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More Climate-Related Legislation for 2021

More Climate-Related Legislation for 2021

October 14, 2021  by  Leah LaCivita
Category:  Climate Change New Legislation and Regulations

The 2021 Regular Legislative Session produced several bills on issues related to the changing climate. This blog dicusses a few, including bills that focus on reducing pollution statewide, encouraging alternative fuel use, and promoting greener commuting options. 

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MRSC Releases Results of Local Government Climate Response Survey

MRSC Releases Results of Local Government Climate Response Survey

October 12, 2021  by  Jill Dvorkin
Category:  Climate Change MRSC News and Updates

MRSC's Local Climate Response Project surveyed local government staff about their agency's concerns and actions related to climate change, and the results are available in this blog.

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Vaccine Mandates: Accommodating Disability and Religious Belief Exemptions

Vaccine Mandates: Accommodating Disability and Religious Belief Exemptions

October 11, 2021  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  COVID-19

At this point in the pandemic, vaccine mandates of some form can be found at the national, state, and local levels. For those employees seeking exemptions from the mandate, what is the process employers must undergo to review and possibly accommodate such requests?

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As the Pandemic Recedes, Ghost Kitchens Are Here to Stay

As the Pandemic Recedes, Ghost Kitchens Are Here to Stay

October 7, 2021  by  Lisa Pool
Category:  Licensing and Regulation Development Regulations and Zoning

Ghost kitchens proliferated during the pandemic once dine-in options were curtailed and restaurants sought to make up lost revenue. With consumer demand still strong, local governments should assess whether their zoning codes address this concept. 

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You Can’t Ask That! Pop Quiz on Preemployment Inquiries

You Can’t Ask That! Pop Quiz on Preemployment Inquiries

October 4, 2021  by  Sarah Doar
Category:  Recruitment and Hiring

Do you know what questions you can and cannot ask job applicants in Washington State? Let’s find out with this pop quiz! 

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Use Of Public Facilities for Campaign Elections - 2021 General Election Edition

Use Of Public Facilities for Campaign Elections - 2021 General Election Edition

September 27, 2021  by  Steve Gross
Category:  Elections

Local governments have many questions involving how, when, and in what context public facilities can be used during campaign season. This blog covers some common questions, from political buttons and signs to what (exactly) counts as a public facility. 

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Shake It Up: Local Governments and Earthquake Preparedness

Shake It Up: Local Governments and Earthquake Preparedness

September 23, 2021  by  MRSC Insight
Category:  Emergency Management

We live in an earthquake-prone state. What can local governments do to better prepare their agency's response, as well as public resilience, for such an emergency? 

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An Update on the Long-Term Care Trust Act

An Update on the Long-Term Care Trust Act

September 20, 2021  by  Flannary Collins
Category:  Compensation Legislation

As of January 2022, employees will begin paying into the state's long-term care insurance benefit, but local governments still have a lot of questions, such as how to handle premiums and program eligibility.

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Tax Increment Financing Now Available to Some Washington Local Governments

Tax Increment Financing Now Available to Some Washington Local Governments

September 16, 2021  by  Eric Lowell
Category:  Finance Public Works Finance New Legislation and Regulations

In an effort to help local governments spur economic development in stagnant communities, the legislature passed HB 1189 early this year, which authorizes the use of tax increment financing for cities, towns, counties, and port districts.

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City of Seattle v. Long: Vehicle Homestead Rights and Excessive Fines

City of Seattle v. Long: Vehicle Homestead Rights and Excessive Fines

September 13, 2021  by  Oskar Rey
Category:  Court Decisions and AGO Opinions Homelessness

Seattle v. Long challenged long-held practices regarding parking enforcement. The Washington Supreme Court finally issued its ruling on the case, expanding the circumstances under which fines may be challenged as excessive and clarifying how homestead rights apply to vehicles. 

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2021 Climate-Related Legislative Outcomes

2021 Climate-Related Legislative Outcomes

September 10, 2021  by  Leah LaCivita
Category:  Climate Change New Legislation and Regulations

As Washington State looks to become carbon neutral by 2050, the 2021 legislative session produced several bills that will facilitate the state's efforts. 

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Utility Late Fee/Shutoff Moratorium Expires September 30: Now What?

Utility Late Fee/Shutoff Moratorium Expires September 30: Now What?

September 7, 2021  by  Steve Gross
Category:  Utilities - Billing and Collection COVID-19

With the expiration of Governor Inslee's moratorium on utility shutoff drawing near, local governments are wondering what comes next. 
 

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An Emerging Issue: Robot Delivery Devices May Be Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

An Emerging Issue: Robot Delivery Devices May Be Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

September 2, 2021  by  Nick Fisher
Category:  Streets and Sidewalks Cycling and Walking Guest Author

Coming soon: delivery by robot! While the state offers some guidance on safety requirements and where these devices can operate, local governments will need to consider creating their own regulations, including where device storage units can be located.

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Redistricting and the 2020 Census

Redistricting and the 2020 Census

August 30, 2021  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Elections Tax and Population Data

Local governments using a district-based voting system must begin the process of redistricting in response to the 2020 Census, although a delay in distribution of this data also means new redistricting deadlines.

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Non-Traditional Approaches Used by Local Governments to Address Homelessness

Non-Traditional Approaches Used by Local Governments to Address Homelessness

August 26, 2021  by  Emma Diamond Justin Sharer
Category:  Homelessness Guest Author

This blog looks at municipal programs that use hotels and motels to provide temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness. 

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Face Coverings and Vaccine Requirements: Where Things Stand as of August 23, 2021

Face Coverings and Vaccine Requirements: Where Things Stand as of August 23, 2021

August 24, 2021  by  Sarah Doar Steve Gross
Category:  Operating Policies COVID-19

This blog covers the latest state-issued face mask requirements, new vaccination requirements for education/childcare staff (including youth parks and recreation programs), and clarifications to existing provisions such as vaccine requirements for law enforcement and contractors.

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Regulating Signs During Election Season

Regulating Signs During Election Season

August 19, 2021  by  Jill Dvorkin
Category:  Elections Sign Control

This blog will touch on some frequently asked questions regarding the regulation of political signage. 

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2021 Housing and Planning-Related Legislative Outcomes

2021 Housing and Planning-Related Legislative Outcomes

August 16, 2021  by  Lisa Pool
Category:  Housing Impact Fees New Legislation and Regulations Homelessness

This blog post summarizes several housing and planning-related bills that were passed during the 2021 legislative session.  

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On-Road ATV Use Broadened Slightly In 2021

On-Road ATV Use Broadened Slightly In 2021

August 12, 2021  by  MRSC Insight
Category:  Traffic Regulation and Enforcement New Legislation and Regulations

This blog offers an update on the use and regulation of ATVs on public roads, including an overview of two bills from 2021 impacting ATV use and licensure.

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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements in the Local Government Workplace

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements in the Local Government Workplace

August 11, 2021  by  Flannary Collins
Category:  Personnel Policies COVID-19

This blog post looks at the legal authority for government employers to require employees to be vaccinated, as well as the main issues to consider before establishing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination program.

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