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2020 Legislative Update — The Big List

Contributors to this post include Laura Crandall, MRSC Public Policy Consultant and Finance Analyst, Aly Jones, Policy Intern, and Angela Mack, Graphic Designer.

The Washington State Legislature’s 2020 Regular Session resulted in the adoption of many laws that affect local government agencies. While we may have missed some, we have compiled those laws that we believe are of interest to many local jurisdictions.  

The new laws cover a broad scope of services provided by local agencies, including affordable housing, courts, contracting and purchasing, elections, law enforcement, personnel, planning and land use, public records, parks and recreation, several areas related to special purpose districts, and more.

To help agencies keep track of the new laws that might affect them, MRSC’s consultants and communications staff have created two documents for your reference. The first document is the MRSC Legislative Tracker, a sortable spreadsheet that contains information about each bill, including a brief summary, bill number, effective date, which jurisdictions we think will be affected, general subject area, and any links to relevant MRSC coverage. The bill number hyperlink on the spreadsheet will take you to the state legislature’s page for that bill where you can read the session law (the bill as signed by Governor Inslee) or the staff reports on the bill. The second document contains the same information as the sortable spreadsheet but it's presented in a PDF, or portable document format (download the PDF version of the MRSC Legislative Tracker).

MRSC has already written about several of the new laws:

In the upcoming months we will be writing more about some of these laws. Please let us know if there is a new law you would like us to cover in more detail.

Other statewide groups and agencies such as the Washington State Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (WAPA), the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), the Washington State Association of Sewer and Water Districts, the Washington Public Ports Association, the Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts, the Washington State Transit Association and the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) also provide varying levels of analysis on new legislation for their members.

AWC’s Advocacy News, WSAC’s Legislative Bulletin, and WAPA's Legislative Summary summarize the recent legislative session with an emphasis on bills affecting cities and counties, respectively. Other groups’ members should check their website and email listservs for updates.

We recommend that you review this list with your agency’s attorney to see whether any of them require changes to your local code or procedures.

MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.

Photo of Steve Gross

About Steve Gross

Steve Gross joined MRSC as a Legal Consultant in January 2020.

Steve has worked in municipal law and government for over 20 years as an Assistant City Attorney for Lynnwood, Seattle, Tacoma, and Auburn, and as the City Attorney for Port Townsend and Auburn. He also has been a legal policy advisor for the Pierce County Council and has worked in contract administration.