2014 Legislative Agenda
The Fife City Council, on behalf of its residents and businesses urge the following of the Washington State Legislature:
Enact a Transportation Package/Complete the SR 167 Corridor
Fife urges the Legislature to enact a comprehensive transportation investment package - by or before the end of 2013 if possible. A top priority in that package must be the completion of State Route 167 between Puyallup (SR-161) and Tacoma (SR-509) as first envisioned decades ago. Fife, along with other communities in the Puyallup and Kent valleys, is part of the second largest warehouse distribution hub on the West Coast. It is critical to the economic health of the Central Puget Sound and the state, to the future competitiveness of the Port of Tacoma, and to jobs creation and freight mobility, to "finish what was started" and complete this corridor.
Additionally, Fife urges lawmakers to ensure any transportation package also includes:
- Dedicating a portion of new fuel tax revenue to direct distributions to cities and counties for their local road needs;
- Local transportation financing options that cities and counties can consider in their own communities;
- Enhanced funding for grant programs, such as the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB), Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board (FMSIB), Safe Routes to Schools, and "Complete Streets," that are critical to helping cities address corridor needs, freight movements, safety, and multi-modal issues.
- Reforms of the transportation system to ensure that project permitting and timelines are expedited and that taxpayer dollars are being spent as wisely and cost-effectively as possible.
2014 Supplemental Capital Budget Request - $1 Million to complete Brookville Gardens Park - a 'generational' parks/open space facility
The City of Fife is requesting $1 million in the 2014 Supplemental Capital Budget for Brookville Gardens Park, a parks and open space facility that will be located in the heart of the City, just off Valley Avenue. The late Council Member Richard Godwin was a driving force behind developing this 11-acre crown jewel, which will be easily accessible on a regional basis to residents of Puyallup, Tacoma, and Pierce County. Brookville Gardens will be a vibrant park with play equipment, internal pathways, trail connections, "green" roofs for the restrooms and picnic shelter, and a pedestrian bridge from the parking lot over Wapato Creek. This project is time sensitive because the pedestrian bridge must be built concurrently with wetlands mitigation, stream enhancement, and culvert removal work the City is doing at the park site with FMSIB funding that must be expended by the end of the 2013-15 biennium.
Protect/restore key revenues critical to cities' Operating and Capital needs
Fife will strongly support coalition efforts by cities, counties and others to restore key revenues that are critical to helping local governments provide services and keep up with infrastructure needs. In particular, the City will support legislation designed to re-establish growth in liquor revolving account revenues, a budget request to return 100 percent of liquor excise tax distributions to local governments, and a coalition effort to return funding to the highly-successful Public Works Assistance Account.
Additionally, Fife will continue to remind lawmakers of the critical importance of maintaining Streamlined Sales Tax mitigation funding.
The City of Fife will join others on these key issues below -- either supporting efforts to enact legislation and obtain funding, or opposing legislation deemed harmful to the interests of local government:
Support- Efficiencies, Regulatory Reform, Cost Control, Cost-Savings for Local Governments:
- Legislation that removes unnecessary or obsolete "unfunded mandates";
- Legislation to ease or reduce regulatory burdens;
- Legislation to update the Public Records Act so that local agencies can focus on the transparency and "sunshine" that is critical to their citizenry, vs. overly burdensome requests;
- Mitigating medical costs for jail offenders;
- Controlling personnel-related costs and avoiding unnecessary 'spikes' in pension rates;
- Limiting local government liability
Support- Legislative Initiatives to Ensure Sustainable Revenue in the Future for Cities/Counties:
- Funding or fee authority to offset the cost of new caseload limits for public defenders (January 2015) providing indigent defense services;
- Providing local governments with a distribution of funding that the state will receive from voter-passed initiatives that impact public safety (e.g. Initiative 1183, Initiative 502)
Support- Economic Development Tools to Help Communities Build Infrastructure, Attract/Retain Jobs
- Tax-increment Financing (TIF) or "TIF-like" tools that can be enacted by the Legislature;
- Protecting dedicated accounts that assist with water, sewer, stormwater, and parks/open space infrastructure in local communities
Oppose - Legislation that Undermines Local Control, Erodes Local Revenues or Revenue Authority
- Cities should retain authority to enter into inter-local agreements for jail-space arrangements that are cost-effective, flexible, and convenient in terms of location.
- Authority for cities to operate cost-effective Municipal Courts must be maintained
- Legislators should refrain from tax-policy decisions that remove or sharply reduce local revenues, or removal local revenue authority
Support/Oppose - Land-Use, Growth Management Act (GMA), Housing, Environmental Issues
- Fife will support legislation to reconcile the confusion and overlap between medical marijuana and "collective gardens" statutes and 'retail marijuana' laws under Initiative 502;
- Fife supports restoring GMA planning grants for cities and counties;
- Fife joins others in opposing the mandatory deferral of collection of GMA impact fees;
- Fife joins others in opposing mandatory voter-approval for assumption of water/sewer districts;
- Fife supports protecting funding for the Housing Trust Fund and ensuring the Legislature does not drastically cut funding for human services, housing, mental health, etc.
- Fife supports protecting annexation tools and streamlining the annexation process in current law
Support - Public Safety
- Fife supports legislation to provide police and prosecutors with more tools to resolve criminal cases, such as expanded DNA sampling for serious offenses, strengthened penalties against juvenile gun crimes, etc.
- Fife supports continued state funding support for gangs intervention/prevention