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Published on Friday, February 3, 2017

Bills would require cities to provide emergency notices in languages other than English

HB 1540, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-Seattle), and SB 5046, Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-Tukwila), would require city emergency management departments to provide emergency notices in languages represented by their communities who speak a language other than English. The bill would also require cities to maintain updated demographic and language data on their jurisdiction. The bills have been heard in both the Senate and House.

Deborah Needham, the City of Renton Emergency Management Director, testified on the bill in the Senate and can be watched here at 34:13. AWC does not support the current legislation because of current emergency management best practices and implementation difficulties related to the bill. We have been included in a stakeholder group to discuss the bill’s intent and try to develop some possible alternatives.

Categories: General government