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“Hot-Off-The-Press” Good News From the Recreation & Conservation Funding Board (RCFB)

Funding for Key Programs!

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist 

The RCFB voted unanimously to recommend a $140 million funding level for the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP); with only one dissenting vote to recommend $11.3 million for the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) program; and unanimously to recommend $9.1 million for the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA). These funding recommendations are in synch with what WRPA’s leadership pushed for in a letter signed by President, Paul Simmons, Executive Director, Tiffany Hanzo Martin, and Legislative Steering Committee Chair, Roxanne Miles

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New Outdoor Recreation Sector Economic Analysis and Capital Funding Requests

drawing of capital building dome over the words legislative update and the WRPA logoWRPA Writes Letter in Support of Recreation Funding; Shares Updated Economic Analysis Report

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist

At its August 12 meeting, the Recreation & Conservation Funding Board (RCFB) will be reviewing and listening to Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) staff reports, correspondence from stakeholders, and “in-person” (virtual) testimony as it decides what funding level to recommend to the Governor’s Office for the 2021-23 Capital Budget funding levels for:
  • the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP)
  • the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) account
  • the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA)

WRPA submitted a letter to the RCFB, co-signed by President Paul Simmons, Executive Director Tiffany Hanzo, and Legislative Steering Committee Chair Roxanne Miles, where we second the WWRC’s request for $140M for WWRP and ask for full funding of the YAF ($11.3M) and ALEA ($9.1M) application lists. Both WRPA President Paul Simmons and WRPA Lobbyist Doug Levy will be virtual attendees at the August 12 RCFB Board Meeting and will speak to this further.

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Update from Gov. Inslee's July 23rd Press Conference

 

Eviction Moratorium Extended and New Restrictions on Eateries, Bars, and Indoor Facilities

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist

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Passage in US House Thursday, July 23, 2020 of the Great American Outdoors Act

Assuring $900 Million per year for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist 

A quick report on a pretty historic vote in the U.S. House on Thursday, July 23, 2020—including great news for the sustainable funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). By an overwhelming 310 - 107 vote, the House approved S. 3422, known as the “Great American Outdoors Act.”  The legislation locks in a sustained $900 million per year funding level for LWCF, and additionally allocates $9.5 billion over the next five years to help address M&O backlogs on National parks and other federal lands.

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Additional Restrictions on Indoor Recreation in Phases 2 through 4

WRPA Legislative Update GraphicUpdated Restrictions on Indoor Recreation

A Message from Jon Snyder, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jay Inslee

Because of the ongoing pandemic and the sharp rise in virus transmission in our state, there are a number of areas where we will be announcing new restrictions on activities that previously had more latitude. The goal is to reduce interactions and mobility to slow the spread of transmission. One of these areas is indoor recreation. The changes are as follows:

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Legislative Update on Addressing Budget Shortfall

Updates on Special Session and Budget Shortfall

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist

On Thursday, June 18, virtual meetings were held where both Senate Ways & Means Chair Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island/23rd Dist.) and House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan (D-Covington/47th Dist.) spoke. Both members made it pretty clear that early August to mid-August is what we should expect, and be preparing for, in terms of a Special Session of the Legislature. Based on comments—Sen. Rolfes as a guest speaker before an Association of Washington Cities’ (AWC) Legislative Committee, and Rep. Sullivan with a group of local government lobbyists—this will be a very brief and surgical Special Session to get at budget issues and make some dent in a 4-year, $8.8 billion shortfall.

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Phase 3 of the Governor’s “Safe Start” Re-Opening Plans

Phase 3: Examples of Inconsistencies of the "Safe Start" Re-Opening Plan

A Message from the WRPA Administration Network

As follow-up to the discussion we had at last Thursday's, June 11, 2020, meeting regarding Phase 3 of the Governor’s “Safe start” re-opening plans, and the limitation of 50 people on events and gatherings, the WRPA continues to work with the Governor’s Office on a way to look at these not just with a number but by ensuring safe protocols and social distancing and other structural ways of keeping people separated.

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IMPORTANT UPDATES: Act This Week!

 Protect Existing Resources and S. 3422 - Great American Outdoors Act

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist 

Protect Existing Resources Template and Questions – Would LOVE Local Parks info/illustrations – See COB June 12 timeline

For this item, please review the Protecting Existing Resources Template and questions.  I’m chairing – for an Outdoor Recreation Funding Roundtable spearheaded by State Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline/32nd Dist.) – a ‘Protect Existing Resources’ subcommittee that will assist Rep. Ryu and other participating legislators in understanding the magnitude of the COVID-19 impacts on the outdoor recreation sector, and hopefully provide these legislators with tools and data to protect against damaging cutbacks and reductions in 2020 Special Session and/or 2021 Regular Session deliberations on the state budgets.

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Outdoor Parks & Rec Guidance, 1% Property Tax, New 'Framework' on Gatherings, and Vashon Park District Bill

We Want Your Support

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist 

Friday, May 29, 2020

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Washington State Updates to Phase In Approach

Easing Religious Restrictions, More Counties Authorized to Apply for Phase 2, and Not All Counties Will Be in Phase 2 on June 1, 2020

A Message from Doug Levy, WRPA Lobbyist

Information regarding the Wednesday, May 27, 2020 Press Conference

  • Eased religious-gathering restrictions
  • Noted that two more counties were given authority to apply for Phase 2 – now up to 24 of 39
  • Noted that not all counties will get the okay on June 1, 2020 to proceed to Phase 2 – more details in days to come.

