Notes from Monday’s Council meetings

Short and sweet today.

This afternoon the Council introduced and passed a resolution endorsing Initiative 1631, which would implement a carbon tax in Washington State. Much was said about the new report released by the IPCC this morning that says global climate change is happening faster than anyone thought and the window opportunity to avoid dire consequences is closing quickly.

This morning, Council member O’Brien announced that he will hold a special meeting of his Sustainability and Transportation Committee this Friday morning, in order to hear the results of the Racial Equity Toolkit study done on his proposed loosening of the rules on building “backyard cottages.” Last week the city released the final EIS for that proposal.

This morning, the Council was briefed by the Office of Intergovernmental Relations on the upcoming state legislative session, beginning January 14. This will be a “long session,” running 105 days, in which the legislature will write operating, capital and transportation budgets for the next two years. According to the OIR, there is a general expectation that there will be stronger Democratic majorities in both houses as a result of next month’s election, which will make it easier for Democratic initiatives to get passed.  The OIR has been gathering information from city leaders to compile into the city’s legislative agenda document, which it intends to publish next Monday. It will be back in front of the Council on October 29 to further discuss the legislative agenda.