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Get Involved and Volunteer!

Get Involved & Volunteer!

WRPA is membership driven – we achieve only what we ourselves commit to do. By sharing your energy and expertise you will make WRPA an even more effective professional resource.
In fact, without you, we would not be able to offer any programs!`
As a volunteer, you will help us plan and implement projects, meet new members from other park & recreations, have some fun and sometimes learn inside information.
WRPA has implemented new committees that are currently looking to grow in size!

Opportunities to Volunteer

Committees Networks
Awards Committee Park Resources Network
Communications Committee Aquatics Network
Legislative Committee Athletics Network
Resource Development Committee Administrators Network
Finance Committee Facilities Network
Membership Committee  
Sponsors & Exhibitors Committee  
Professional Development Committee  
Certified Playground Safety Inspectors  

Legislative Update from WRPA Lobbyist

The Legislature made itself “special” in Week 15 – just not in the way most of us think of that term.

Bowing to the inevitable, legislative leaders and the Governor agreed last week on a 30-day Special Session that is to commence Wednesday (April 29).  The Governor and legislative leaders concluded there was simply no way to negotiate final budgets by the scheduled April 26 “Sine Die” that marks the end of the Regular Session.  Nor was there a way to negotiate a final capital budget.  Or school funding and school levy reforms.  Or a final transportation package.  Or a final marijuana regulation and revenue-sharing bill.  And so on.

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ORPA Offering ADA Workshop with National Expert John McGovern

ORPA Offering ADA Workshop with National Expert John McGovern

May 7 | Lake Oswego OR (just 18 miles south of Vancouver)

The Oregon Recreation & Park Association invites WRPA members to its May 7 ADA workshop with John McGovern, nationally-recognized parks and recreation ADA expert.  John will present the following half-day sessions for ORPA on May 7 in Lake Oswego:

Accessibility for New and Existing Facilities and Sites | 8:00 a.m. to Noon The facilities and sites component covers the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design for new and existing facilities, the Final Guideline for Outdoor Recreation Sites, and ADA Title II administrative requirements.



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Legislative Update from WRPA Lobbyist

A lot of landmark action occurred in Week 14 – from the House Transportation Committee passing transportation revenue measures to Senators introducing dueling school “levy reform” bills to help finance K-12 education to a House Finance Committee hearing on legislation related to city and county fiscal needs. Yet, the week will probably be remembered more for one key area of inaction.

During Week 14, Senate and House operating budget negotiators did well on trading accusations, but not so well on making progress.  With a week to go until the April 26 “Sine Die” for the 2015 Regular Session, it is now all but certain the Legislature will go into at least one 30-day Special Session.  Look for Governor Inslee to call a 30-day ‘rolling Session’ where most Senate and House Members are available as needed, and in some cases hold hearings on particular budget ‘trailer’ bills, while a cadre of Members continue their negotiations.

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Washington youth sports administrator joins inaugural CYSA Leadership Committee

