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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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Our Local Parks Funding Options Bill - DISAPPOINTING NEWS

An Update From WRPA's Lobbyist: Doug Levy

I wish I wasn’t writing this e-mail, but I need to.  Barring some unforeseen circumstances, our WRPA priority local parks funding options bill (ES HB 2625), which was tantalizingly close to passage this Session, is not going to make it up for a Floor vote by the Friday COB deadline.  The bill is in the Rules Committee – and were it to get to the Floor, the votes are there to pass it.  But we are doubtful it will get there.

What I can tell you is that we worked very hard to get this bill out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee last Friday, and had “pulls” lined up for the Senate Rules Committee both Wednesday and today to get 2625 to the Floor Calendar.  We also had strong support from the Senate Floor Leader (Sen. Liias) who spoke to the bill in the Ways & Means Caucus – and had support in that Caucus discussion from Sens. Keiser and Conway.

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Legislative Day 2020 Update

Good Morning, Everyone!

Here is my usual Weekly Report and Weekly list of hearings – I’d note that on the Weekly Hearings list, with fiscal committees coming down the homestretch and public hearings reducing in numbers, all my recommendations for today (2/10) and tomorrow (2/11) are “MONITOR.”

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Q&A with WRPA State Lobbyist Doug Levy

Learn About Doug Levy & Legislative Day

What are your primary functions as the State Lobbyist for the WRPA?

As WRPA’s state lobbyist, I’m responsible for helping to develop the annual Legislative Agenda, promoting priority issues for WRPA, and protecting WRPA’s interests to head off any legislation or budget initiatives that are adverse to us. I’m also responsible for ongoing communications with WRPA Member agencies, for keeping local parks officials informed and aware of happenings in Olympia, and hopefully for enhancing agencies’ knowledge of how to move the needle forward for local parks and recreation overall.

What is Legislative Day?

The annual Great Outdoors Day/Legislative Day is a day in Olympia and on “the Hill” where both WRPA and our co-sponsors, the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition (WWRC), can bring a concentration of Members to Olympia to speak with a unified and loud voice about our priorities and about the importance of outdoor recreation and the outdoors when it comes to quality of life, public health, economic development, and environmental stewardship.

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2020 WRPA/WWRC Legislative Day

Join the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition and the Washington Recreation & Park Association at our annual Parks and Great Outdoors Legislative Day in Olympia!
Help us advocate for our state's premier outdoors fund, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP), and tell your legislators why Washington's parks, wildlife habitat areas, and working lands deserve to be funded. Never met with a legislator before? Don't worry; we will make sure you have everything you need. 
Register Today!

Should there be grant limits for WWRP Trails?

Have you expressed an interest or submitted an application for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program? The Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is seeking your input on the possibility of establishing a maximum amount of funding that can be applied for in any one grant in the WWRP Trails Category. Currently, there are no grant limits.

If you could please take 5 minutes to participate in a survey no later than December 10, 2019, we would be most appreciative. We will share the results with the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board to help them make an informed decision about this issue.

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