WSAC serves as a forum to build a statewide county legislative agenda. The fact that WSAC represents all 39 counties is key to building the coalitions needed to pass helpful legislation and likewise prevent harmful legislation. WSAC utilizes various tools to keep members up-to-date on legislative activities throughout the year.
The Legislative Steering Committee (LSC) is composed of one member from each of WSAC’s member counties as well as each of the four County Executives. The LSC has two co-chairs that are appointed biennially by the WSAC President. Co-chairs may not also serve as members of the WSAC Executive Committee. LSC members have frequent interaction, particularly during the state’s legislative session with legislators, agency staff, and representatives of other organizations. In addition to setting the policy direction for the association through the Legislative Agenda, LSC members are expected to attend regular meetings during legislative session and to communicate with legislators regarding WSAC’s legislative priorities.
Counties support legislation and funding that will help to remove fish barriers with a regional and watershed approach in mind. Just fixing state fish barriers will do nothing to solve the overall problem. The Legislature must provide funding to remove fish barriers at the state and local level as well as the necessary tools to meet the 2030 mandate.
Access to a defense attorney is a fundamental constitutional right where the responsibility has been passed down to counties. The Legislature funds less than 4% of the costs and counties spend $156 million annually. For equal access to justice, the Legislature must fund the full cost of trial court public defense services.
Foundational Public Health Services (FPHS) is a set of public health programs and services that every citizen should have access to. While creating a responsive and sustainable public health system and ensure healthy and economically vital communities across Washington. Supporting FPHS funding for local health jurisdictions creates a system able to respond to threats.
The Legislature has continued to shift costs through policy changes and legislation down to county government. To pay for these unfunded mandates, counties divert funds from road maintenances leaving critical public safety positions unfilled to meet the obligations from the state. Counties oppose any changes that will increase county costs without funding attached.
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