Religious Gathering Restrictions Eased

  • New additional guidance for both Phase I and Phase 2
    • In-person services for Phase 1 – Outdoor services on religious properties or adjacent to. Up to 100 – with appropriate face coverings and safety precautions;
    • In-Person services for Phase 2 – Outdoor services above + indoor services at 25% capacity or 50 individuals – whichever is less.  Also requires face coverings
  • Those in Phase 2 can also do in-home counseling of 5 individuals or less
  • In each case, can do these services multiple times per day
  • The above includes all worship services, study services, weddings, and funerals.  No limits on #/day
  • One restriction on religious services = No choirs.
  • Encouraging (but not requiring – religious institutions to maintain a voluntary log of participants so that we can act quickly if someone does get infected or exposed
  • Says with the easing of these restrictions, religious institutions asked to use common sense and follow the science – 6-feet distance, sanitize frequently, educate employees, PPE
  • Had leaders of Muslim, Jewish, and Lutheran faith speak

Other Items to Note

  • 2 more counties allowed to apply to go to Phase 2 – Walla Walla and one other – now makes 24 of 39
  • Regarding what is allowed on June 1 – more details in days to come but not every county will be able to move to Phase 2 on that particular date
  • Asked about whether he still has confidence in the Employment Security Department Director and what about the people experiencing delays and still not getting checks?  Said people should be upset about a criminal conspiracy, been able to recover millions of $$ with law enforcement help.  Said he won’t sugar-coat the frustration with delays – these claims need to be adjudicated.  But pointed out that this is a historic event, something we have not had in a century, with claims going up by a factor of 10.
  • Asked about whether counties like King, Pierce, and Snohomish might be able to at some point decide for themselves to go forward – also asked if it is possible some counties might get to Phase 3 before others even get to Phase 2?  Said while counties can be more restrictive if they choose, on moving forward have to have some minimum standard.  Have knocked down fatalities a lot and a little reduction in ##s of infections – but can spring back if not careful
  • Asked about how he can dictate religious services when it’s a 1st Amendment right? Said there’s a clear constitutional authority to act and issue orders, guidance in times of emergency.

Outdoor Recreation, Phase 1 Clarifications and Phase 2 Requirements – Proclamation 20-25 and Proclamation 20-25.2

Phase 1 & 2: Recreation Clarification & Requirements

A Message from Governor Jay Inslee

This memorandum serves to make further clarifications for Outdoor Recreation, Phase 1, and sets forth additional Phase 2 criteria.  This memorandum is effective as of May 14, 2020. 

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Learn More About the Western States Pact

Western State Pact: Collective Recovery Plan

A Message from Peter Mayer, Metro Parks Tacoma

Good morning!  First of all, I hope this finds you healthy and rested.  I wanted to send a “shout out” of thanks and share a few developments.

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ACTION NEEDED: A Message From NRPA

Greetings Special Park District Leaders,

I hope this email finds you healthy and well during this difficult time.  We have heard from many of you about the extraordinary work you are doing on behalf of your community.    We know that special park districts are in a difficult place with respect to the ability to receive funding while still facing the challenges that COVID-19 has brought. 

NRPA has drafted a memo that will provide you additional information about the federal response along with a letter that we plan to send to federal leaders on behalf of special park districts.  This letter asks for equitable treatment when funding is provided.   

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Outdoor Activities Restart: Requirements & Recommendations

Hiking and Other Outdoor Activities Restart COVID-19 Requesremts and Recommendations.

This week an amendment was made to Proclamation 20-25.2. Read the full proclamation from Governor Jay Inslee and view the quick guide banner.

View the Proclamation

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ADVISORY: Inslee Press Conference on COVID-19 Monday in Olympia

Gov. Jay Inslee will address media Monday via streaming video and telephone to provide an update on the state's COVID-19 response.

The governor will be joined by Hilary Franz, commissioner of public lands, Kelly Susewind, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Don Hoch, director of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

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RCO Grant Match-Reduction Proposal

Recreation & Conservation Office (RCO) Votes to Reduces Local Match Requirements

A Message from WRPA Lobbyist Doug Levy

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WRPA Sends Out Recovery Plan Proposal & RCO Match-Reduction Proposal

WRPA & Other Western Associations Are Advocating for Park & Rec Safety During COVID

A Message from WRPA's Lobbyist Doug Levy

On April 23, 2020, WRPA sent out a proposal outlining a framework on how public parks and recreation service providers can serve a vital role in assisting you to safely return Washingtonians to public life. On Tuesday, May 21, 2020, the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board (RCFB) voted unanimously to support an RCO staff proposal to reduce the local match requirements during the COVID-19 period. Read more below

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Legislate Day Recap

  

On a wet day in early February, 130 advocates descended on Olympia to speak up for our outdoors. Folks from Manson near Lake Chelan to Longview on the Columbia River committed their time and energy to tell lawmakers why the outdoors matters. Their voices made an impact with legislators, and we’re so thankful for the support of so many passionate outdoor advocates from across the state.

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RCO Application Extention

A Message from Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO)

Dear Recreation, Conservation, and Salmon Recovery Partners:

First and foremost, we hope you and your family and friends are safe and doing well in these uncertain times.  At RCO, staff made the transition to working from home and are fully operational and ready to continue our role as an exemplary partner, helping to recover salmon and protect habitats and develop special places to play. 

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Summary of “CARES” (Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security) Act

Summary of “CARES” (Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security) Act

Learn more about the following:

  • Relief to Citizens – Direct Income Assistance Payments

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