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Belltown: A Changing Neighborhood | REC 2019 [March 2019 Breakfast Recap]

Stack of three photos showing college students presenting to a group at a tableAt the March breakfast, we joined the Real Estate Challenge Committee for the culmination of the 16th Annual Challenge with three university teams presenting their proposals for Merlino Properties’ 5th and Bell site, and we heard from four Belltown neighborhood experts on the area’s future growth.

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Budget Stalemate in Olympia: Possible tax increases that impact the commercial real estate industry

The 2017 session of the Washington State Legislature is now in its second 30-day special session in order to find agreement on the level and sources of funding for the McCleary decision to fully fund K-12 education. The legislature is expected to reach agreement by the end of the special session on June 21, or by June 30, the final day of the current biennium.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled in McCleary that school districts’ reliance on local levies, and the ability of local communities to pay for those levies, varied dramatically around the state and resulted in inequitable funding of K-12 education. The legislature’s challenge has been to equitably fund education statewide.

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2016 Primary Election Report [Government Affairs News]

Washington’s primary election was held on Tuesday, August 2; all ballots needed to be postmarked or delivered to a collection center by 8:00 p.m. Ballots submitted on Election Day can result ballot-counting for another week or more following Election Day. As of the evening of August 7, 1,357,000 votes had been counted, and another 60,000 remained to be counted. Turnout was at 33% and could climb a bit more as final ballots trickle in. Election results can be found on the Washington Secretary of State website.

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2016 Washington State Legislative Session Preview

The 2016 session of the Washington State legislature will convene on January 11 for a 60-day session. Following a record 172 day session in 2015, expectations for 2016 are that the legislature will complete its business on time.

One of the major issues confronting the 2016 legislature will be addressing the Washington State Supreme Court decision that found charter schools, passed by a 2014 citizen initiative, to be unconstitutional. A bi-partisan group of legislators is expected to propose a statutory remedy to cure the issue of constitutionality. The legislature is also expected to prepare a plan to meet the Supreme Court’s ruling that the legislature is not funding K-12 schools appropriately. A small supplemental budget is also expected. Given the narrow 50-48 Democrat control in the House and the 26-23 Republican control in the Senate, there are not expected to be many issues of controversy.

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