Washington youth sports administrator joins inaugural CYSA Leadership Committee

CYSA Leadership Committee is first of its kind to unify youth sports administration
The National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) is proud to announce the formation of an inaugural CYSA Leadership Committee. The committee consists of Rick Bruya, recreation coordinator at Auburn Parks and Recreation and Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA), as well as other CYSAs from around the world, dedicated to operating youth sports programs with integrity and professionalism.
The CYSA Leadership Committee is the first of its kind and brings together youth sports administrators to further promote the need for education and professional standards of those overseeing youth sports programs. The Committee will also help guide policy and standards in youth sports programming and administration.
The inaugural CYSA Leadership Committee has 26 founding members from municipal park and recreation agencies, Boys & Girls Clubs and U.S. military youth sports programs.
“I am very excited about being a part of the inaugural CYSA Leadership Committee,” said Bruya. “I’ve had involvement with my state association but now I have the opportunity to be part of this national level leadership committee for youth sports and can’t wait to get started.”
Youth sports administrators play a crucial role across the youth sports landscape. They are responsible for tasks like upholding the program’s youth sports philosophy, volunteer and parent management, conflict resolution, assessing insurance and risk management, program evaluation and marketing. The CYSA curriculum, offered through the Academy for Youth Sports Administrators, has certified more than 3,000 professionals and educates youth sports administrators on these topics and more.
Administrators with the CYSA credential are highly regarded because they complete the necessary training and continuing education requirements to fulfill the duties of their position. Training for these professionals is the key to raising the level of professionalism in youth sports and setting the standard for successful youth sports in each community.
“The CYSA Leadership Committee is a game changer for today’s youth sports,” said Lisa Licata, director of professional youth sports administrator programs at NAYS. “There needs to be a CYSA in every community – a leader equipped to handle these topics, oversee the community’s entire youth sports operation and enforce a positive youth sport philosophy on behalf of the children. We are happy to have Rick as part of the CYSA Leadership Committee.”
The CYSA Leadership Committee is an initiative of the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS), America's leading advocate for positive and safe sports and activities for children. The non-profit 501(c)(3) organization is based in West Palm Beach, Fla. Today, NAYS offers programs and services for everyone involved in youth sports experiences, including professional administrators, volunteer administrators, volunteer coaches, officials, parents and young athletes. For more information, please visit www.nays.org.

Legislative Update from WRPA Lobbyist

Week 13 began with Senate passage of a 2015-17 Operating Budget bill and ended with House action on two marijuana bills, with the Senate rollout of a 2015-17 Capital Budget in-between the two.

We’re now past all Committee cutoff deadlines, into the final few days of Floor action on “opposite Chamber” bills, and poised for a homestretch run that will tell us whether the Legislature can complete its business by the scheduled Sunday, April 26 “Sine Die.”  Given the significant and very possibly contentious negotiations still ahead on Operating and Capital Budgets and a transportation package, most Olympia watchers doubt state lawmakers can avoid at least one 30-day Special Session.  Still, hope reigns supreme, with House Appropriations Chair Ross Hunter (D-Medina/48th Dist.) contributing this quotable line to the Seattle Times about the prospects of finishing on time:  “My interest in living in Olympia is very low,” Hunter said. “I’m excited about getting out of town.”

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Legislative Update from WRPA Lobbyist

The Week 12 story in the Legislature could be summed up as, “It’s all about the money.”  From Tuesday through Thursday and even into the wee hours of Friday morning, there were spirited Committee and Floor debates over funding-policy choices in the dueling Senate and House Operating Budgets for 2015-17.

We also received a slimmed-down picture last week of which bills survived the thicket of policy committees, as an April 1 cutoff deadline came and went.  This Tuesday is another important deadline, looming for any bill that has fiscal implications and is not directly tied to implementing the respective budgets.  Beginning Wednesday, the remainder of the 2015 Regular Session will be all about the budgets, Floor action, Rules Committees, and the down-the-homestretch reconciling of bills that passed both chambers.

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Legislative Update from WRPA Lobbyist

The Friday rollouts of House Operating and Capital Budgets for 2015-17 – as well as a jam-packed House hearing on transportation revenue the day prior to that – hogged the Week 11 spotlight and set the stage for intense negotiations that will dominate the agenda down the homestretch of the 2015 Session.

We will see policy committees run up against deadlines this Wednesday for opposite-chamber bills to either “live” or “die” – with an April 7 deadline on the horizon for fiscal committees.  Also on Wednesday, we expect to see the unveiling of the Senate’s no-new-taxes approach to the Operating Budget.

I’ve provided comprehensive memos that give a lay of the land on the Operating and Capital Budget fronts as well as next steps on the transportation package.  The Operating Budget introduced Friday stands up well to the “do no harm” test and provide some potential revenue benefits for local governments.  The Capital Budget provides some significant infrastructure investment benefits for parks and recreation.  

