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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts by Linda Gallagher

New Law Requires Compost Procurement Ordinances by January 1

New Law Requires Compost Procurement Ordinances by January 1

November 29, 2022  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Climate Change Purchasing and Contracting

A new state law covering organic materials management requires compost procurement ordinances for certain cities, towns, and counties by January 1, 2023. These ordinances must set forth how compost will be procured, purchased, and incorporated into applicable projects.

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Elections Integrity and Security: Part 2

Elections Integrity and Security: Part 2

October 3, 2022  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Elections

In the second part of our series on election security measures, we look at how elections offices verify and tabulate votes to ensure a complete result, and under what conditions and how a recount happens.

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Elections Integrity and Security: Part 1

Elections Integrity and Security: Part 1

September 26, 2022  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Elections

Free, fair, and accurate elections are a hallmark of our democratic system. Washington State has enacted a number of measures to protect each person’s right to vote and to ensure that elections statewide are safe and secure.

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Closed Captioning: A Language Access Tool

Closed Captioning: A Language Access Tool

August 16, 2022  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  New Legislation and Regulations Inclusive Communities

SB 5027, which passed during the 2021 legislative session, requires closed captioning be used on televisions in public places, including in local government-owned facilities, when the technology is available.

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Dealing with Difficult Behavior

Dealing with Difficult Behavior

July 5, 2022  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Management

Dealing with people who exhibit difficult behavior can be a challenge, whether they are coworkers, acquaintances, or members of the public. Here are some strategies that can help local government staff and officials make the next encounter less stressful. 

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2022 Legislation About Public Safety

2022 Legislation About Public Safety

June 13, 2022  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Law Enforcement New Legislation and Regulations

Among other items, 2022 legislation related to public safety clarifies use-of-force provisions for law enforcement and makes slight changes to what could be considered military equipment.  

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Statewide Mask Mandate Lifted

Statewide Mask Mandate Lifted

March 21, 2022  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  COVID-19

Governor Inslee has lifted Washington's statewide mask mandate. This blog looks at where masks are still required, what happens next, and how local governments may be impacted.

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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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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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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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2021: New Election Laws

2021: New Election Laws

July 8, 2021  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Elections New Legislation and Regulations

This blog summarizes five new laws relating to elections from the 2021 legislative session.

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Election Season Tips & Reminders

Election Season Tips & Reminders

June 1, 2021  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Elections

This blog highlights some of MRSC’s guidance about participating in elections — as a candidate, a local government employee, or an observer.

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Roles and Responsibilities: Questions and Answers

Roles and Responsibilities: Questions and Answers

April 5, 2021  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Administrative and Elected Officials Administrative and Elected Officials-County

This blog explores frequently asked questions related to roles and responsibilities of elected officials versus local government staff.

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Who’s the Boss? Separation of Powers in Local Government

Who’s the Boss? Separation of Powers in Local Government

February 18, 2021  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Administrative and Elected Officials

This blog post discusses the importance of the roles and responsibilities of elected and appointed officials working together in local governments.

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Social Equity in Cannabis Program

Social Equity in Cannabis Program

December 7, 2020  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Cannabis Regulation New Legislation and Regulations Inclusive Communities

This blog post offers an overview of E2SHB 2870, 2020 legislation creating a social equity in cannabis program for Washington State.

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Voting Rights and the Election

Voting Rights and the Election

October 26, 2020  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Elections

This blog discusses a number of elements of Washington State elections that help keep them secure and accessible for everyone. 

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ADR: Negotiation and Facilitation

ADR: Negotiation and Facilitation

September 14, 2020  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Management

This blog post provides an overview of negotiation and facilitation, two Alternative Dispute Resolution tools. 

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Elections – What’s New in 2020

Elections – What’s New in 2020

June 18, 2020  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Elections New Legislation and Regulations

This blog post looks at election-related legislation passed during the Washington State Legislature's 2020 Regular Session. 

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Local Breed-Specific Dog Bans Now Need a Good Behavior Exception

Local Breed-Specific Dog Bans Now Need a Good Behavior Exception

February 10, 2020  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Animal Control

This blog post explores a new law that requires any local breed-specific dog regulations include a good behavior exemption.

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New Court Case About Mandatory Subjects of Collective Bargaining

New Court Case About Mandatory Subjects of Collective Bargaining

December 16, 2019  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Court Decisions and AGO Opinions Collective Bargaining

A recent ruling by the Washington Court of Appeals, Division I, looks at whether shift staffing may be considered a mandatory or permissive subject of collective bargaining.

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Election Season Has Arrived - Here

Election Season Has Arrived - Here's How to Do the Right Thing

September 3, 2019  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Elections

The election season has arrived in Washington State, and with it, many questions on what is and is not legal during campaigns. This blog post reviews a host of topics, from the prohibition on the use of public resources to where (and how) to hold candidate forums.

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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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Natural Composting of Human Remains - A First for Washington State

Natural Composting of Human Remains - A First for Washington State

May 23, 2019  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Cemeteries

ESSB 5001 allows natural composting of human remains as an option to cremation services and traditional burials. This blog post provides an overview of the bill and the processes now allowed by it. 

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Running for Office? Thinking About It . . .

Running for Office? Thinking About It . . .

April 3, 2019  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Administrative and Elected Officials

Whether you would be a first-time candidate or are already an elected official, the decision to run for election or reelection involves many factors. This blog post covers the basics. 

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Cannabis Laws – What’s New?

Cannabis Laws – What’s New?

February 8, 2019  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Cannabis Regulation 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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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 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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The Janus SCOTUS Decision: More Questions Than Answers

The Janus SCOTUS Decision: More Questions Than Answers

July 19, 2018  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Court Decisions and AGO Opinions Collective Bargaining

MRSC Legal Consultant Linda Gallagher looks at the recent US Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME and provides some advice to local govenments in Washington State to ensure they are operating in compliance with the new requirements.

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WVRA: To Change or Not to Change?

WVRA: To Change or Not to Change?

May 25, 2018  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Elections

The new Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA) gives most municipalities the authority to change their election systems to remedy potential issues relating to equal voting opportunities for members of certain protected classes. This blog answers some common questions MRSC has gotten about the WRVA. 

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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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ADR? What’s That?

ADR? What’s That?

February 15, 2018  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Management

Alternative Dispute Resolution offers methods that are considered “alternatives” to litigation, the traditional — and often expensive — form of dispute resolution. In this post Legal Consultant Linda Gallagher discusses two ADR methods: arbitration and mediation.

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Introducing Linda Gallagher, MRSC’s Newest Legal Consultant

Introducing Linda Gallagher, MRSC’s Newest Legal Consultant

January 11, 2018  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  MRSC News and Updates

We are pleased to welcome Linda Gallagher as our newest MRSC Legal Consultant. 

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