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

Published on Friday, April 26, 2013

Legislative overtime imminent

Sunday, April 28, is the last day of this legislative session, and we doubt there will be any agreement on the biennial budget that is due to fund state expenditures beginning on July 1.

By law, the Governor can call legislators back for a special session that can last no more than 30 days. He’ll have to decide how soon he’ll do that and what other issues, besides the budget, will be on the list to address. We’ll continue reporting on the action (or lack thereof) in both AWC’s mid-week electronic CityVoice newsletter and our Friday Legislative Bulletin.

In the meantime, legislators are wrapping up work on passing bills and resolving differences on several policy issues important to cities. Examples this past week included:

  • The House concurred with the Senate version of AWC’s priority lodging tax bill, and it is off to the Governor for signature. The bill will not take effect until July 1, and cities are still required to submit a report to the Department of Commerce by May 1. Instructions for submitting the report are posted here.
  • The Senate concurred with the House version of AWC’s priority bill concerning alternative fuel requirements for publicly owned vehicles, vessels, and construction equipment. It, too, is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

There are also important unresolved policy issues for cities that we expect will continue to be debated and considered during the special session, including:

  • Should there be tougher penalties for drunk driving after a first offense – and if so, what kind and how to pay for extra legal costs, jail time, and treatment alternatives?
  • Can the Senate agree to an $8.5 billion transportation revenue package that the House has proposed, and will likely pass in the special session? The package includes a 10-cent gas tax increase ramped in over 5 years and a number of local transportation revenue options important to and supported by cities.

Thanks for your input, support, questions, and interest as your AWC legislative team continues to represent and promote city interests here in Olympia. We’re anxious for legislators and the Governor to make the tough decisions and call it a day.

In the meantime, we are closely watching activities in the other Washington, where the U.S. Senate is poised for final action on the Marketplace Fairness Act, which allows sales taxes to be collected from online retailers. Following a one-week recess, they will take a final vote on the bill on Monday, May 6. While they are home, please thank Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for their recent “yes” votes on the bill and ask for their continued support. Click here for their contact information.

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