This coming Wednesday, it is possible the Senate’s Operating Budget may include a few ‘hits’ on local government state-shared revenues and the Public Works Assistance Account.  In terms of the Senate’s capital budget, we hear it will either come out late in Week 12 or possibly early in Week 13.  We shall see.
Looking at Week 11 through a WRPA lens, it was fairly positive, though we did not get the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) grant funding level we had hoped for.  That said, there was pretty good news in the budgets for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP), the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA), and our sales tax simplification bill on amusement, recreation services, and physical fitness services.

Following is an overview of where we stand on 2015 WRPA “Top Priority” and “Support” items, and a bullet-style rundown on a few others.  Some Week 12 hearings are listed at the bottom of this report (Pg. 5-6).

Top Priorities
Enhance WWRP funding in 2015-17 Capital Budget (Capital Budget):  The House Capital Budget introduced Friday funds WWRP at $75 million, above the Governor’s mark ($70 million) albeit less than the $80 million we heard about.  Still, the House will be the WWRP “high water mark” and there appears to be no way the program will approach the $97 million funding level first sought by advocates (including us).  There appears to be a growing likelihood that the Senate may break the WWRP program apart in some way through its budget, funding mostly local parks and trails projects but not state agency land acquisitions or habitat/riparian projects.  That might be appealing to us on some emotional levels, but of course we have been strong supporters of maintaining the integrity of the WWRP.  I am scheduling a Legislative Committee conference call in the next couple of days to discuss all of this and receive further direction from all of you.

HB 1550 - DOR request legislation on “Amusement and Recreation Services” sales taxes (Policy Bill):  Last Wednesday, Olympia Parks and Recreation Director Paul Simmons and Redmond Recreation Manager Mark Hickok joined me in testifying for this WRPA priority bill.  Sen. Andy Hill (R-Redmond/45th Dist.), chair of the Ways & Means Committee, sponsored a very similar bill in 2014.  The Department of Revenue (DOR) indicates HB 1550 is funded in the House Operating Budget unveiled Friday, which is very good news.  1550 simplifies sales taxation of “amusement and recreation services” and reduces the administrative tax collection burden associated with these services.  The DOR legislation would statutorily exempt swim lessons as well as basketball, soccer, softball, and volleyball leagues.

Re-establish competitive grant funding for the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) program (Capital Budget):  While we had hopes of a $6 million funding level, the House Capital Budget trotted out Friday would fund the YAF at $3 million, the same level as proposed in the Governor’s budget.  As I have shared previously, the Senate appears prepared to provide $6 million for the YAF in its 2015-17 Capital Budget.  The Senate’s Capital Budget Chair, Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside/15th Dist.), will include some type of conditional language with the funding.  Sen. Honeyford does not want to see jurisdictions receive YAF grants and then place new fees, or inordinately high fees, on youth non-profit groups that may well have a significant number of low- and lower-income participants.  We forwarded three language options to the Senator’s Ways & Means staff coordinator and await word back.

Support Key Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Outdoor Recreation (Capital and Operating Budgets; Policy Bills):  The House Environment Committee has scheduled a 1:30 p.m. “Executive Session” today to advance ESSB 5843 regarding outdoor recreation.  The two bill sponsors, Sens. Kevin Ranker (D-San Juan Islands/40th Dist.) and Linda Parlette (R-Wenatchee/12th Dist.), testified in strong support of the legislation last Monday, as did we.  5843 includes two key recommendations that came out of a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Outdoor Recreation but were not advanced by Governor Inslee:  1) an outdoor recreation sector lead within the Governor’s office; and 2) re-established funding for the “No Child Left Inside” (NCLI) program.  Funding for these two items will be subject to the budget process.

