An update from the city’s lobbyists on what to expect during the Washington State Legislature’s 2019 session, plus a draft 2019 legislative agenda, were presented to the Mountlake Terrace City Council during its July 16 business meeting.
Briahna Murray, vice president of Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs, urged councilmembers to thank local legislators for their work in what was a “very successful” 2018 legislative session, during which the city received $1.36 million in state funding.
That funding included a total of $1 million in the state capital budget — a $500,000 ALEA (aquatic lands enhancement account) grant for Ballinger Park and $500,000 for the city’s Main Street Project — plus $360,000 in the state transportation budget for Main Street.
Transportation funding will also be hot topic, Murray said. In 2015, the state Legislature adopted the Connecting Washington package, a gas tax increase that funds a series of projects intended to be implemented over a 16-year period. “It’s evident to many that the funding that was generated by that gas tax is not sufficient to meet some of the mega projects that remain unfunded in our state, Murray said. These include the U.S Highway 2 trestle in Snohomish County, the I-5 bridge over the Columbia River and the I-90/Highway 18 interchange.
Legislators have been discussing the idea of a “mini package” of funding to address these transportation needs, she added.
The final topic the lobbyists addressed was legislation likely to come from Gov. Jay Inslee’s office regarding the deployment of small cell network facilities and rural broadband. While the governor has been supportive of local control over these issues, “We continue to be wary of industry proposals coming forward or amendments to the governor’s proposal that would preempt your local control and your ability to have influence over the aesthetics and location of small cell network facilities, as well as what you can charge if they’re attached to city-owned property,” Murray said.
Councilmembers received a draft legislative agenda for their review, with the idea of providing feedback and making adjustments before final approval in November. The top two items on the draft are working to acquire capital funding for Ballinger Park and the Main Street Revitalization Project.
You can review the draft here.
— By Teresa Wippel