Legislative Agenda

Renton's Key Priorities at a Glance

(last updated: 12/2/19)

2020 Legislative Agenda

Address Public Safety - Fund Critical Needs

Basic Law Enforcement Academy: Renton strongly supports reducing the statutory wait time for training newly hired law enforcement officers from six months to two months and will continue to explore ways to enhance training funds for law enforcement under Initiative 940.

The city will work to ensure that the SCORE Jail facility receives a fair reimbursement rate from the Department of Corrections. 

Enhance the Quality of Life

2020 Supplemental Capital Budget request: Renton has a time-sensitive need to ensure a new home is established for a feeding program and cold-weather shelter that are currently housed within the Renton Airport, but are going to be displaced since that is a non-conforming use. The city is seeking state capital funding assistance to acquire a site on Rainier Avenue that can house the feeding and severe weather shelter.

Affordable Housing - adjusted timeline for SHB 1406: Renton strongly supports SHB 1406, which represents a $500 million+ commitment over the next 20 years through state sales tax credits that may be used for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing units. 

However, Renton will join the City of Kirkland in seeking a 2020 amendment to the SHB 1406 statute that makes the timelines for a “qualifying local tax” more reasonable and better ensures a robust voter turnout.  The refinement to statute would allow the ‘qualifying local tax’ to be presented to voters on the November 2020 General Election ballot.

Promote Fiscal Stability

Renton will continue to work with local partners to ensure that “state-shared revenues” and other key state program funding for cities and counties are preserved.

Renton will also actively work with area lawmakers on legislative and administrative steps to address cyber-security­—both in terms of preventing hacks and viruses and responding to them rapidly if they do occur.

Invest in Transportation

Preserve “Fix the Worst First” investments in Connect Washington as Initiative 976-related cuts are made: Voters have approved Initiative 976 on the 2019 General Election ballot and legislators may need to make up to $500 million in immediate transportation funding cuts. Renton respectfully asks that those reductions be achieved in a way that protects the most time-sensitive and ‘fix the worst first’ investments on the state system. Specifically, Interstate 405 Renton-to-Bellevue investments should go forward as planned.

Local Funding Options for Cities: Renton will actively work with the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) and other local partners on 2020 legislation to add funding options for cities—on the heels of a Joint Transportation Committee (JTC) study that showed a $2 billion maintenance and operations funding gap for municipalities across Washington State.

New revenue package/North 8th Direct Access Ramp: The Legislature is likely to continue discussions on a new revenue package and to further refine proposals that surfaced during the 2019 Session. Renton strongly supports a new revenue package for transportation, and particularly will seek to ensure that construction funding is included for the North 8th Direct Access Ramp on I-405. The 405 tolling authorization bill adopted in 2019 included $20 million to finance design and right-of-way costs associated with North 8th and the Legislature directed that additional funding be secured for its ultimate construction.

Support / Oppose and Track / Monitor Issues

Budget and Fiscal Matters

B&O Tax Authority: Local authority for cities that impose a B&O tax should be preserved. The city will oppose efforts to undercut local authority.

Marijuana Revenue Distributions: The Legislature should adhere to previous agreements to take city and county marijuana excise tax distributions from $30 million to $40 million a biennium. Renton will support any 2020 effort along those lines.

Criminal Justice/Public Safety/Fire/Courts

Drug and Property Seizure and Forfeiture Laws: Renton will join the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), AWC, and others in opposing efforts to weaken these laws.

Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Case Management System Upgrades: Renton will support legislative efforts to add needed funds for Municipal and District Court upgrades.

Use of “Facial Recognition” Technology by Local Law Enforcement: Renton understands and appreciates the necessity of rules and regulations for use of ‘facial recognition’ in our society, but would oppose legislation that undermines the ability of local law enforcement to use this important tool for criminal-investigative and crime-solving purposes such as missing persons cases.

Economic Development/Infrastructure/Affordable Housing/Homelessness

Tax-Increment Financing/Local Revitalization Financing: Renton will strongly support 2020 legislation to establish a robust “TIF” program in Washington State law—or at the very least, to re-establish funding for the LRF program. The city will also work to ensure that TIF/LRF legislation allows brownfield site restoration as an eligible use.

Public Works Assistance Account: Renton supports efforts to rebuild the PWAA and recapture funding streams previously diverted into the Education Legacy Account.

Affordable Housing: Renton will support efforts to add more tools and resources for addressing the affordable housing crisis in our state.

Homelessness “Bill of Rights”: Renton is a city that believes in treating those experiencing homelessness with compassion and understanding. However, the city opposes legislation that is over-reaching and could subject law enforcement officers to ‘harassment’ charges simply for contacting individuals or helping them find appropriate services, treatment, or other assistance.

Funding and tools to perform seismic retrofits on historic buildings: Renton is prepared to support legislative efforts and proposals on this front.

Land Use/Growth Management Act (GMA)

Update timelines for GMA, Shoreline, Critical Area Plans: Renton strongly supports legislative initiatives to put the update schedules on a 10-year cycle so that they are in sync with the 10-year census population updates.

Local authority over how to add Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs): Renton is a major proponent of adding ADUs into local communities. However, the city opposes legislation that would mandate specific development standards and regulations. Such decisions are best left to elected officials at the local level.

Local Government in General

Updates to the “No-Dig Law”:  Renton is participating in a 2019 interim task force to build consensus around needed changes and updates to the “No-Dig Law” and is prepared to support legislation coming forward in 2020.

Parks and Recreation/Arts and Culture

Local funding options for parks and recreation agencies: Renton will support legislation that provides new funding options for parks and recreation agencies run by cities, counties, Metropolitan Park Districts, and Park Districts.

Cultural Access Authorities: Renton will support 2020 legislation to make changes in the Cultural Access laws so that King County is under the same requirements as all other counties.

Personnel, Pension, and other Human Resource Issues

Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) for PERS 1 Retirees: Renton is very supportive of the men and women who are in the Public Employees’ Retirement System Plan 1 (PERS 1) and seek COLAs to offset a 2011 freeze to their pension contributions. However, the city joins AWC in opposing legislation that would require employers and employee groups across all PERS systems to pay higher pension-contribution rates to achieve the PERS 1 COLA. The city joins AWC in hoping the Legislature looks at more targeted ways of achieving PERS 1 COLAs.

City of Renton | All Rights Reserved | Powered by CivicLive | © 2020 Intrado Corporation. | Disclaimer