WE BELIEVE
OUTDOOR RECREATION
Matters.
WELCOME TO THE BIG TENT
The Umbrella Organization for the voice of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State.

The power of the Big Tent  lies not with any individual or with any shiny advertising or marketing campaigns, but with the combined weight of dozens of organizations and agencies who believe in the collective value of outdoor recreation.

The Outdoor Recreation Economy Generates

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We Represent Outdoor Recreation

The power of the Big Tent lies not with any individual or with any shiny advertising or marketing campaigns, but with the combined weight of dozens of organizations and agencies who believe in the collective value of outdoor recreation.

We are an organic group, with no Executive Director.  We come together periodically, meet on an as-needed basis, and gather each year in Olympia to show policy-makers and opinion leaders that outdoor recreation is a critical sector in Washington, one that brings jobs, revenue, active and healthy living, and tourism to a state blessed with mind-numbing natural beauty.  
 
On this website you will find a statement about who we are and how we came to be; a listing of our current members; contacts; information about how you can join us; meeting announcements; links to press releases and topical articles; and of course some background pictures of the outdoors.
 
We hope you find this site helpful, and that you won’t hesitate to tell us how we can add to it and improve.  It belongs to all of us who marvel at the stunning natural resources which make Washington a special place in which to live, work, and play.  Thanks for stopping by!
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/ Categories: Legislative Updates

RCO 2018 Legislative Report

Recreation & Conservation Office

Supplemental Capital Budget:

The Legislature funded all but one of the ALEA projects on the 2016 list. The one project not funded is the Luther Burbank South Shoreline Restoration on Mercer Island (they were unable to certify match). Our ALEA appropriation was increased by $11.285 million.

The recreational assets of statewide significance study was included and funded at $100,000. The direction to RCO is to conduct a study that identifies recreational assets of statewide significance, where gaps in recreational assets exist, and investment strategies and options for addressing those gaps. The study must address existing and projected future needs of the people of Washington State.

Supplemental Operating Budget:


The hiking, walking, biking economic impacts and health benefits study is funded for RCO at $125,000. We are to form an advisory committee to conduct the study and complete it by October 1, 2019.

The Hood Canal study that was funded in the biennial operating budget was amended in the supplemental to include language directing RCO to amend the existing grant to specify that ‘all assessment activities conducted must be coordinated with the United States Navy.’

Bills Related to RCO that Passed

HB 1434: Shared leave for pregnancy or parental leave
HB 2649: Recreational opportunities for persons with a disability
HB 2957: Reducing escape of nonnative finfish from marine finfish aquaculture facilities
4SSB 5251: Tourism marketing
SB 6091: Water availability (Hirst)
SB 6229: Bargaining representatives access
SB 6363: Concerning a rail line over Milwaukee Road corridor
ESSB 6434: Concerning electric-assisted bicycles

CONFIRMED
SGA 9080: Nancy Biery confirmation
SGA 9122: Phil Rockefeller confirmation
SGA 9234: Kathyrn Gardow confirmation
SGA 9299: Robert M. Bugert confirmation

Unfortunately, the Legislature did not confirm Jeff Breckel, Michael Shiosaki or Ted Willhite – for no reason other than they ran out of time. There were many gubernatorial confirmations that didn’t make it through.

Other Bills of Significance that Passed:


HB 2282, Protecting an open internet in Washington state. This is a net neutrality bill and internet providers in Washington are prohibited, with some exceptions, from blocking content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices; impairing or degrading traffic on the basis of content, application, service, or use of nonharmful devices; or favoring some traffic over others in exchange for benefit ("paid prioritization"). Providers in Washington are also now required to disclose information about network management practices, performance, and commercial terms.

HB 2658, Concerning the use of perfluorinated chemicals in food packaging. This bill conditionally restricts perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals in specific applications of food packaging beginning as early as 2022, pending the outcome of an alternatives assessment to be completed by the Department of Ecology by January 1, 2020. Food packaging is defined as paper, paperboard or fiber-based materials intended for direct food contact.

HB 2751, Concerning the deduction of union dues and fees. This bill provides that if a collective bargaining agreement has a union security provision, written authorization from the employee is not required for the employer to deduct required dues or fees from the employee's pay. It further provides that if a collective bargaining agreement includes requirements for deductions of payments other than union dues or equivalent fees under a union security provision, the employer must make those deductions upon written authorization of the employee. It removes the requirement that an employee's written authorization to deduct dues be filed with the employer.

ESB 5992, Concerning bump-fire stocks. This bill establishes criminal penalties and sentencing provisions relating to the manufacture, sale, purchase, possession, transfer, or transport of bump-fire stocks, or the use of a firearm containing a bump-fire stock.

ESSB 6614, Providing property tax relief by reducing calendar year 2019 state property taxes and redirecting revenue to the education legacy trust account for fiscal year 2019. As a means of paying for McCleary responsibilities, the Legislature raised property taxes in 2017. Because there is a large revenue surplus currently, the Legislature passed this bill to relieve some property tax pressure in a one-time reduction. In calendar year 2019, the state property tax is lowered from $2.70 to $2.40 per $1,000 AV. This corresponds to a property tax reduction of approximately $390 million in calendar year 2019.
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