On other Task Force recommendations in the Governor’s Budget or introduced as bills or budget items:
•       Sustainable State Parks Funding:  State Parks officials were a bit discouraged by the House Operating and Capital Budgets that came out Friday.  The Operating Budget comes close to matching the funding level put forth by the Governor ($136 million in General Fund, litter tax revenues, and fee-for-service earnings through Discover Pass et al), but does not include any of the funding enhancement ideas that Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Dungeness/24th Dist.) had worked on.  Meanwhile, the Capital Budget funding level for Parks, $55 million, is significantly below the funding level they saw in the Governor’s proposed budget.  This is step one in a lengthy budget process and we will be prepared to support State Parks in their efforts to ‘plus up’ their funding levels.
•       “Marine Tourism Bill” – SB 5878/HB 1681:  This legislation, chiefly promoted by the Northwest Marine Trade Association and supported by recreational boaters, would extend the number of months that large, LLC-designated boaters could spend in Washington State waters before being subject to use tax.  Both the House and Senate bills had hearings last week.  The House bill is not reflected in the Operating Budget introduced Friday by the House, but boating interests have hopes of seeing their tax-incentive bill included in the Senate budget.
•       “Lid removal” for non-highway purpose fuel tax accounts:  I will be part of a meeting this morning with Senate Transportation Chair Curtis King (R-Yakima/14th Dist.) regarding SHB 1738.  While this bill is poised to clear Senate Transportation, Chairman King has a proposed amendment to it that delays the implementation date agreed to in the House.  1738 is sponsored by House Transportation Ranking Member Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama/20th Dist.) and co-sponsored by Chairwoman Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island/41st Dist.).  1738 includes a future-year removal – the year 2031 -- of a ‘lid’ that has diverted the percentage allocation of 14 ½ cents of gas tax into the Motor Vehicle Fund rather than into the dedicated accounts for boating facilities, off-road vehicles (“NOVA” account), and snowmobiling.  While Rep. Orcutt’s bill targets a specific year, the King amendment establishes more of a process of determining the specific year for ‘fixing’ the 14 ½-cent diversion.

Aquatics Nework - New WSI Course!

Aquatics Network Communications

Aquatics Retreat

September 27 - 29, 2015
Great Wolf Lodge
Save the Date!



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Drones or unmanned aricraft use in parks

Hello WRPA!

Does your department have a policy or rule that allows citizens to fly hobby or recreational radio controlled helicopters (with or without cameras), planes, drones, unmanned aircraft (UMA) etc. in their parks? Or do you know it is occurring and look the other way? Lori Flemm, Director of Lacey Parks & Recreation would like to chat with you!

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Legislative updated from WRPA Lobbyist

After a couple weeks of Floor action, the Legislature spent Week 10 focused on committee hearings and policy bills.  At this point of Session, committees are hearing “opposite chamber” bills – meaning ‘alive’ Senate bills are in front of the House and surviving House bills try to avoid ‘dying’ as they wind through the Senate.

And who better to bring a living-and-dying theme to life than a bunch of zombies? They were in Olympia last Tuesday, courtesy of a filming on the Capital campus by the cast and crew of the show “Z Nation.”  Characters in full zombie costumes filmed the show and simultaneously promoted film industry tax incentives that will be before the Senate Ways & Means Committee this coming Wednesday (Senate Bill 6027).

Back in the land of the living, we are coming up on April 1 (no fooling) and April 7 deadlines for policy and fiscal committees on these opposite-chamber bills.  But before that, we will see the unveiling of House operating and capital budgets.  Up until the end of Week 10 we expected the House rollout date to be Monday, March 30; there is now a chance it could be Friday, March 27.  The House budget is expected to include as much as $1.5 billion in new revenue sources, including bringing the B&O tax rate back up to .018 percent (it is at .015 now), instituting a capital gains tax, and establishing some type of carbon pollution charges to be proposed by House Appropriations Chair Ross Hunter (D-Medina/48th Dist.).  The House Capital Budget likely will roll out the same day.

