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April 2014


Marijuana Concentrates – New Legislation

Marijuana Concentrates – New Legislation

April 30, 2014 by Jim Doherty
Category: Marijuana

Though the 2014 Legislature failed to come to agreement on many issues related to the state medical marijuana and recreational marijuana laws, there was one exception: ESHB 2304. The legislation deals primarily with marijuana concentrates, but it also adds a public records act exemption for specified ...

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Sea Level Rise: A Challenge for Washington’s Coastal Communities

Sea Level Rise: A Challenge for Washington’s Coastal Communities

April 28, 2014 by Carol Tobin
Category: Climate Change

Coastal communities throughout the world face significant challenges with rising sea levels. Increases in atmospheric temperatures cause ocean water to expand and land ice to melt. Rising sea levels coupled with ...

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Two New (Unpaid) Holidays for Government Employees

Two New (Unpaid) Holidays for Government Employees

April 23, 2014 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Leave Policies

Legislation (SSB 5173) passed during the 2014 session entitles local (and state) government employees to two unpaid holidays per calendar year “for reasons of faith or conscience or for an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.”

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Doesn’t That Just Get Your Goat!

Doesn’t That Just Get Your Goat!

April 21, 2014 by John W. Carpita, PE
Category: Administration

Once in a while. I get a research request that appeals to my (admittedly) wry sense of humor. Many of you, I am sure, have heard of goats being used for vegetation (weed) control. Probably some of you have even...

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Explaining the Open Government Trainings Act

Explaining the Open Government Trainings Act

April 16, 2014 by Bob Meinig
Category: Open Public Meetings Act , Public Records Act

Recognizing that, “whether due to error or ignorance, violations of the public records act and open public meetings act are very costly for state and local governments,” the Legislature enacted and the Governor signed ESB 5964 (Laws of 2014, ch. 66), named the “Open Government Trainings Act.” This new law, effective on July 1, 2014, mandates that persons filling certain state and local...

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A Review of Labor Contracts, the Labor Negotiations Process, and Costing Issues

A Review of Labor Contracts, the Labor Negotiations Process, and Costing Issues

March 31, 2014 by Cabot Dow
Category: Collective Bargaining , Guest Author

This post discusses a framework for reviewing existing labor contract issues and provisions, guidelines for nagivating the negotiation process, and resources for costing out labor contract provisions.

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When is a Committee Not a Committee under the OPMA?

When is a Committee Not a Committee under the OPMA?

March 31, 2014 by P. Stephen DiJulio
Category: Open Public Meetings Act , Guest Author

The Washington Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), chapter 42.30 RCW, applies to a "governing body" as well as to a committee that "acts on behalf of" a governing body. The key definitions from the OPMA, at RCW 42.30.020, include as follows:

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Bike Trails for Transportation or Recreation - When Does Recreational Use Immunity Apply?

Bike Trails for Transportation or Recreation - When Does Recreational Use Immunity Apply?

March 31, 2014 by Andy Lane
Category: Cycling and Walking , Guest Author

I've been riding bicycles for fun and transportation for as long as I can remember. The bike trail I take to work on a Wednesday is sometimes the same one I enjoy on a sunny weekend ride with friends. It makes no difference to me if the bike trail is considered part of the transportation system or parks and recreation system. However, a recent Washington State Supreme Court decision makes it...

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