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King County Council adopts federal legislative agenda on strategic plan
The Metropolitan King County Council today gave its unanimous support to a federal agenda that calls on the state’s Congressional delegation to provide support for programs that will aid the county in achieving the goals of the County’s Strategic Plan.
“Providing stable public services, supporting a strong economy, improving King County’s transportation system, and protecting our environment require a strong partnership with our federal government,” said Council Chair Larry Phillips. “I look forward to advocating on behalf of the people of King County for how the federal government can contribute to these critical needs when councilmembers visit our federal delegation later this month.”
“The federal government is our strategic partner that enables us to leverage infrastructure to promote jobs and a more vibrant economy,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague.
“I was pleased to offer amendments to the Council’s federal legislative agenda, that strengthen our commitment to equity and social justice,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “These amendments highlight King County's commitment to serve all residents by promoting fairness and opportunity and eliminating inequities through efforts such as supporting comprehensive immigration reform and equal and fair pay for all working people. I also thank my colleagues for their support of language I drafted to address navigation hazards at the North end of Lake Washington.”
Adopted by the Council in 2010, the King County Strategic Plan is the organizing framework for the County’s operations and measurement of its performance. Developed in collaboration with the three branches of County Government—Executive, Legislative and Judicial—the plan is the roadmap being used to meet the challenges facing King County.
For FY 2015, King County is asking the Congressional delegation to assist in protecting essential functions and infrastructure that will allow continued growth and recovery from the Great Recession. The agenda includes:
Supporting safe communities and accessible justice systems for all:
The County is seeking resources to protect and support youth through tools like Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants, and Juvenile Connections and Mentoring like the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) program. The County is also seeking to enhance public safety through changes to federal policy that allow banks to work with state licensed marijuana businesses, such as H.R. 2652, The Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act of 2013. Under current law, banks are prohibited from working with these businesses, which means they will be dealing in cash transactions, increasing risk of theft and creating other regulatory challenges
Provide equitable opportunities for all individuals to realize their full potential:
Since one of the County’s priorities is ensuring that all residents who are newly eligible for health coverage are enrolled, the County supports the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally the County strongly supports the activities funded by the Public Health and Prevention Fund, which supports the overall health of King County citizens.
Encourage a growing and diverse King County economy and vibrant, thriving and sustainable communities:
The County strongly supports maintaining existing federal funding streams for transportation as the County continues its maintenance and upgrading of the county transportation infrastructure. The County is also calling for funds to support existing transit mobility on Metro’s Transit’s bus rapid transit systems.
Safeguard and enhance King County’s natural resources and environment:
In collaboration with our partners, King County supports an approach to the Lower Duwamish Waterway cleanup that reduces human health risks as quickly as possible while minimizing construction impacts on local neighborhoods, human health, and economic development.