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MRSC Insight Blog

Posts for June 2023

Close up of a hand turning off a main water valve

New Bills Address Utility Connection Charges, Service Disconnection for Non-Payment

Recent legislation impacting utilities includes SHB 1326, allowing city and town utilities to waive connections fees for certain organizations, and ESHB 1329, prohibiting electric and/or water utilities from terminating service during periods of high heat. 

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New Materials Help Local Governments Comply with the Open Public Meetings Act

New Materials Help Local Governments Comply with the Open Public Meetings Act

From our comprehensive Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) publication to new guidance sheets on meeting minutes and meeting agendas, MRSC has revamped and completely updated its OPMA materials — including webpages and downloadable materials — to help agencies stay compliant. 

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2023 Legislative Session Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting, Part 2

Part two of this series covers five new pieces of legislation that impact procurement and contracting, from increased project limits for community service organization contracts to standardized limits for procurement contracts and expanded contractor registration requirements. 

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Worker reading a file stands in front of stacked file boxes.

Tackling the Big Ones: Strategies for Broad Records Requests

Big public records requests can put a strain on agency resources, but records staff can put a few practices in place to help the process become more manageable.

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MRSC, SAO Update Online Contracting Requirements Tool

MRSC, with the help of the Washington State Auditors Office, have made improvements to a popular online tool that helps local governments identify and understand their statutory legal requirements for purchasing and contracting. 

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JLARC Public Records Reporting Deadline 7/1

Many local governments will be reporting public records request data from 2022 to the JLARC Public Records Reporting System. Learn answers to frequently asked questions regarding the reporting process before the July 1 reporting deadline.

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Female apprentice carpenter installs handrails while colleague advises her

2023 Legislative Session Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting, Part 1

The 2023 legislation impacting contracting includes SB 5268, which expands the number of agencies able to use a small works roster and conditions under which it can be used, and HB 1050, which expands the apprenticeship utilization requirements to more local government entities. 

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A dog laying on the floor while several people are working in desks nearby

Pets in the Workplace — “Stay” or “Go to your Crate?”

Unlike the requirement to accommodate service animals (and sometimes support animals), local government agencies do not have to allow pets in the office. Some people love the idea, others loathe it. Whether you allow them or not, you should have a clear pet policy.

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A vendor stall at an outdoor market featuring produce, cut flowers, and potted plants

Planning for Local Food Systems: A Whatcom County Case Study, Part 2

After extensive planning and community engagement, Whatcom County is developing a comprehensive local food system plan. See Part 2 of the series on the plan's development and lessons learned.

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