2013 Legislation Agenda

2013 Legislation Agenda

City of Kelso
2013 Legislative Agenda

(Approved by City Council 1/2/2013)


Support the Association of Washington Cities’ 2013 Legislative Priorities
The City Council affirms its support of AWC’s efforts to propose, oppose, or seek amendment to the adoption of legislation in line with the general priorities below:

Ensure fiscal sustainability and flexibility
• Restore diverted liquor revenue and retain existing state-shared city revenues.
• Preserve current local revenue authorities such as local business licensing taxes and seek to develop new options.

Foster and invest in infrastructure and economic development
• Collaborate with the state to increase multi-modal transportation funding and expand sustainable revenue options.
• Authorize tax increment financing and fine-tune other tools that foster job creation and retention in cities.
• Keep funding for critical infrastructure programs such as the Public Works Trust Fund and Model Toxics Control Act Fund, and refrain from diverting capital investment dollars to the state’s general fund.

Enhance service provision
• Allow cities to be more flexible and responsive to fiscal challenges, such as managing personnel costs.
• Fund critical mandates such as municipal stormwater and refrain from adding any new unfunded or underfunded mandates.
• Strengthen public records efforts by curbing abusive requests.

Specified Priorities
Additionally, the City Council supports legislative action on the following items that directly impact or benefit Kelso residents, businesses, and stakeholders.

Key regional infrastructure
• Support funding for the SR 432/SR 433 projects, including critical rail and highway improvements.

Transportation funding
• Adopt new comprehensive state transportation revenue package with direct distribution to local governments and additional local option authorities.

Indigent defense standards
• Support legislative relief from the recent Supreme Court-imposed indigent defense standards and associated unfunded mandate.

Lodging tax flexibility
• Support extending the current sunset provision that allows lodging tax revenues to be used in direct support of operating costs associated with festivals and events.

Criminal justice programs
• Support increased funding for the Criminal Justice Training Commission and continued basic funding for WASPC programs including Crime Victim Notification, Jail Booking and Reporting, and Sex Offender address verification.

Mental health services
• Support increased funding and bolstering of state-provided services to provide adequate treatment and housing for populations with mental health needs.

Public pension security
• Support legislative action to ensure maximum pension rate stability by fully funding contribution rates as recommended by the State Actuary.

Sustainable personnel costs
• Support legislation to amend current binding arbitration laws to include a) qualification standards for arbitrators, b) further definition of what constitutes “comparables”, and 
c) redefining “ability to pay” to criterion.