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Advocacy

Welcome to AWC’s online library of Legislative Bulletin and CityVoice news articles and other updates.

Published on Friday, January 6, 2017

Over at least the next 15 weeks, we will keep you informed and at crucial times, will ask for your help

The 105-day 2017 legislative session is now underway. Over the coming weeks, legislators and Governor Inslee will consider, debate, and ultimately decide how to invest in our collective future. It promises to be a game-changer session as a very closely divided Legislature grapples with key education funding decisions that will impact our communities for years to come. Quality K-12 education is a key to the success and vitality of our 281 cities and towns. Yet so too are safe streets, infrastructure, and services that work efficiently and that are affordable for citizens and businesses.

Budget and policy decisions made this session will either maintain or alter how the state views and supports its partnership with local government. At stake are both historic shared revenues and investments in infrastructure – both capital and human.

For the 84th consecutive year, AWC is prepared to engage and represent city interests during the legislative session. Our legislative priorities are set, and we will provide updates on their status each Monday morning in this Legislative Bulletin. Also look for mid-week updates in our CityVoice newsletter. We’ll report on the many issues others feel are important that may impact cities. These items are ones we spend much of our time responding to. Many of these require us to politely, yet firmly, suggest that the issue is best addressed at the local level and legislation isn’t appropriate.

Legislative sessions have schedules and rhythm, and it’s helpful to anticipate them. Issues and ideas are considered and debated in both the House and Senate, and for them to move forward, need to pass both chambers in identical form. This takes time, and leadership sets a schedule on what needs to happen by when.

  • This first week will mostly involve setting the stage. New legislators get their bearings, committees organize themselves, and hearings are held – several of which are highlighted within this week’s Legislative Bulletin. There are ceremonial activities such as the Governor’s State of the State address and a gala Inaugural Ball during which partisanship takes a night off. Things get a bit more serious towards week’s end after preliminary discussions of what the Governor has proposed funding, or not, and how he’d suggest paying for it.
  • We’ve provided a calendar of key events and legislative deadlines, so you can have a sense of when things might happen and your opportunities to impact decisions.
  • Our weekly communications can help you know what’s happening, and every so often, you may receive an Action Alert or a phone call asking for time-sensitive contact with your legislator. We issue these sparingly and only when we really need your engagement and attention.

Conventional wisdom assumes this session will go beyond the 105th day on Sunday, April 23. We are hoping that’s not the case and will do everything we can to help them make needed decisions on time.

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