Legislative Agenda

TOP PRIORITIES

2017-19 Transportation Budget Request – Additional Turn-Lane Capacity for SR 99/54th Ave.

The City of Fife is requesting $1.5 million in funding assistance in the 2017-19 Transportation Budget to add desperately-needed left-turn capacity to the congested interchange of Pacific Highway (State Route 99) and 54th Avenue.  This funding, which is for a project on the state highway system, would allow the City to add a second left-turn lane from Pacific Highway to 54th.

 Protect and Restore “State-Shared” Revenues; Provide Local Governments with Options to Better Address Local Resource Needs

Fife supports efforts that protect and restore state-shared revenues and provide local governments with tools to restructure revenue sources that are capped in statute.  These include:

  • Maintain Streamlined Sales Tax Mitigation:  Fife receives $536,000 a year in SST Mitigation and will actively work to ensure this program is protected in the 2017-19 Operating Budget;
  • Restore liquor revolving account (“liquor profit”) revenues that were capped in 2012.  Fife supports targeting 60 percent of restored revenues toward criminal justice/public safety needs;
  • Protect state-shared revenues and existing distributions that are vital to helping cities meet their obligations.  These include liquor and municipal criminal justice assistance; hotel-motel tax funding authority; Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy funding; etc.
  • Modification in property tax statutes to tie annual growth to an inflationary index rather than to a 1 percent limit that prevents cities and counties from keeping up with year-to-year increases in the costs of delivering services.

Modernize the Public Records Act (PRA) to make it easier to administer and to allow local governments to focus more time and energy on community-based requests.

Fife strongly supports the transparency and open government and provides records to citizens in a timely way.  In some cases, records requests are harassment-related or result in significant resource demands without cost recovery.  The PRA also does little to address cost recovery for time-consuming commercial-purpose requests.  As a result, the City will support legislation to update the PRA, especially with respect to:

  • Providing an Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism to settle conflicts over burdensome requests;
  • Establishing a cost recovery mechanism for processing things such as electronic records requests;
  • Encouraging commercial entities and organizations that make repeated “batch” requests to enter into contract arrangements with local governments.
  • Establishing and funding pilot technology projects to provide access to local data through websites.

Increase Funding and Efforts Toward Mental Health, Homelessness Prevention, Affordable Housing

Fife supports efforts to enhance funding for more effective statewide, regional, and local community initiatives to address mental health, homelessness, chemical dependency and drug addiction. Specific initiatives Fife will support include legislation to extend and increase the document recording fee on housing transactions as a way to add funding for homelessness prevention; a $200 million 2017-19 Housing Trust Fund Capital Budget request; assured funding for the “1115 Medicaid Waiver” to provide funds for supportive housing; and local-option tools for affordable housing.

KEY ISSUES

The City of Fife will join others on additional key issues below — either supporting efforts to enact legislation and obtain funding, or opposing legislation deemed harmful to the interests of local government:

Budget and Fiscal Matters

  • Track and monitor any legislative initiatives growing out of a study by the Office of the State Actuary into potential merging of the Law Enforcement and Firefighters’ Plan 1 (“LEOFF 1”) and Teachers’ Retirement System Plan 1 (“TRS 1”).  If merger legislation or budget initiatives are introduced, the City will urge they be structured in a way that protects underlying LEOFF 1 funding and assists cities with LEOFF 1 medical costs.

Criminal Justice/Public Safety/Courts

  • Support a $2.4 million funding allocation to increase the number of Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) training slots from 300 to 540;
  • Support legislation that makes a fourth Driving Under the Influence offense a felony;
  • Oppose with “Justice Reinvestment Initiative” (JRI) legislation that would put new resource and law enforcement burdens on local communities;
  • Support funding for gang intervention grants and gang data-base training for officers;
  • Oppose legislation that prohibits local governments from using data on traffic citations to help evaluate officers;
  • Support legislation that would better enable law enforcement agencies to terminate officers for breaches of honesty and professional conduct;
  • Protect Operating Budget funding for Court Management System computer upgrades in courts of limited jurisdiction;
  • 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, and Fife would support efforts to mitigate medical costs for jail offenders;
  • Support of authority for cities to operate cost-effective Municipal Courts must be maintained.

Economic Development/Infrastructure

  • Support for Capital Budget programs that invest in key infrastructure, including:
    • Replacement funding for suspended stormwater grants; and initiatives to make the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) account more sustainable and less prone to revenue spikes and reductions due to fuel prices;
    • A legislative initiative to modify and reform the Public Works Assistance Account so that the state retains a low-interest loan program for basic infrastructure needs throughout Washington;
    • The Floodplains by Design program;
    • The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program; and
    • The Youth Athletic Facilities
  • Support legislative initiatives to re-establish state funding and partnerships for economic development incentive programs such as Tax Increment Financing, the Local Revitalization Financing program (LRF) or the Local Infrastructure Assistance Tools (LIFT) program;
  • Support legislation allowing local governments expanded use of “Small Works Rosters” to do small-scale infrastructure and public works jobs in-house.

Environment/Natural Resources

  • Support legislation to expand the “Product Stewardship” program – specifically for prescription drugs and certain types of paints.

Land-Use/Growth Management Act (GMA)

  • Support Operating Budget requests by the Department of Ecology and Department of Commerce to continue providing assistance grants for required Shoreline Master Program and GMA Plan updates; 
  • Support legislative initiatives to continue to streamline the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA),perhaps including efforts to expand the use of infill exemptions;
  • Oppose any legislative initiative that seeks to undermine the authority of local agencies to enact bans on Initiative 502 marijuana sales, processing, and production;
  • Supports initiatives to add services, shelters, and beds to help local communities address growing mental health and homelessness issues. This includes preserving the Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program; enhancing funding and options for affordable housing; and preserving housing funds for the low-income, mentally ill, and homeless families/children.

Local Government in General/Miscellaneous

  • Oppose legislation that would impose “unfunded mandates” on local governments, or seeks to pre-empt or remove local authority;
  • Support legislative initiatives that can help reduce costs for cities and counties, or make service delivery more efficient, as well as new revenue or local option tools that local governments can take to their communities;
  • Support of legislation to bring Washington State into compliance with federal ‘REAL ID’ requirements. Without such compliance, Washington State citizens might have difficulty accessing certain secure federal facilities, and could face difficulties in the future with more common activities such as airline travel.

Personnel, Pension, and other Human Resource Issues

  • Oppose legislation that would add new costs and requirements to employee benefit programs without accompanying funds;
  • Oppose legislation that would expand “presumptive disease” laws and definitions in the area of Workers’ Compensation claims;
  • Oppose initiatives that would result in increased employer/employee pension rates.

The City of Fife is an equal opportunity‎ employer.