MRSC Insight Blog
County election officials and school districts will be pleased to learn about new public records changes: one exempts voted ballots and another exempts the personal information of students in any records pertaining to the student.
What happens when an employee is accidentally paid a higher salary for several months or even several years? It could raise concerns about gift of public funds. Local governments must be careful to follow the processes outlined in the statutes when handling payroll overpayments.
New in 2023, ESHB 1533 amends the Public Records Act to exempt from disclosure certain information on employees (and dependents) who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment, or stalking or who are enrolled in the state's Address Confidentiality Program.
For open public meetings, a comprehensive, well-prepared agenda can keep things moving while ensuring all members of the governing body are on the same page. But what should be included according to statute, who should prepare it, and what happens if it needs to be amended?
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on a religious accommodation claim in the case of Gross v. DeJoy, rejecting the prior standard that employers could deny a requested accommodation if the cost would be “more than de minimis."
Local governments can tap into numerous financial, administrative, and related tools to help community land trusts kickstart affordable housing development efforts, sustain ongoing operations, or promote new development.
Common themes among these six new planning-related bills include streamlining local project review, decreasing the planning burden on smaller communities, incentivizing annexations, and increasing housing supply throughout the state.
Affordable housing options developed via community land trusts offer significant community development benefits, such as stabilizing hot real estate markets, ensuring long-term tenant stability, and providing investment opportunities to can build household wealth.
In 2023, SB 5290 introduced legislative tweaks to local project review to improve process predictability, including the establishment of grant and technical assistance programs to help local governments build the resources needed for timely permit processing.
MRSC welcomes Cheryl Grant onto the team as our newest finance consultant. Cheryl is excited to be working with small cities and agencies.
New state personnel laws establish protections for certain whistleblowers, amend the statutory definition of employment, modify procedures for reviewing and approving requests for partial wage replacement for unemployed workers, and update hospital staffing standards.
Public meetings of a governing body can cover a variety of topics and include countless important decisions that will impact the agency and its communities. Action minutes can help the body focus on what was done during the meeting rather than what was said.
Primary elections generally see some ballot measures succeed and some fail across the state. This past August, libraries, rec centers, and fire districts fared well, but public hospital districts saw mixed success. And, as always, levy lid lift measures achieved mixed results.
During any election season, there are a variety of common areas that can trip up candidates, elected officials, and local government agencies and their staff — so let's review some potential problems before they happen.
In the post-pandemic age, remote work appears here to stay, but has your public agency holistically addressed telecommuting such that it realizes the benefits of the approach and avoids creating excessive legal liabilities?
With wildfire season underway, local governments should be aware of bills passed during the 2023 Regular Legislative Session addressing wildfire events and proposed permanent rules to protect outdoor workers from wildfire smoke.
Written by a guest author with the University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group, local governments now have a new resource to call on for ideas on how to protect communities during extended periods of extreme heat.
Our annual Budget Suggestions publication is now available! This document provides information on city and county budget processes, state shared revenue estimates, recent budget-related legislation, a preview of the implicit price deflator, and more.
The Federal Communications Commission's 2018 Declaratory Ruling was meant to accelerate deployment of small wireless facilities, but the ruling also restricts how local governments can regulate their installation. Here are key takeaways for agencies to avoid coverage gaps.
In 2023, state legislators passed several bills addressing environmental concerns, including new climate elements for comprehensive planning, making impact fee revenue available for new bike and pedestrian facilities, and an optional permit process for clean energy projects.