The City of Seattle’s lobbying power in Olympia in 2017 will be focused on homelessness, housing, and what City Hall staff is calling the “safety net” — money for health and public services. Mayor Ed Murray’s city also plans to lobby Olympia regarding public records requests reform, the Voting Rights Act, continued “electrification” of transportation, and, as usual, education funding.
The initial lobbying framework for the 2017 session was presented last week to the City Council and is being shaped with feedback to be finalized before Thanksgiving, well ahead of the start of the 2017 session in Olympia on January 9th.
With Olympia set for continued status quo after a surprise-free round of voting across the state last week that leaves Democrats with a hold on the state House and Republicans still in the majority in the state Senate, the City of Seattle is gearing up for a new round of lobbying. Under a Democratic governor and Democrat-controlled state House, the Senate represents the one major power lever in Olympia under Republican control. The result is the City of Seattle having to pick its battles in what it asks from our state leaders.
City officials are especially wary of proposals to change levy power for school districts that could reduce Seattle Public Schools’ ability to raise funding without providing any sort of replacement.
You can watch the council members discuss the lobbying agenda here: