March 22, 2016
LEAD: Legislative Education, Advocacy & Direction
2016 Edition 10

LEAD Alert:
Support Full Funding for MRSC

As you may have heard, funding for Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) that had been zeroed-out as part of the Senate's Proposed Supplemental Budget was restored when the Senate released its new proposed budget on Friday, March 11. While the new Senate budget represents a significant step forward, the conditions placed on the funding restoration are problematic. Most troubling is the clear intent to end funding support for MRSC next year. So, while progress has been made, there still is a long way to go in the budget negotiations between the Senate and House.

The goal is to maintain current law as-is, which would result in MRSC being fully funded, without the threat of an imminent end to MRSC funding, so it can maintain the high level of service relied upon over the years by local governments.

The current budget proposals by the House and the Governor meet this objective by fully funding MRSC with no conditions. Although the Senate's proposed budget restores MRSC's funding, it does so for only one year and with conditions, including a reduction in city and county funds. The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) has a legislative update that addresses MRSC's funding and other priorities. 

Reach out to your Senators and Representatives to let them know the extent to which cities and counties use and value MRSC's services (e.g., website, inquiry service, publications, etc.) and ask that they support fully funding MRSC, without conditions, in the final budget. 

Contact information for all Senators:
http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Senators/Pages/default.aspx

Contact information for all Representatives:
http://leg.wa.gov/House/Representatives/Pages/default.aspx

Questions?                                     
If you have any questions about the Chapter's Legislative Committee (LC), please contact Yorik Stevens-Wajda or Esther Larsen, the LC Co-Chairs. A big thanks to Michael Shaw and all the members of the Legislative Committee for contributing their time, bill summaries, and discussion this regular session.

American Planning Association, Washington Chapter
office@washington-apa.org  206-682-7436  www.washington-apa.org