Lakewood adopts state and federal priorities for 2021

Oct. 20, 2020

At the October 19, 2020, Regular City Council Meeting, the Lakewood City Council adopted its Federal Priorities for 2021, State Legislative Agenda and Manual for 2021-2022, and County Manual for 2021.

To view the City’s complete legislative materials visit the Government Relations page.

Federal Priorities

Every year the City sets its federal priorities to help provide a solid background for its work at the Congressional level.  For this upcoming year, the City’s 2021 Federal priorities are:

  • Additional COVID-19 relief funding that includes funding for local governments.
  • Restoration of Congressional Directed Spending.
  • Amendments to the Defense Community Infrastructure Program to emphasize road, transportation, and utility infrastructure needs for military communities.
  • Support for a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round to focus limited federal funding on critical military and defense infrastructure needs.
  • Support to fulfill the JBLM – McChord Field Clear Zone plan.
  • Support for the permanent authorization of the BUILD Grant Program and the designation of 30% of BUILD funding to medium sized cities between 10,000 to 75,000.

To read the full 2021 Federal priorities click here.

In addition to continuing to work with the State’s Senators, the City looks forward to working with the next representative for the 10th congressional district.

State Priorities 2021-2022

For the upcoming 2021 session, the Washington State Legislature will convene on January 11. This session is a budget year scheduled to last for 105 days. It is likely to be a session like no other in the recent past given the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Washington State Legislature is a bicameral body (two chambers) consisting of 49 members in the Senate and 98 members in the House of Representatives.  Each district in Washington is served by one Senator and two House members.  The city of Lakewood falls into two legislative districts, the 28th District and the 29th District.  As such, the City is represented by two senators and four house representatives.

As in previous years, the City will be actively involved in the 2021 State Legislative session.  To proactively prepare for the session, every two years, the City adopts a state legislative agenda and policy manual.  This early groundwork, coupled with the strong relationships the City has forged with our state delegation, has led to many recent successes for the Lakewood community.

To read the full 2021-2022 State agenda click here.

For 2021-2022, the City’s State priorities include:

Economic Development Tools for Lakewood Landing: Lakewood Landing is a 25-acre property along I-5 that is primarily used for industrial purposes, including a WSDOT maintenance facility. Because redevelopment of this site requires the WSDOT maintenance facility to be relocated, public investment is needed to advance Lakewood Landing from vision to reality. This public investment could come from state authorized economic development financing such as tax increment financing and/or an investment of $1 million annually for twenty-years years.

Washington State Hospital Community Partnership Program: Since 2007 the City has operated a highly effective Community Partnership Program (CPP) to improve public safety at Western State Hospital (WSH). CPP has responded to hundreds of calls for police service at WSH. The City requests $621,000 be included in the 2021-23 Operating Budget for continued operation of the CPP. This is the same funding level that has been allocated in the last two state biennial budgets.

Capital Funding Request – Living Access Support Alliance Expansion: Living Access Support Alliance (LASA) is a nonprofit that provides emergency housing, rapid rehousing and transitional housing in Lakewood, in addition to case management, and a range of other services to prevent homelessness.  The City is currently working with LASA to acquire additional space to expand their existing facilities as well as helping LASA develop a long-range social services plan to help meet community needs.  The City is committed to providing $150,000 in 2020 and up to $300,000 in 2021/2022 to help LASA expand. The City is requesting $500,000 from the state for LASA to accelerate this project and expand needed services in Lakewood.

Capital funding request: Wards Lake Park Improvement Project: The City is requesting $250,000 to help complete a multi-faceted park revitalization project that will improve safety and access for an historically underserved community in Lakewood, restore and enhance environmental systems, and increase recreational opportunities.

Capital funding request: American Lake Park ADA Improvements: The City is requesting $250,000 toward ADA access improvements at American Lake Park (ALP). Since incorporation, Lakewood has worked to create more equitable access to parks. This project will provide a new ADA ramp to the shoreline and boat launch area for all Lakewood residents to access and enjoy the waterfront.

Multimodal Transportation Ask: The City requests $250,000 for a multimodal transportation assessment to consider practical solutions to increase multimodal connectivity along the I-5 corridor between DuPont and Lakewood.

The City is planning to host a legislative roundtable with its representatives to discuss these priorities in November or December.

In addition to the state priorities outlined above, Lakewood’s leadership also continues to work closely with representatives of the 28th Legislative District on the issue of Adult Family Home businesses. This work includes continuing to push for additional oversight and regulation of adult family home (AFH) businesses to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable residents living in these homes are safe. This past session our legislators introduced various bills aimed at keeping violent offenders out of these homes, but none gained enough support to move forward.