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MRSC Insight Blog

Posts for May 2023

Military honor guard marching and presenting the U.S., Canadian, Washington, Oregon and MIA/POW flags

Flag Display: Requirements, Protocols, and More

While there are no federal requirements to fly the U.S. flag, state law does require several types of local governments (and state agencies) to fly the U.S. and Washington State flags, and, for some entities, the POW/MIA flag as well. 

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A close up of handcuffs set against illegal drugs

New Law on Drug Possession, Use Takes Effect July 1, 2023

After being called back to a special session, the Washington State Legislature passed SB 5536, also known as the Blake Fix, adding a new statewide law on drug use and possession, with most provisions taking effect on July 1, 2023.

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A close up of rows of berries at the Whatcom County Farmer's Market

Planning for Local Food Systems: A Whatcom County Case Study, Part 1

What is a local food system plan and why would a local government want to develop one? Whatcom County is one of a few local governments statewide developing such a plan, and county staff share insight into the process. 

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Many hands in a multitude of colors surround and stretch towards the earth

Centering Equity in Climate Plans and Programs

As new legislation (HB 1181) has added equity components to the Growth Management Act, it is essential to understand what climate equity means and how it is successfully being carried out by local governments across the state.

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A voter putting their ballot into a mailbox

Recapping the February and April 2023 Ballot Measure Results

Regional fire authorities, fire district mergers, hospital funding, and a regional crisis care center network were some of the local ballot measures that appeared before voters in the February and April special elections.

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A thermometer showing a temperature of 100+ against a background of an urban street

Protecting Communities When the Heat Is On

How can local agencies prepare for extreme heat events, including protecting those populations most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses and death? By looking carefully at how heat impacts various neighborhoods, an agency can take a variety of approaches to maximize services. 

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Two officials sitting at a dais during an open public meeting as seen through the lens of a video camera

Practical Tips for Holding Hybrid Meetings

After years of practice during the pandemic, local governments have become accustomed to holding hybrid public meetings, but that doesn't mean the process is always seamless. Fortunately many have developed procedures and methods to address the most common problems.

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Close up of person's hand checking off a square box on virtual interface while working on a laptop

Clarifications for Filing the Notice of Completion

It can sometimes be confusing to know which contracts require an agency file a Notice of Completion with the DOL, L&I, and the ESD, especially if the contract involves purchased services or public works. 

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A large social gathering in front of a row of food trucks at an outdoor park at dusk.

Food Trucks Have Arrived: What Are the Regulatory and Policy Options?

Food trucks have gained in popularity over the years, but what options do local jurisdictions have in determining how, where, when, and under what conditions food trucks can be operated within their communities?

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