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Advocacy

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

Published on Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring into action!

With three weeks left before this session is scheduled to conclude, legislators are now focused on resolving budget and policy differences between House Majority Democrats and Senate Majority Republicans. With over 2800 bills introduced, so far only a handful have been acted upon and signed in to law. It is during these next few weeks when decision time looms and deals, trade-offs, and bill “hostage taking” gets serious.

For cities, all of AWC’s priorities are yet to be resolved.

Both majorities have passed their proposed 2017-19 biennial budgets on strictly party-line votes, 25-24 in the Senate and 50-48 in the House. Both budgets currently contain all but a few key-shared revenues with cities, but there are some significant differences. How each budget addresses support for various programs and initiatives of interest to cities also differs, such as funding critical human services.

On the policy front, we are encouraged by movement towards updating our public records statutes, but still see no clear path to agreement on some key water resource and housing affordability issues. It’s likely that agreement on some of these issues hinges on resolution of other unrelated ones, such as the budget.

During this critical time, much of the negotiating and deal-making goes on out of public view. And what appears as good shared revenues can disappear and shift to other uses, or a bill once thought “dead” and problematic, can resurface. This is why we urge you to connect now with your legislators to thank and remind them what you need, and why.

Here is what you can do:

  1. Learn what's at stake
    View our hot sheet to see what budget items and policy bills we support and oppose.
  2. Find out what cuts to revenues and programs in the state budget would mean for your city
    Information about shared revenues your city is estimated to receive 2017-19 is available here (select your city in the drop-down arrow box).
  3. Make the call – the timing could not be better
    Choose issues important to your city and set aside 15 minutes to call your legislators this week, even if you have previously done so.
  4. Follow impacts on your community as legislators aim to adjourn April 23
    With so much at stake, remember to check AWC's Bulletin every Monday and CityVoice e-newsletter every Wednesday for critical updates as session nears adjournment – or heads to a special session.

More information

Click here to see a side-by-side comparison of the Governor, Senate, and House proposed budgets.

Session snapshot 83 days into a 105-day session – How many bills introduced and acted upon so far?

  • As of the end of March, 98 House members have introduced a total of 1,515 separate bills and 49 Senate members introduced a total of 1,320.
  • The House has passed 376 of their member’s bills and the Senate 297 of their member’s bills.
  • The House has passed 28 of the Senate’s bills and the Senate five of the House’s bills.
  • Three policy bills have passed both chambers, two of which have been signed into law and one awaits the Governor’s signature.
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