The House-Senate showdown on budgets is already shaping up, as the Senate prepares to introduce budgets without new revenues.  Additionally, Senate budget leaders are contending the House budget will not be a “complete budget” unless House leaders show they can not only introduce new tax-revenue proposals, but assemble the necessary 50 votes to pass them.  House leaders will have a different take on all this, of course.  For a glimpse into the Senate perspective, here’s a look at a “Windows into the Budget” piece by Senate Ways & Means Chair Andy Hill (R-Redmond/45th Dist.), entitled “Unbalanced Budgets don’t’ count.”  Senate Majority Coalition Members are widely referring to and linking it in e-newsletters to their constituents.

Needless to say, the budgets will be a dominant issue over the new few weeks, and we’ll make sure to keep you up to date as everything progresses.

It was a very good Week 10 for us at WRPA, as legislative committees scheduled hearings on our priority bills on outdoor recreation and transportation and sales tax simplification.  Unfortunately, we do have legislation to mandate the deferral of Growth Management Act (GMA) impact fees continuing to advance. Following is an overview of where we stand on 2015 WRPA “Top Priority” and “Support” items, and a bullet-style rundown on a few others.  There are some Week 11 hearings listed at the bottom of this report (Pg. 6).
Top Priorities

Enhance WWRP funding in 2015-17 Capital Budget (Capital Budget):  Not much new to report.  The House will be the “high water mark” and may be looking at $80 million as a funding level.  We are not hearing specific funding levels from the Senate.  We had joined WWRC in pushing for $97 million for the program, while the Governor initiated the discussion with a 2015-17 Capital Budget level of $70 million.

HB 1550 - Department of Revenue (DOR) request legislation on “Amusement and Recreation Services” sales taxes (Policy Bill):  On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Ways & Means Committee will hold a hearing on 1550.  I want to pass along my thanks to Redmond Parks Director Craig Larsen for agreeing to send Recreation Manager Mark Hickok down to Olympia to join me in testifying for this bill.  One of Redmond’s two state Senators, Sen. Andy Hill (R-Redmond/45th Dist.), chairs the Committee.   HB 1550 simplifies sales taxation of “amusement and recreation services” and reduces the administrative tax collection burden associated with these services.  The DOR legislation would statutorily exempt swim lessons as well as basketball, soccer, softball, and volleyball leagues.

Re-establish competitive grant funding for the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) program (Capital Budget):  Not much new to report.  As I have shared previously, the Senate appears prepared to provide $6 million for the YAF in its 2015-17 Capital Budget.  That said, the Senate’s Capital Budget Chair, Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside/15th Dist.), wants to put some type of conditional language with the funding.  Sen. Honeyford does not want to see jurisdictions receive YAF grants and then place new fees, or inordinately high fees, on youth non-profit groups that may well have a significant number of low- and lower-income participants.  We have forwarded three language options to the Senator’s Ways & Means staff coordinator and we are awaiting word back.

Support Key Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Outdoor Recreation (Capital and Operating Budgets; Policy Bills):  The House Environment Committee has scheduled a 1:30 p.m. hearing today (Monday) on ESSB 5843 regarding outdoor recreation.  We expect the two bill sponsors, Sens. Kevin Ranker (D-San Juan Islands/40th Dist.) and Linda Parlette (R-Wenatchee/12th Dist.), to testify in strong support.  5843 includes two key recommendations that came out of a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Outdoor Recreation but were not advanced by Governor Inslee:  1) an outdoor recreation sector lead within the Governor’s office; and 2) re-established funding for the “No Child Left Inside” (NCLI) program.  I will be part of a panel joining the Senators in strong support of 5843.  Funding for these two items will be subject to the budget process.

