With the state legislative session now in the books, I want to take this opportunity to report on impacts here in Marysville. We are fortunate to have a strong working relationship developed and nurtured over several years with our lawmakers in Olympia. As I have said before, it often takes multiple legislative sessions to advocate and gain state funding for projects that are important to Marysville. 

We are grateful for the positive results that were realized on some of the important items in our legislative requests for this year and are committed to continue making the case in the future for those items that still remain. Thank you to those who represent Marysville in Olympia for your staunch advocacy for our legislative priorities.

CIC Property Tax Exemption

We are very grateful that the state modified and extended the law that provides tax incentives for qualifying businesses who locate in the Cascade Industrial Center. New industrial or manufacturing businesses with buildings or improvements of at least 10,000 square feet worth $800,000 or more, and that offer at least 25 jobs paying $23/hour or more plus health care benefits, may pay no county or city property tax on the value of those building improvements for 10 years. The amended law is in effect through 2030. Thank you to Reps. Emily Wicks, John Lovick, Mike Sells and April Berg for sponsoring this House bill. 

Marysville-Lake Stevens Trail Connector

Another win this session was the allocation of $515,000 for design, permitting and property acquisition for the Marysville-Lake Stevens trail connector, a new 5.5-mile segment that will join the existing Bayview Trail and the Centennial Trail extension now under construction in Marysville. When complete, this will create an 8-mile trail system that connects to the regional Centennial Trail near SR 9 to the north and 20th Street SE in Lake Stevens. Thank you to Sen. Steve Hobbs and Reps. Lovick and Berg for their advocacy on this important recreational amenity. 

Drug Possession 

After the State Supreme Court decriminalized simple drug possession, our City Council in March made it illegal to possess drugs within Marysville city limits. I’m proud that Marysville has been a leader in this area with our cross-functional team that pairs a police officer with a social worker and mental health resources. We agree that offering treatment services is better for many who struggle with addiction or mental health issues than the traditional revolving door of the criminal justice system. We also believe that there must be accountability measures in place for those who refuse treatment and instead choose to commit crimes in our community.

The new state law makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly possess drugs without a prescription. It also mandates treatment, outreach and recovery services for those with substance use disorder. Further, it provides financial help for courts dealing with the backlog of cases affected by the legal ruling.

Police Reform 

The legislature also enacted several police reform laws related to the use of force, statewide standards, and state-level independent investigation when police use deadly force. As always, our Police Department remains committed to transparency and accountability to the community we serve. We are reviewing the new requirements, and Chief Scairpon has the department primed to enact the legislative changes. The Chief and I welcome continued conversations with our community on policing topics and keeping you informed on how these changes impact public safety.

Transportation Bil

While the Forward Washington transportation package did not pass this session, I am grateful to Sen. Hobbs, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, and others who represent Marysville for their continued support for Marysville projects. Our priority transportation projects are 1) for a new Grove Street Overcrossing to funnel traffic over the BNSF railroad tracks between Cedar and State avenues, and 2) to reinstate the former 156th Street overcrossing in the Lakewood area. Both projects will help alleviate east-west traffic congestion in our growing city. As I mentioned earlier, these types of projects can take years to realize. We intend to pursue them again next year. 

Jon Nehring has been Mayor of Marysville since 2010. You can reach him at 360-363-8000 or jnehring@marysvillewa.gov.

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