Notes from today’s Council meetings

The state legislative session gets to the end game, plus lots of upcoming committee committee meetings.

This afternoon the Council signed a proclamation honoring outgoing Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner for his ten years of service to the city as head of Seattle Public Libraries.

The council also sent a letter to the Governor and state legislature urging them to increase appropriations by $400 million for acquiring underused multifamily properties in order to create additional housing, given the currently increased opportunities to acquire such properties at the moment.

This morning the Office of Intergovernmental Relations reported that the state legislature is entering the endgame for its 2021 legislative session, with about three weeks left. This coming Sunday is the cutoff for bills to be passed out of the “opposite house,” with the final two weeks of the session reserved for reconciling the final versions of bills that have been passed out of both houses.

Council member Pedersen announced that his committee meeting Wednesday morning will take up:

  • The strategic plan for Seattle Public Utilities, and the corresponding proposed rate plan;
  • a report on the city’s Technology Matching Fund program;
  • an ordinance accepting and dedicating a piece of property to be part of the Lake City Living Memorial Triangle;
  • several ordinances approving SPD’s use of specific surveillance-related technologies.

Council President Gonzalez announced that her next committee meeting will be on April 13. The agenda will include a presentation from the Department of Education and Early Learning on the Seattle Promise Program, and a briefing from King County officials on the proposed Best Starts for Kids levy renewal.

Councilmember Sawant said that her next committee meeting will be on April 15. At the meeting, they will hear from community organizers about their efforts to get the city on-track to meet its Green New Deal goals.

Sawant also said that her office has submitted two draft bills to the City Attorney’s office for review: one that closes the “end of lease loophole” in the Just Cause Eviction ordinance, and another that bans evictions of schoolchildren and their families during the school year.

Councilmember Herbold gave an update on the draft bill idling in her committee that would revise the ban on SPD’s use of “less-lethal” crowd-control weapons that the Council tried to pass last summer but Judge Robart threw out. She said that the DOJ and the court-appointed police monitor have reviewed the bill, and that she met with them last week to discuss it. Herbold expects them to send follow-up questions to SPD and the Council’s staff before they make any recommendations on the bill.

Councilmember Mosqueda noted this morning that the Office of Labor Standards has been very busy in the last week on the TNC drivers minimum compensation bill passed by the Council last year. On April 1, the new minimum wage standard went fully into effect. OLS has also proposed a set of administrative rules for implementing the ordinance; comments are being accepted until April 23. Finally, OLS has issued an RFP for a $5 million contract to implement the Driver Resolution Center called for in the legislation.

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