Legislative Agenda

Renton's Key Priorities at a Glance

(last updated: 4/10/19)

2019 Legislative Agenda

Address Public Safety - Fund Critical Needs

Washington State Patrol, Forensics Lab for Sexual Assault & Rape Kit Testing: Renton supports funding and efforts to assist local law enforcement with criminal investigations by reducing the backlog of kits to be tested.

Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA): Renton will participate in a coalition seeking funds to increase the base budget for BLEA classes from 10 to 19.

Mental Health Field Response Teams: Renton supports the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs in extending their program and funds for mental health co-response teams up to $10 million through 2019–21.

Jail bed rates paid by Department of Corrections (DOC) for state prisoners: Renton will support an initiative by SCORE to adjust rates for DOC and King County Jail to more equitably reflect market-based costs for housing prisoners and mental health-related treatment.

Enhance the Quality of Life

2017–19 Capital Budget—“Renton Connector” and Gene Coulon Park Investments: Renton urges legislators to enact a robust 2019-21 Capital Budget that makes strong investments in local community projects. 

  • Downtown Civic Core project. “Renton Connector” $2 million:  Renton will seek $2 million to extend Burnett Linear Park north to establish pedestrian/bike/trail connections near the Cedar River and stimulate economic vitality for a lower-income neighborhood within the city core.
  • Gene Coulon Park—upgrade playground equipment $600,000: Renton will seek $600,000 to upgrade playground equipment at this park, which serves lower-income families in the Puget Sound region and will also help serve the growth occurring in the Southport area. Renton would pair the state investment with over $14 million in locally-bonded upgrades to the city’s park system.

Affordable Housing, Homelessness Prevention, Mental Health: Renton will support initiatives and options to help cities address affordable housing, including a $200 million request for the Housing Trust Fund and a renewed effort around SHB 2437, which provides state sales tax credits for affordable housing, supportive services, and homeless shelters.


Promote Fiscal Stability

Renton will seek to ensure that the 2019–21 Operating Budget protects funding levels for state-shared revenues and existing vital distributions including liquor, marijuana, and municipal criminal justice assistance.

Invest in Transportation

Interstate 405 HOT Lanes Authorization:  Renton will support and assist with legislation to authorize/reauthorize the use of High-Occupancy Toll lanes on I-405, State Route 167, and the SR 167/State Route 509 “Gateway” project. Dedicated lanes on the Renton-to-Bellevue segment of I-405 are essential to the success of ST 3 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in 2024. Additionally, should the Legislature choose to pledge toll proceeds to bond additional revenue on I-405, the city will work to ensure that funding is equitably distributed and includes capital investments through Renton.

$1.75 million for Williams and Wells improvements related to SR 900 transition:  Renton will seek and combine with matching funds to improve key intersections at Williams Avenue South and Wells Avenue South. This project is part of a larger initiative to change one-way to two-way traffic, finishing the conversion of State Route 900 through Renton into a local arterial and creating a more pedestrian/bike-friendly downtown.

I-405/44th Avenue green-scaping: Renton will seek $210,000 to enhance landscaping, greenery, signage, and gateway features at the I-405/44th Avenue roundabouts being constructed by WSDOT as part of the Connecting Washington Package and ST 3 BRT.

Transportation Revenue Package: Certain legislators are promoting the idea of a “mini-package” to enhance revenue for critical transportation infrastructure investments. Renton is prepared to support such a package.

Support / Oppose and Track / Monitor Issues

Budget and Fiscal Matters

Oppose any new unfunded or under-funded mandates and protect local revenue authority. 

Support legislation on B&O tax apportionment; however, Renton will support such legislation only if it is revenue-neutral for cities.

Support legislation expected to be put forth by City of Tacoma, providing jurisdictions more time to join the File Local system for one-stop business license and B&O tax payments.
Support legislative initiatives that may emerge to replace the one percent property tax cap on local governments with a system that is based on inflation and population growth.

Criminal Justice/Public Safety/Fire/Courts

Oppose Oppose legislation that would make drug and property forfeitures more difficult and burdensome. 

Support legislation providing law enforcement agencies ongoing, affordable, and predictable access to the use of naloxone as a last-resort treatment for opioid-addicted offenders.

Track and monitor legislation to implement a statewide relicensing program for Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) offenses. Such a program should not cancel out successful relicensing and payment plans—or absolve drivers of insurance requirements—in individual jurisdictions.

Track legislation on police “use of force” in criminal cases.

Track legislation regarding law enforcement protocols for immigrant workers.

Economic Development / Infrastructure

Support 2019–21 Capital Budget funding that preserves the remaining funding for the Public Works Assistance Account (Public Works Trust Fund).

Support legislative initiatives to re-establish state funding and partnerships for economic development incentive programs such as the Local Revitalization Financing program (LRF) or the Local Infrastructure Assistance Tools (LIFT) program.

Support Capital Budget funding that invests in infrastructure programs to support local communities, including stormwater grants, Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) account, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP), Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF), and Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA).

Support legislation to extend and potentially expand funding for the Main Street program.
Track legislative efforts related to the use of lodging tax revenues to ensure it does not restrict or remove existing spending authority for cities.

Track legislative initiatives involving the establishment of a State Infrastructure Bank..

Land Use/Growth Management Act (GMA)

Support initiatives that better enable builders to construct market-rate condominiums to provide additional housing choices for homebuyers, particularly first-time homebuyers who may not be able to afford single-family homes in the Puget Sound market.r prescription drugs and certain types of paints

Local Government in General/Miscellaneous

Support efforts to standardize and streamline the permitting process for future 5G wireless services. However, Renton opposes legislation that would undermine local rights-of-way authority, local control, and the ability of cities and PUDs to recover fair market value for use of that valuable right-of-way.

Support expected 2019 legislation that will reform and streamline the intense level of documentation that local agencies have been asked to submit through PRA legislation adopted in 2017.

Support initiatives that can help reduce costs for cities and counties or make service delivery more efficient.

Support legislation to streamline and improve the administration of the “No Dig Law.” 

Track legislation regarding Washington State emergency management statutes, working to ensure that proposed bills do not impose any new mandates on locally-run programs.d.

Parks and Recreation

Support legislation being put forth by Washington Recreation and Park Association (WRPA) to give parks and recreation agencies additional funding options, particularly for ongoing operating needs, key capital investments, and maintenance backlogs.

Personnel, Pension, and other Human Resource Issues

Oppose legislation that adds new costs and requirements to employee benefit programs without accompanying funds.

Oppose legislation that expands “presumptive disease” laws and definitions in the area of Workers’ Compensation claims, particularly those efforts that seek expansion without a scientific basis.

Oppose bills or budget initiatives that increase employer/employee pension rates.

Transportation/Transit

Support initiatives to augment funding opportunities for culvert repairs and removals.

Support extending and enhancing funding for Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) programs.
Support legislative initiatives to ensure sustainable funding for public transit providers.

Water Supply

Support a “Foster fix” bill in 2019 that re-establishes the ability of water supply utilities to forge agreements with Department of Ecology on mitigation to ensure long-term supply while protecting instream flows and the natural environment.s.

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