On other Task Force recommendations in the Governor’s Budget or introduced as bills or budget items:
  • Sustainable State Parks Funding:  Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Dungeness/24th Dist.) is taking a lead role on putting together a State Parks funding and outdoor recreation funding budget proposal in the House.  I met last Thursday with Rep. Tharinger and he is looking at a couple of revenue proposals – one involving new revenue and one involving re-directed Watercraft Excise Tax money from the General Fund -- to help provide $23 million in additional funds for State Parks.  I will be meeting today with Daniel Farber of State Parks to discuss this concept further.
  • Real Estate Excise Tax Flexibility:  See below.   
  • “Marine Tourism Bill” – SB 5878/HB 1681:  This legislation, chiefly promoted by the Northwest Marine Trade Association and supported by recreational boaters, would extend the number of months that large, LLC-designated boaters could spend in Washington State waters before being subject to use tax.  The House bill is up for a Tuesday hearing in House Finance while the Senate measure will be heard Wednesday in Ways & Means.
  • “Lid removal” for non-highway purpose fuel tax accounts:  SHB 1738 had a hearing last Monday 16) in the Senate Transportation Committee.  The bill is sponsored by House Transportation Ranking Member Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama/20th Dist.) and co-sponsored by Chairwoman Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island/41st Dist.).  1738 includes a future-year removal of a ‘lid’ that has diverted the percentage allocation of 14 ½ cents of gas tax into the Motor Vehicle Fund rather than into the dedicated accounts for boating facilities, off-road vehicles (“NOVA” account), and snowmobiling.  The legislation targets the year 2031 to fix this issue due to bonding obligations on the transferred funds.

Legislative updated from WRPA Lobbyist

Lawmakers passed through their first major Floor cutoff in Week 9 and narrowed the list of active bills in play.  Legislators also passed the halfway point of the 2015 Session, with many of them flocking home to their Districts to hold weekend Town Hall meetings and hear from home-turf constituents and organizations.
We’re now moving closer to the time when the House will unveil its first Operating and Capital budgets for 2015-17.  The best information we have at this point is that a House Operating Budget rollout will be on Monday, March 30, or within days thereafter.

While we have our own perspective on the key bills and issues, I thought you might find it interesting to see how others viewed the first cutoff.  Linked below to go along with this report is an Associated Press story detailing some of the “alive” and “dead” bills from a ‘how it affects the general public’ vantage point. Read More here.

It was a pretty decent Week 9 for us at WRPA, as bills on outdoor recreation and non-highway fuel tax refunds passed off the Senate and House floors, as did a Public Records Act bill we support.  On the other hand, legislation to flex up Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) funds is in trouble, and legislation to mandate the deferral of Growth Management Act (GMA) impact fees is on the House hearing calendar.

Following is an overview of where we stand on 2015 WRPA “Top Priority” and “Support” items, and a bullet-style rundown on a few other bills.  There are some Week 10 hearings listed at the bottom of this report.

Top Priorities

Enhance WWRP funding in 2015-17 Capital Budget (Capital Budget):  Not much new to report.  As I shared in last week’s report, we are getting signals that the House may be looking at $80 million as a funding level.  We are not hearing specific funding levels from the Senate, but we do know a number of Senators are raising loud concerns about WWRP land acquisition funding going to state resource agencies.  We’ve joined the WWRC in pushing for $97 million for the program, and the Governor started the legislative process by sending over a 2015-17 Capital Budget with a $70 million funding level.

HB 1550 - Department of Revenue (DOR) request legislation on “Amusement and Recreation Services” sales taxes (Policy Bill):  Last Friday, I spoke with Senate Ways & Means Chairman Andy Hill (R-Redmond/45th Dist.) regarding 1550.  It was a very brief but very positive conversation about this bill, which is pending in Ways & Means.  To give you a sense, 1550 is quite similar to ESSB 6472, which Senator Hill sponsored in 2014 and which the Senate passed in 2014.   HB 1550 simplifies sales taxation of “amusement and recreation services” and reduces the administrative tax collection burden associated with these services.  The DOR legislation would statutorily exempt swim lessons as well as basketball, soccer, softball, and volleyball leagues.

