Last week in Olympia was one of the more dramatic in a long time, culminating in the Governor’s veto of the legislature’s attempt to largely exempt themselves from the Public Records Act. Adding to the drama, two bills that WSAC was gravely concerned about, wrongful death, and occupational disease presumptions died on Friday’s cutoff to move bills from the opposite chamber.

However, we are still battling four other bills that have a potential to cost counties around $17 million a year, as well as being concerned about last-minute attempts to provide 2018 property tax exemptions (HB 6614 – Mullet) that would be difficult or impossible to implement by county assessors and treasurers. 

These four bills could cost counties $17 million a year:

We are hoping that this legislative session ends without further drama on or before Thursday’s scheduled end. However, if the final budget doesn’t include resources for counties to pay for new policy choices the legislature is making, we are prepared to make as much noise as possible.

General County Government

Last week the Senate passed HB 2887 that would require any county over 400,000 in population to adopt a five-member board of commissioners elected by districts. On Saturday the House concurred on a Senate amendment, sending the measure to the Governor’s desk. We will make a veto request to the Governor. 

Josh Weiss started working in Olympia in 1998 and in addition to spending the last 8 years at WSAC, has served as nonpartisan counsel to the House of Representatives, Legislative Director for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Environmental Policy Director for the Washington Forest Protection Association representing private forest landowners. Josh is a graduate of Central Washington University and the Vermont Law School, and is a fourth generation Washingtonian.

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