Olympia On Thursday, March 1st, WSAC’s Legislative Steering Committee (LSC) gathered for its last legislative session meeting in Olympia. County leaders from across the state were scheduled to meet with Governor Inslee to discuss concerns counties have about pending legislation and the impact that proposed legislation will have on general fund budgets. LSC members were also prepared to discuss their support of the Governor’s potential veto of SB 6617 regarding exempting the Legislature from being subject to the Public Records Act. 
The Governor began the meeting by highlighting his legislative agenda and noting the bills he plans to sign including the Voting Rights Act, same-day voter registration, and recent legislation regarding the sale of bump stocks. After sharing his thoughts about the 2018 legislative session, the Governor opened the floor for questions.
Members asked the Governor if they could count on his support for HB 2006 which gives counties more flexibility in how veteran and mental health levy funds are distributed. I support the people that support HB 2006,” the Governor remarked. He went on to say that county leaders needed to ask the Legislature to pass the bill and that he was generally in support of bills that gave more financial flexibility to counties.”
One of the last discussion topics with the Governor pertained to the issue of property tax refunds. County Treasurers and Assessors issued letters earlier this week expressing concern about the potential re-levy of 2018 property taxes. The re-levy would require counties to modify their computer systems and issue new calculations which are estimated to cost counties upwards of $10 million or more to implement.
Overall, the message of county leaders was that even though State revenues have increased significantly, counties continue to see the legislature pass bills without including the funding needed to implement. With roughly $28 million in new unfunded legislation being passed down to counties, Commissioners and Councilmembers around the state will likely be forced to continue making cuts in criminal justice services (Prosecutors, Sheriff Deputies, mental health, courts, etc.) in local communities.
After meeting with the Governor, LSC members directed their attention to House and Senate members to urge their support of HB 2006 and encourage these members to also reconsider pending legislation that will impact counties. WSAC members are encouraged to stay in contact with their legislators over the next week as we approach Sine Die on Thursday, March 8.  
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Paige graduated from Western Washington majoring Political Science and Communications. She also holds a Masters in Public Administration from Seattle University. Early in her career, Paige ran a campaign in Snohomish County before serving as a Legislative Assistant at the Washington House of Representatives. As the External Communications Manager for WSAC, she manages all the organization's publications and social media.
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