Re-establish competitive grant funding for the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) program (Capital Budget):  Last Friday, I also met with Senate Ways & Means staff to see if there was any word back regarding three different options we shared with the Capital Budget Chair, Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside/15th Dist.), on conditioning YAF funding in the 2015-17 Capital Budget.  I don’t have any new information on Senator Honeyford’s decision on language.  On the good-news side, the Senator appears prepared to provide $6 million for the YAF in his 2015-17 Capital Budget.  That said, he does not want to see jurisdictions receive YAF grants and then place new fees, or what he believes to be inordinate fees, on youth non-profit groups that may well have a significant number of low- and lower-income participants.  We tried very hard to forward options to Senator Honeyford that were not overly prescriptive and that did not undermine your ability to charge particular hourly rates, or rental fees, or special tournament fees.  I’ll let you know as soon as I do!

Support Key Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Outdoor Recreation (Capital and Operating Budgets; Policy Bills):  Last Wednesday, about 90 minutes before the cutoff deadline, the Senate approved ESSB 5843 by a vote of 46-3. Our thanks to bill sponsors Kevin Ranker (D-San Juan Islands/40th Dist.) and Linda Parlette (R-Wenatchee/12th Dist.) for their great work on this one.  5843 would re-ignite two key Blue Ribbon Task Force on Outdoor Recreation recommendations not advanced by Governor Inslee:  1) an outdoor recreation sector lead within the Governor’s office; and 2) re-established funding for the “No Child Left Inside” (NCLI) program.  The Senate adopted two Floor Amendments, one of which would more specifically direct the sector lead to focus on economic development and job creation work related to outdoor recreation, and one of which subjects the new sector lead to Senate confirmation.  5843 had allocated $1.3 million for the two items ($1 million NCLI, $300,000 sector lead), though that funding was stripped in the Ways & Means Committee and is now subject to the budget process.
As for other Task Force recommendations in the Governor’s Budget or introduced as bills or budget items:
  • Sustainable State Parks Funding:  Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Dungeness/24th Dist.) is taking a lead role on putting together a State Parks funding and outdoor recreation funding budget proposal in the House.  I will be meeting with Rep. Tharinger later this week and will have more details to report next week.  State Parks is looking for about $23.3 million more than the $136 million in 2015-17 Operating funds for Parks in the Governor’s budget.
  • Real Estate Excise Tax Flexibility:  See below.
  • “Lid removal” for non-highway purpose fuel tax accounts:  SHB 1738 passed unanimously off the House Floor on March 9 and had a very positive hearing today (March 16) in the Senate Transportation Committee.  The bill is sponsored by House Transportation Ranking Member Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama/20th Dist.) and co-sponsored by Chairwoman Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island/41st Dist.).  1738 includes a future-year removal of a ‘lid’ that has diverted the percentage allocation of 14 ½ cents of gas tax into the Motor Vehicle Fund rather than into the dedicated accounts for boating facilities, off-road vehicles (“NOVA” account), and snowmobiling.  The legislation targets the year 2031 to fix this issue – the out-year fix is due to bonding obligations on the transferred funds.

Shine a light on your community’s support for trails: host the 2016 Washington State Trails Conference!

Every two years, the Washington State Trails Coalition (WSTC) brings 300 trail advocates and agency leaders together for two days of networking and information sharing.  Conference speakers and participants from across the state gather to inspire and inform users and providers about trails – including equestrian and stock trails, pedestrian, bicycle, ski, and snowshoe trails, snowmobile, motorbike, and OHV trails, plus water, canoe and kayaking trails.

WSTC is now accepting proposals from communities who wish to host the 2016 Conference.

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Legislative updated from WRPA Lobbyist

Minimum wage, sick leave, voting rights, and oil train safety had time in the sun during Week 8 as lawmakers churned through bills on the House and Senate Floor and passed the halfway point of the 2015 Session.

