Legislative Priorities for Pierce County

Proposed Resolution No. R2020-116

Title: A Resolution of the Pierce County Council Adopting the Pierce County Washington State Legislative Priorities 2021. (2021 State Legislative Priorities)

The Pierce County Council in its November 17, 2020, 3:00 p.m. regular meeting will adopt its legislative priorities for the 2021 meeting of the legislature. The Post thought you would find the list interesting. Public comment will be accepted at the meeting. Please follow these instructions to watch the meeting and comment, Remote Participation in Pierce County Council Meetings.

Exhibit A to Resolution No. R2020-116

Pierce County State Legislative Priorities

  1. Public Safety
    1. Pierce County supports legislative efforts to improve public safety by supporting:
      1. Measures that reduce the number and severity of sex offenders released into Pierce County.
      1. Prohibition of the placement of sexually violent offenders into adult family homes.
      1. Increased state funding for criminal justice services, including indigent defense and therapeutic courts.
      1. Expanding the statutory definition of theft to include “concealing the property of another intending to deprive the other person of its use or benefit.”
      1. Maintaining state felony monetary thresholds at current levels.
      1. Funding for training regarding use of force standards that include de-escalation, duty to intervene, ban on chokehold constriction of airways.
      1. Funding to equip all law enforcement personnel with body and dash cameras and policy providing the State is the custodian of the records for purposes of addressing public disclosure requirements.
      1. A research pilot program designed to promote equity by analyzing de-identified criminal justice and related data for all jurisdictions in Pierce County.
  1. Community and Behavioral Health
    1. Pierce County supports legislative efforts to improve community and behavioral health services by supporting:
      1. Equitable access to behavioral health services so that those suffering from mental health issues can stay in, and/or return to, their communities of origin.
        1. Pierce County supports “fair share” community placement of those released from Western State Hospital.
          1. Financing of appropriate facilities and care for these individuals, which includes the continued use of secure facilities for those with a violent history.
      1. Legislation establishing local notice in the siting of adult family homes.
      1. Funding to improve access to crisis information and referrals offered through services such as Washington 2-1-1. 
      1. Expanding degree programs in Behavioral Health fields, i.e. Psychiatric doctors, psychologists, ARNPs specializing in behavioral health, social workers and peer counselors.
      1. Funding to maintain and increase the co-responder program (Trueblood funds terminates in 2021).
      1. Increased reimbursement for involuntary treatment act (ITA) hearings held at Western State Hospital.
      1. Funding for foundational public health services to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and improve environmental health.
      1. Funding for childcare expansion.
      1. Structural reform in local Medicaid delivery through the Pierce County Accountable Care Organization pilot program.
  1. Housing Attainment
    1. Pierce County supports improved access to housing by supporting:
      1. Incentivized housing solutions, including redevelopment within federal opportunity zones.
      1. Increased flexibility for affordable housing resources.
      1. Efforts of the South Sound Housing Affordability Partners to advocate for policies that keep housing obtainable and encourage greater jobs/housing balance in the South Sound Region, including:
        1. Resources for rent and foreclosure-prevention assistance.
        1. Preserve and fund the Housing Trust Fund.
        1. Reform of the multi-family tax exemption – including tax incentives for redevelopment of urban unincorporated areas in high-capacity transit corridors.
        1. Authorize a local option for graduated Real Estate Excise Tax.
      1. Legislation allowing the establishment of commercial boarding homes in urban and rural areas. 
  1. Economic Development
    1. Pierce County supports legislative efforts to promote local economic development by supporting:
      1. Initiatives to improve workforce development and skills.
      1. Investments in parks and tourism, including state funding for community centers and the incorporation of regional trails plans into state trails plans.
      1. Expanding degree programs at the University of Washington – Tacoma, particularly in engineering and IT-related fields.
      1. Continued progress toward establishing a law program at the University of Washington – Tacoma.
      1. Efforts of local businesses to establish or expand technology enterprises such as cybersecurity and data storage and collection.
        1. Expanded eligibility for existing data center tax incentives.
      1. Tax and fee relief measures, including the reinstatement of a research and development tax credit.
      1. Expanded and new economic development tools including tax increment financing, and local revitalization financing.
      1. State funding for agricultural fairs.
      1. Increasing broadband internet service to underserved communities.
  2. Infrastructure
    1. Pierce County supports legislative efforts to improve mobility and infrastructure in the region by supporting:
      1. Canyon Road funding.
      1. Cross-Base Highway funding (SR 704).
      1. SR 302 – Elgin Clifton Rd to SR 16 – Corridor Study funding.  
      1. SR 162 widening.
      1. Local bridge preservation funding.
      1. Narrows Bridge Toll relief.
      1. New Rhodes Lake Road signalization consistent with Pierce County’s SEIS for the project.
      1. Funding for failing class A water systems and relief from receivership provisions for failing systems.
      1. The promotion of electric/hybrid aviation use at Thun Field and Tacoma Narrows airports.
      1. Grant funding for electric vehicle charging stations.
      1. Working with local partners to redirect Phase 4 Thorne Street Connector funding to an agreed upon alternative.
      1. SR 167 coalition efforts to protect the Gateway Project.
      1. Support efforts to protect the funding and construction schedules of Connecting Washington transportation projects in the region.
      1. Fish passage improvements (culvert replacements).
      1. Local ferry service support.
      1. Pierce Transit BRT service.
      1. Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge replacement.

6.   Fiscal Stewardship

a.   Pierce County supports legislative efforts to improve fiscal stewardship by supporting:

  1. Increases to state shared revenues.
    1. No additional unfunded state mandates.
    1. Local funding flexibility.
    1. Funding to address COVID-related impacts not covered by federal funding.
    1. Changes to state law that allow for more efficient continuity of county operations during declared emergencies.

7.   Capital Budget

  1. Pierce County supports legislative efforts to enact a capital budget that includes funding for:
    1. Frontier Park Arena (roof).
    1. Puyallup River boat ramp.
    1. Asia Pacific Cultural Center.
    1. Drinking water system repair.
    1. Prairie Line Trail Phase II.
    1. Tacoma to Puyallup Regional Trail Connection.
    1. Sprinker Recreation Center.
    1. Floodplains by Design and other river restoration and environmental mitigation funding.
    1. A new 16-bed Crisis Recovery Center located in an underserved area of Pierce County (Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula).

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sally Boyle says:

    Thanks for posting such valuable information!

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