On December 10, 2018, City Council approved their legislative agenda for the 2019 state legislative session. The priorities provide policy direction to guide staff in determining support or opposition to specific legislation.
Why do we care so much about what happens in Olympia? Because many decisions made in Olympia have direct and indirect impacts on our ability to provide services to the Shoreline community.
Below are some of the legislative priorities approved by Council.
State investment and financial support to address homelessness, affordable housing, behavioral health, and chemical dependency services
There is growing awareness of the need to expand the supply of affordable housing across the state, and particularly in the Puget Sound region. The City supports investing in existing subsidized housing programs; providing greater flexibility for programs that support affordable housing; creating new local authority options; and removing barriers, such as changing the Washington Condominium Act to encourage construction of affordable condominiums while maintaining consumer protections.
The City also supports increasing investments in our behavioral health network to improve mental health and chemical dependency programs. This includes providing regional equity so that all areas of the state have access to good quality mental health facilities; supporting a comprehensive opioid response that gives providers, pharmacists, and others alternatives and support in reducing opioid use and availability; and supporting a pilot program for local police departments to hire and utilize mental health professionals in partnership with their officers in the field so that individuals can be connected with services and care rather than defaulting into the criminal justice system.
Local government financial sustainability and flexibility
The City supports a more self-sufficient financial model for cities where cities can control their revenue streams. Cities need to be able to plan for funding from one year to the next; providing cities more local financial flexibility allows each community to make their own choices of how to fund local services.
Salmon habitat protections and climate change
The City supports aquatic and salmon habitat protections and improvements in Puget Sound that will preserve and enhance critical habitat areas. This includes a smart and strategic plan to fix fish blockages (including culverts), reduce the risk and damage from polluted stormwater runoff, and help protect and recover Southern Resident Killer Whales.
We also support legislation that addresses climate change impacts, specifically efforts to reduce transportation emissions through electric vehicle incentives and low carbon fuel, and efforts to improve energy efficiency in buildings.
- Continue to seek funding for the N 145th Street/I‐5 Interchange improvements, which are essential for the success of the Shoreline South/145th Street light rail station.
- Pursue funding support for: 1) a non‐motorized ped/bike bridge over I-5 to integrate connections to the Shoreline South/145th Street light rail station, and 2) a new Community and Aquatics Center.
- Monitor activity both in the legislature and executive branch relating to Fircrest operations and the potential for redevelopment of underutilized property on the campus.