East King Chambers Coalition Legislative Agenda; Chamber Day 2019 in Olympia; Bellevue Budget Wrap-U
East King Chambers Coalition Legislative Agenda
The East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition has adopted its policy agenda for 2019, just in time for the upcoming 105-Day Legislative Session.
Business leaders tell us that housing affordability and transportation solutions that keep people and goods moving are at the top of their list, so we’ve given those topics top billing, along with higher education and vocational training at all levels.
The Coalition prepared a record number of seven new policy recommendations this year, including a first time ever Housing Position Paper; review them all on our web page at Coalition Publications.
Chamber Day 2019 at the State Capitol
The Legislature will convene in a little over four weeks and we’re already planning Chamber Day 2019 at the state capitol in Olympia! Mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 27, 2019 and join business leaders from across East King County, as we swarm the capitol campus and advocate for our legislative priorities.
We know it can be a challenge for business owners and CEO’s to take time away from their businesses. That’s why we set up appointments with local legislators, arrange for carpools and box lunches, and prepare talking points; all you need to do is show up.
Stay tuned for additional details on this page as the date nears.
Bellevue Budget Wrap-Up
On December 3rd, the Bellevue City Council adopted the 2019-20 Operating Budget and 2019-25 Capital Improvement Program. In general, we think Bellevue is a well-run city and there is a lot to like about this new budget.
We support strongly additional police and fire services personnel, as well as resources for the City’s unfunded Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters (LEOFF I) pension liability.
We’re also grateful for continued investments in transportation technology, neighborhood congestion relief and core investments in our Transportation CIP, including the Bellevue Way SE project at $ 9.0 million.
With revenues projected to exceed revenues by 2021, however, the City’s Ending Fund Balance (EFB) is likely to drop below 15% by 2023. We believe the case has been made for 1% general property tax increase in the coming biennium, but not in perpetuity.
To help prevent the need for future tax increases, we’ll work with Council to identify ongoing efficiencies and reduce the cost of government. An excellent example is the City Manager’s proposal to save up to $500,000.00 to reduce rapidly escalating employee health care costs.
Finally, we want to thank all members of the Bellevue Chamber/Bellevue Downtown Association for their hard work; be sure to review our joint letter to the City.