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Association of Washington Cities honors Gov. Jay Inslee with City Champion Award

OLYMPIA, WA – The Association of Washington Cities (AWC), an Olympia-based organization advocating on behalf of Washington’s 281 cities and towns, honored Governor Jay Inslee with a City Champion Award.

Inslee will be recognized Thursday night at an AWC Regional Meeting held in Edmonds. He is receiving the award this year along with 13 legislators who championed city priorities during the 2016 legislative session. Specifically, Inslee is recognized for his support in providing critical infrastructure funding for local governments, as evidenced by his vetoes to stop diverting funds that cities count on.

“It’s a privilege to present this award to the Governor,” said Marysville Mayor and AWC board member Jon Nehring. “Thank you for your continued partnership with and support of cities.”

“Governor Inslee played a key role in vetoing items in the proposed supplemental budgets that would have negatively impacted cities,” said AWC Chief Executive Officer Peter B. King. “We are appreciative that the Governor has looked out for city issues.”

Governor Inslee took actions when signing supplemental budgets including halting the planned diversion of much-needed funds from the Public Works Trust Fund, a successful 30-year program that local governments rely on for loans for clean water, sewer service, and other critical infrastructure projects. Legislators had proposed to use the funds for education instead of its intended use on infrastructure investments.

He also vetoed a provision that would have essentially ceased a decades-old agreement whereby the state funds a portion of local firefighter pension obligations. Lastly, he made sure there were funds to support performance audits and assistance from the State Auditor’s Office that ensures cities perform efficiently.

“It’s critical that we continue to invest in infrastructure in this great state,” said Governor Inslee. “I was honored to receive the award last year for the work we collectively did to get a transportation investment package across the finish line, and I truly appreciate the recognition this year for protecting infrastructure funds that cities depend on.”

AWC President and Sunnyside Mayor Jim Restucci noted that as the state continues to address funding for K-12 education and other priorities, its historic partnership with cities to support important city programs and services has diminished. “As we move into the 2017 legislative session, we need to ensure cities do not get left behind when the state grapples with other challenges,” he said.

City Champion Awards are a component of AWC’s Strong Cities, Great State campaign that brings cities and towns together to achieve greater results and deliver stronger services. This is the third year the City Champion Awards have been presented to select legislators and other statewide decision makers.

AWC serves its members through advocacy, education and services. Founded in 1933, AWC is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation that represents Washington's cities and towns before the state legislature, the state executive branch, and with regulatory agencies.


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Emma Shepard
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