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Natural Hazards Planning Expertise and Resources for Local Governments

Natural Hazards Planning Expertise and Resources for Local Governments

August 10, 2022  by  Tricia Sears Greg Wessel
Category:  Emergency Management Guest Author

Because local governments focus on safety and welfare of their communities, they are the first to be called on when a natural hazard strikes. Fortunately state agencies and nonprofits can offer assistance and expertise to better mitigate risk of hazards when regulating land use.

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Responding to Sea Level Rise: A Multijurisdictional Approach to Protecting Downtown Olympia

Responding to Sea Level Rise: A Multijurisdictional Approach to Protecting Downtown Olympia

August 8, 2022  by  Sarah Doar
Category:  Climate Change Interlocal Cooperation

With a history of flooding and concerns about sea level rise due to climate change, Olympia has teamed up with other jurisdictions to address this potential challenge and safeguard vital services.

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A New Approach for Dealing with Conditional Uses in Your Zoning Code

A New Approach for Dealing with Conditional Uses in Your Zoning Code

August 3, 2022  by  Steve Butler
Category:  Development Regulations and Zoning

Conditional use permits, most often used for certain land uses that might not normally fit into a zoning category but could work if the proposed use meets certain conditions, can be made into a more efficient and effective zoning tool with some modifications. 

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2023 Budget Suggestions is Here

2023 Budget Suggestions is Here

August 1, 2022  by  Eric Lowell
Category:  Budgets and Budgeting New Legislation and Regulations

With legislative updates, state shared revenue projections, a preview of the implicit price deflator, and other budgetary and economic information, MRSC’s 2023 Budget Suggestions can help cities and counties develop their budgets for the coming year.

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Transportation Network Companies: New Legislation Addresses Long-Standing Issues

Transportation Network Companies: New Legislation Addresses Long-Standing Issues

July 27, 2022  by  Steve Gross
Category:  Licensing and Regulation

ESHB 2076 creates uniform statewide regulations for Transportation Network Companies to ensure vehicles are safe and fares are transparent, but also to establish minimum per mile, minute, and trip rates for company drivers and provide them with benefits like paid sick time.

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Read the Signs: New Ruling Clarifies On-/Off-Premises Sign Regulation

Read the Signs: New Ruling Clarifies On-/Off-Premises Sign Regulation

July 25, 2022  by  Jill Dvorkin
Category:  Sign Control

The 2015 ruling in Reed v. Town of Gilbert made on-/off premise sign regulation more challenging for local governments. A new ruling in City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising clarifies content-based regulations, giving local governments some breathing room. 

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Saying Yes to Responsive & Responsible Bids

Saying Yes to Responsive & Responsible Bids

July 20, 2022  by  Josh Klika
Category:  Purchasing and Contracting

In awarding contracts for public works projects or contracts for goods and services, a local government must determine both if the bid is responsive and the bidder is responsible. Fortunately, there are guidelines to help with this process. 

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Church and State: U.S. Supreme Court Makes Changes to Establishment Clause Analysis

Church and State: U.S. Supreme Court Makes Changes to Establishment Clause Analysis

July 18, 2022  by  Oskar Rey
Category:  Court Decisions and AGO Opinions

In light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, what can a local government do to ensure that its policies are written and applied in a manner that does not discriminate based on an employee’s religious belief?

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Taking Action Using Ordinances, Resolutions, Motions, and Proclamations

Taking Action Using Ordinances, Resolutions, Motions, and Proclamations

July 13, 2022  by  MRSC Insight
Category:  Legislative Body

A governing body has several options it can use to take action on an issue. Knowing which type of action to employ and under what circumstance helps to make the process more efficient and effective.

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Regulating Firearms in Washington State

Regulating Firearms in Washington State

July 11, 2022  by  Flannary Collins
Category:  Licensing and Regulation

Washington State mostly preempts the field of firearm regulation under state law but there are a handful of areas in which local governments can adopt measures to regulate the sale, possession, use, and storage of firearms within their jurisdictions.

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Fire Season Brings Renewal of Certain Worker Protections, More Action, and Funding

Fire Season Brings Renewal of Certain Worker Protections, More Action, and Funding

July 6, 2022  by  Leah LaCivita
Category:  Emergency Management Fire Protection Administration

Temporary rules are in place to protect outdoor workers from excessive heat or hazardous air quality. Meanwhile, some local governments are adopting provisions of the International Wildland Urban Interface Code, and state and federal governments are boosting firefighting efforts.

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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 Growth Management Act-Related Bills

2022 Growth Management Act-Related Bills

June 30, 2022  by  Lisa Pool
Category:  Environmental Policy and Management Comprehensive Planning-Growth Management Housing Rural Uses New Legislation and Regulations

New legislation related to the Growth Management Act (GMA) will expand tribal participation, limit appeals for actions to increase housing supply, change periodic update timelines, provide additional options for limited areas of more intense rural development (LAMIRDs), and more.

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2022 Legislative Updates to Personnel Laws — Salary and Leave

2022 Legislative Updates to Personnel Laws — Salary and Leave

June 27, 2022  by  Sarah Doar
Category:  Compensation Leave Policies New Legislation and Regulations

New legislation requires many employers to include wage and benefit information in all job postings and makes changes to the state's Paid Family and Medical Leave program.

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Making Government Work Attractive

Making Government Work Attractive

June 23, 2022  by  Leah LaCivita Tracy Burrows
Category:  Administration and Management

How can local governments build a strong workplace culture that engages current staff and attracts new workers? Here are some ideas, including a case study from the City of Issaquah.

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Preserving Affordability Through Manufactured Home Park Zones

Preserving Affordability Through Manufactured Home Park Zones

June 21, 2022  by  Steve Butler
Category:  Housing Development Regulations and Zoning

Manufactured homes are often overlooked yet can be an important affordable housing option. Local governments can protect them by creating new zones (or strengthening existing regulations) that designate areas specifically for manufactured home parks. 

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Expectations of Confidentiality and OPMA Executive Sessions

Expectations of Confidentiality and OPMA Executive Sessions

June 16, 2022  by  MRSC Insight
Category:  Open Public Meetings Act

How confidential is information discussed during an executive session, and what are the expectations that those involved in the discussion should keep this information private?

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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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Does the Contract Need to End, or Can It Live Forever?

Does the Contract Need to End, or Can It Live Forever?

June 9, 2022  by  Josh Klika
Category:  Purchasing and Contracting

Contracts come with terms which sometimes cover a long period of time. This blog will explore what to consider when choosing the term of a contract.

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State and Local Governments Prepare to Celebrate Newest State Holiday: Juneteenth

State and Local Governments Prepare to Celebrate Newest State Holiday: Juneteenth

June 6, 2022  by  Jill Dvorkin
Category:  Leave Policies

Juneteenth became an officially recognized holiday at the state and federal level in 2021, and some local governments are also choosing to make it a paid holiday and/or sponsoring organized celebrations. 

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