housing market, especially for low- and moderate-income residents? Research suggests it does, and some local governments are regulating short-term rentals differently as a result.

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To Reduce Greenhouse Gases, Consider Buildings

To Reduce Greenhouse Gases, Consider Buildings

December 16, 2021  by  Deepa Sivarajan
Category:  Climate Change Guest Author

In this blog, guest author Deepa Sivarajan discusses why local governments should add building electrification to their toolkit when looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their jurisdiction. 

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They Said What?! — Handling Misinformation

They Said What?! — Handling Misinformation

December 13, 2021  by  Tracy Burrows
Category:  Social Media

From conspiracies to outright gossip, this blog offers tips for local governments on how to counter misleading claims on social media. 

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Dealing with Snow and Ice on Streets and Sidewalks

Dealing with Snow and Ice on Streets and Sidewalks

December 9, 2021  by  MRSC Insight
Category:  Snow and Ice Removal

What can or should a city or county do to deal with accumulations of snow and ice on sidewalks and streets?

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New Ruling Addresses Adverse Possession of Public Property

New Ruling Addresses Adverse Possession of Public Property

December 6, 2021  by  Oskar Rey
Category:  Court Decisions and AGO Opinions Eminent Domain

MRSC occasionally receives inquiries on whether adverse possession applies to public property. A recent Washington Court of Appeals case, Michel v. City of Seattle, provides useful clarification of these standards.

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Sanctioning Rogue Board Members

Sanctioning Rogue Board Members

December 2, 2021  by  Ann G. Macfarlane
Category:  Legislative Body

Sometimes the actions of a member of a governing body cause such disruption that that body will not be able to move forward on important matters. This blog reviews what a council, commission, or board can do when dealing with rogue members. 

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Appeals Court Finds Non-Exempt Workers Must be Paid for All Required Out-of-Town Travel Time

Appeals Court Finds Non-Exempt Workers Must be Paid for All Required Out-of-Town Travel Time

November 29, 2021  by  Flannary Collins
Category:  Court Decisions and AGO Opinions Operating Policies

A recent ruling in Port of Tacoma v. Sacks defines what is considered compensable hours when an employee travels for a work-related purpose.

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New Laws About Public Safety

New Laws About Public Safety

November 22, 2021  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Law Enforcement New Legislation and Regulations

The 2021 Regular Legislative Session included several bills that impacted local law enforcement agencies, and this blog offers an overview of some of the more complex bills. 

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Making Local Government Holiday Observances More Inclusive

Making Local Government Holiday Observances More Inclusive

November 18, 2021  by  Steve Gross
Category:  Inclusive Communities

The upcoming holiday season offers municipalities a great opportunity to tie their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts into holiday observances so that everyone feels part of the celebration.

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New Program Supports Transition To Cleaner Vehicle Fleets

New Program Supports Transition To Cleaner Vehicle Fleets

November 15, 2021  by  Melinda Spencer
Category:  Climate Change Energy Resources and Conservation New Legislation and Regulations

Local governments wanting to switch to cleaner, zero-emissions car fleets now have a new resource to consult, the Green Transportation Program. 

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How Local Ballot Measures Fared in the 2021 General Election

How Local Ballot Measures Fared in the 2021 General Election

November 10, 2021  by  Steve Hawley
Category:  Elections Forms of Government-City Courts and Criminal Justice System Transportation Finance Forms of Government-County Inclusive Communities

From changes in governance to funding for criminal justice, libraries, and transportation, this blog covers many local ballot measures across the state and how these issues fared in the recent general election.

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