The issues above received a stamp of approval from the House, mostly on party-line votes that will sharpen the distinctions between the narrowly-controlled Democratic House and the narrowly-controlled Majority Coalition Senate.  The bill to increase the statewide minimum wage (HB 1355) to $12 over four years passed 51-46, the bill to mandate minimum sick leave standards for employers (HB 1356) passed 51-46, and the “Voting Rights Act” (ESHB 1745) passed 52-46.  The bill to enhance oil train and oil spill safety through increased user taxes, reporting, and inspections (ESHB 1449) actually garnered nine Republican votes, passing 60-38 last Thursday night. 

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Legislative updated from WRPA Lobbyist

Legislative updated from WRPA Lobbyist

 

WRPA/WWRC Lobby Day in Olympia Wednesday – THANK YOU!Thanks so much to all of you who trekked to Olympia last Wednesday for the WRPA and Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition (WWRC) “Great Outdoors Lobby Day” in the state capital.  It really does make a difference to have our people on the ground, pitching our issues from a “subject matter expert’s” point of view.  We hope the morning briefing, lunch-speakers program, and evening reception were good complements to a day of lobbying on the Hill for all of you.

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Aquatics Network - March Agenda

Aquatics Network Communications

Aquatics Retreat

September 27 - 29, 2015
Great Wolf Lodge
More information to come!

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WRPA Member Passes Away

Katherine Zuleme Luecker

December 12, 1959 – January 27, 2015
Resident of Oakland, CA and Formerly of Portland, OR

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ARPA Educational Session Proposals

The Alaska Recreation and Park Association (ARPA) is accepting education session proposals for the Annual ARPA Conference, October 08 and 09, 2015, in Homer, Alaska.  Do have experience in a particular parks and recreation field you would like to share?  Have you been looking for an opportunity to present to a group of professionals?  Are you interested in seeing the beauty of the last frontier and networking with the most down-to-earth parks and recreation professionals ever?  Now is your chance!  Administration / Customer Service, Aquatics, Park Maintenance, Recreation Services, Therapeutic and Adaptive Recreation, and Wildlands are the areas in which session request are being sought.  Please submit Education Session Proposal Forms by February 28, 2015, to dtyrell@ci.unalaska.ak.us.  D. Tyrell McGirt, ARPA Vice President and Education Chair, can be contacted at (907) 581 – 1297 with any education session proposal questions and concerns.  We look forward to seeing you in Homer as we strive to “Be the Difference”.

Legislative Update from the WRPA Lobbyist

Doug Levy – 2/8/15

Breaking News on Transportation:  I start this report with an encouraging note, having been in contact Friday with key Senators, Senate staff, and Caucus staff involved in all of this.  I can confirm that Senate Majority Coalition Caucus Members and Senate Democrats are very close (“we’re this close,” said one Member, holding his thumb and forefinger a few centimeters apart) to arriving at a deal on a transportation revenue package.  It is hoped that a formal deal could be announced this coming week, though I’m not being provided with a specific day.  What I am gleaning from discussions is that: 

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City of Covington - Request for Proposal

City of Covington
Request for Proposals
for Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan Update

The City of Covington is seeking proposals from qualified consultants to evaluate the City of Covington’s Parks, Recreation and Open Space plan (PROS).  The consultant will evaluate the current plan and will assist in updating the plan to determine current and projected community needs and provide direction for equitable planning and development of the city’s parks, open space, trails, recreation facilities and recreation programs.  All assessment, evaluation, and development will be completed in conjunction with the City of Covington’s parks and recreation staff, commission and relevant stakeholders.
Consultants may pick up the RFP Specification Packet at Covington City Hall located at 16720 SE 271st Street, Suite 100, Covington, Washington or by sending an email request to Angie Feser at afeser@covingtonwa.gov
Proposals are due January, 2015 by 4:00 PM at the following address. 

City of Covington
Parks and Recreation Department
16720 SE 271st Street, Suite #100
Covington, WA  98042