Legislative Agenda

TOP PRIORITIES

2018 Supplemental Transportation Budget – 167/509 “Gateway” Project

Fife will actively participate in discussions regarding a “local match” funding component of the 167/509 Gateway project that was included in the Legislature’s 2015 “Connecting Washington” package.  The City wants to ensure that an Inter-Local Agreement on local match is structured equitably, and that jurisdictions understand financial expectations as soon as possible.  Fife also urges the Legislature to look at the cost-saving benefits of further expediting the schedule for the Gateway project.

Ensure Legislative Approval of $2.6 Million Funding Advance for Port of Tacoma Road Interchange Phase 1

The Legislature’s 2017-19 Transportation Budget included provisions authorizing the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to utilize unspent appropriations in cases where the “department expects to have substantial re-appropriations in the 2019-21 biennium…”  Under the pilot authority, WSDOT officials notified Transportation Chairs and the Office of Financial Management (OFM) of its intentions to advance funding for two projects – one of which would be $2.6 million to allow Fife’s Port of Tacoma Road Interchange Phase I work to begin construction early in 2018.  Fife wants to ensure this funding advance is confirmed by the Legislature and can be deployed as soon as possible.


Ensure Passage of a 2017-19 Capital Budget – Possible Funding for Inter-Urban Trail Project

Fife urges legislators to act quickly on a $4.2 billion 2017-19 Capital Budget.  While the City realizes many of the project decisions for the 2017-19 Budget have been negotiated, Fife asks 25th District lawmakers to be open to any possibility of adding funds for a 2,100-foot relocation of the Inter-Urban Trail between Milton and a new 70th Avenue East access point.  Fife asks legislators to examine a potential $1 million inclusion in the 2017-19 budget, or a possible line-item in an FY 2018 Supplemental Capital Budget.


Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) Mitigation Funding – Support 2018 Supplemental Operating Budget Funds to Reconcile SST Mitigation Funding Levels in Budget with Allocation Needed under EHB 2163

The $536,000 a year that Fife receives in SST Mitigation funding is an important part of the City’s General Fund.  Given how critical this allocation is, Fife will actively support efforts in the 2018 Supplemental Operating Budget to reconcile SST Mitigation funding levels with the allocations needed under the enacted EHB 2163 (“Marketplace Fairness” legislation).

Support Supplemental Operating Budget Request for Additional Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) Training Slots

Fife will join AWC and a coalition of other cities in strongly supporting a Criminal Justice Training Commission request for Fiscal Year 2019 supplemental operating funds to add two Academy training classes at the CJTC facility in Burien.  Fife believes addressing the Academy training-slots backlog is vital.

Increase Funds & Local Options for Affordable Housing, Homelessness, Mental Health, Opioid Prevention

Fife will strongly support efforts to enhance funding and local options for more effective statewide, regional, and local community initiatives to address affordable housing, homelessness prevention, mental health, chemical dependency, and opioids addiction. Sustainable funding and innovative ideas will be crucial to help cities supplement private- and non-profit sector efforts where possible, to ensure low-income residents can stay in their homes and shelters, and to provide tools to address rapidly rising housing costs.  Specific initiatives Fife will support include legislation to increase the document recording fee on housing transactions, a $106.7 million allocation to the Housing Trust Fund in the 2017-19 Capital Budget, and enhanced local options for affordable housing and homelessness under an updated version of SHB 1797 from the 2017 Session.

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

  • 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.

Criminal Justice/Public Safety/Courts

  • Closely track legislative discussions around police “use of force”;
  • Ensure that with any legislation regarding the use of “body cameras” for police, local discretion on whether to use the cameras is retained. Additionally, Fife believes that for those jurisdictions who do wish to deploy body cameras, any bill contains provisions to assure that Public Records Act requests are limited to those who are most directly impacted by pending cases;
  • Oppose Justice Reinvestment Initiative” (JRI) legislationunless it is accompanied by sufficient new resources to avoid cost burdens on law enforcement and local communities;
  • Support funding for gang intervention grants for officers;
  • ProtectOperating Budget funding for Court Management System computer upgrades in courts of limited jurisdiction;
  • Oppose legislation that makes drug and property forfeiture operations more difficult to carry out;
  • Support of authority for cities to operate cost-effective Municipal Courts must be maintained.

Economic Development/Infrastructure

  • Oppose legislative initiatives to re-define “tourism” in the use of local lodging taxes in a way that inhibits the use of those dollars for special events and festivals. Fife uses significant portions of its lodging tax money for special events and festivals and has done so in close collaboration with its hoteliers.  Last Session, lawmakers considered but did not enact a bill to re-define what constitutes ‘tourism’ for use of local lodging taxes;
  • Support for Capital Budget programs that invest in key infrastructure, including:
    • A modified and more sustainable Public Works Assistance Account;
    • Funding for stormwater grants;
    • 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;
  • Supportlegislation allowing local governments expanded use of “Small Works Rosters” to do small-scale infrastructure and public works jobs in-house;
  • Track any legislative initiatives on the formation of a state “Infrastructure Bank,” on the heels of a legislatively-directed study performed by the State Treasurer’s Office.

Environment/Natural Resources

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

Local Government in General/Miscellaneous

  • Oppose legislation on the deployment of small-cell (“5G”) technology unless it is structured in a way that protects local decision-making, public rights-of-way, and the ability of cities to receive fair market value for the use of that right-of-way;
  • Opposelegislation that would impose “unfunded mandates” on local governments, or seeks to pre-empt or remove local authority;
  • Supportlegislative 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 full 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.
  • Track the process of implementing and more specifically defining aspects of Public Records Act legislation enacted by the 2017 Legislature. Fife also will look to support continuing efforts to ease the resource burdens that confront small cities dealing with increased and voluminous PRA requests. 

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.