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

Published on Friday, February 13, 2015

As a slew of city friendly and unfriendly bills reach critical cutoff – hometown voices need to weigh in

Within our weekly Legislative Bulletin over the past five weeks of this 15 week legislative session, AWC has reported on more than 120 bills covering a wide range of topic areas impacting cities and towns – in ways both positive and negative. Next week, legislators face their first mandatory cut-off at 5 pm on Friday, February 20. By then, of the 2153 bills introduced so far, Senate and House Committees must decide which ones move forward for further consideration and which ones remain someone’s good idea, available to consider another time.

Of course, there are exceptions to this deadline. Bills deemed “necessary to implement the budget” (NTIB), are exempt. Several of AWC’s priority bills fall within this category, such as those relating to liquor or marijuana revenue and public works assistance account funding. Also exempt for another week are policy bills under consideration in Senate and House Transportation committees. A few AWC priority bills are also before these committees.

Because next week is a “make-or-break” one for a significant number of policy bills, it’s fortuitous that over 400 city officials are coming to Olympia for several days mid-week to learn about key issues and to talk to their legislators about them. We’ll be preparing a hot sheet of key bills of interest they can use while in town. For those of you not in town, we will distribute it to all cities on Tuesday morning, February 17, so you too can help connect with your legislators directly on issues that interest you. If you’d consider taking a few minutes to dial or e-mail your representatives, it does make a difference and helps cities across the state!

Within this edition of our Bulletin, you’ll find updated information about bills scheduled for hearings next week, as well as some updates on key bills of interest. Probably the biggest news coming out of session so far is that the Senate appears poised to consider, and hopefully pass, a significant and comprehensive transportation package that AWC and most cities have been urging the Legislature to act on. Go here for details, and remember this is just the first step in a process. The House may have some different ideas, and the Governor has a role to play. That said, we are very encouraged and appreciative of Senate transportation leaders in both parties and are confident their counterparts in the House will actively work to move forward on this critical issue.

Thanks and see many of you in Olympia next week!