Courtesy of Washington Secretary of State’s Office

Courtesy of Washington Secretary of State’s Office

Transportation and housing among King County’s top legislative priorities in 2020

Legislature will begin meeting Jan. 12.

With a short legislative session on the horizon for 2020, King County is opting to focus its lobbying efforts on a handful of broad topics.

The King County Metropolitan Council will vote Nov. 20 on draft of these topics. The top five items are protecting and enhancing local transportation options, securing funding for roads and bridges, increasing affordable housing, increasing funding for behavioral health services, and protecting public health.

Mac Nicholson, director of government relations for the county, said the county reassessed its top priorities following the passage of Initiative 976, which will reduce state funding for transportation projects. This is likely reflected in the county’s goal of protecting local transportation, he said. Nicholson also said that it being a short legislative session, some bills may not make it to a vote this year.

The county is also facing a significant shortfall in funding for roads and bridges. It is set to run out of money for capital projects in roughly five years, a problem that is credited to restrictions on property tax increases as well as incorporation taking away portions of the county’s tax base.

There are other priorities, but King County Councilman Larry Gossett said that for the first time in several years, there weren’t any criminal justice reform items on their top priorities. These items include bail reform for low-income people and expungement of records.

“Why did criminal justice as an issue not reach the threshold to be on our agenda?” he asked.

Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles also questioned why a top priority wasn’t lobbying to change the taxing structures to factor in inflation and population growth.

The item was passed without a recommendation and could be approved and altered by the county council on Nov. 20. The Washington State Legislature will begin meeting Jan. 12 for at least 60 days. That time could be extended if needed. Gov. Jay Inslee will release his proposed budgets in December.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Owner of proposed Enumclaw Recycling Center ordered to close Auburn location

King County has been trying to shutter the Buckley Recycle Center for nearly 15 years, and claims the lack of progress at the Enumclaw site shows the owner has little interest in complying with county regulations.

A train route that would shuttle people between Eastern and Western Washington could tie in with the proposed ultra-high-speed rail between B.C. and Portland. Photo courtesy RobertStafford/Pixabay.com
State receives King County to Spokane rail study

It would take about eight and a half hours to reach the Inland Empire from Puget Sound.

Courtesy of Mountain View Fire and Rescue
Mountain View Fire and Rescue seeks levy on Aug. 4 primary ballot

Service area includes unincorporated King County near the cities of Auburn, Enumclaw and Kent.

Firefighters treat 3 in head-on collision | Fire blotter

Reporter staff Between June 29 and July 5, the Valley Regional Fire… Continue reading

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

Courtesy of the Auburn School District
There will be school this fall in Auburn

The district is working on answering the question: What will it look like?

Pills stolen, windows smashed | Auburn police blotter

Between June 27 and July 3, the Auburn Police Department responded to… Continue reading

Gov. Jay Inslee issued new guidance allowing the resumption of self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, drink stations and other types of communal food sources in Phase 2. File photo
Buffets and salad bars back on the menu in King County

Gov. Jay Inslee has revised rules to allow self-serve food areas in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Brian Tilley (left) and Katie Dearman work the wash station Friday at Kate’s Greek American Deli in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

Most Read