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Published on Friday, February 19, 2016

Legislative session homestretch: Which city issues are still alive?

Slated to end on March 10, we’re more than halfway through session, and most policy bills of concern to cities have stopped moving and only a few of our priorities remain in play – barely.

We hope the House acts early this week in a bipartisan manner to pass bills that address public records issues, both relating to overly broad and burdensome requests, as well as standards to help facilitate public safety body camera usage. Both bills were exempted by House leadership from cutoff deadlines late last week. If they get to the Senate, there’s precious little time for action there before facing cutoffs at the end of the week. We’ll find out soon if these bills are dead or alive.

This week legislator attention turns to consideration of the 2016-17 supplemental operating, capital, and transportation budgets, which will next come from the House this year. Following last week’s revenue forecast indicating revenue shortages for the remainder of this biennium and into the next, we’ll be closely scrutinizing proposals to catch any bad news for city revenues or programs. Stay tuned this week for analysis on our website as information becomes available. Funds that dozens of cities rely on for critical stormwater projects are the most at risk.

As the closing weeks of session nears, you’ll continue to receive our updates in two more Monday Legislative Bulletins and three more Wednesday CityVoice e-mailed publications. We keep our Advocacy page on the website updated throughout these weeks, including our BillTracker site that helps you tune in to the progress of key bills. Please be on the lookout for the occasional Action Alert. We send these rarely and only if we really need your voices from home.