Category Archives: state government

Municipal bank feasibility study says “theoretically yes, but realistically no”

At the beginning of 2018 the City of Seattle commissioned a study to look at the feasibility of creating a municipal bank. Those study results were released yesterday.  It says that in theory the city could create its own bank, but there are significant legal, logistical, regulatory and financial challenges to doing so.

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Council passes gun safety regulation; on to court

This afternoon the City Council passed an ordinance requiring gun owners to securely store their firearms at home when not being carried. As I wrote previously, this is a perfectly reasonable idea, but it’s beyond the authority of the city to enact it because state law preempts cities from passing their own gun regulations.

This afternoon in an interview I asked City Attorney Pete Holmes for his legal argument as to why the city has the power to enact this ordinance in the face of a state law that clearly prohibits it.

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Sen. Jamie Pedersen on ESB 6617

Today the state legislature passed ESB 6617, which made several changes to the state’s Open Records Act. Among those changes, it exempts the legislative branch from the Open Records Act — an action that has been broadly decried.  To make matters worse, the legislature rushed the bill through, with no committee hearings.

After the vote, I emailed Sen. Jamie Pedersen, my representative in the state Senate, to complain about the bill and the process. Here is his complete response. I make no claims about the veracity of what he says, nor do I necessarily agree with him, but I appreciate his prompt, direct and detailed reply.

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Rental inspection and building code updates pass out of committee

This morning, the Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee voted to send a batch of updates to the city’s Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance and Building and Maintenance Code to the full Council for adoption. Most of the changes are pretty tame stuff, dealing with carbon monoxide detectors, lead paint, safety and security requirements, and adjustments to program fees. But one area — required inspections — dives into a topic with a rich history of legislation and litigation, and pushes the rules right up to the limits of (and possibly over) what the courts allow.

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