January 2018 Legislative Updates



The RCO is Looking for Public Comments on Several Rule-Making Proposals

The Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is soliciting public comments on several rule-making proposals related to the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP).

Learn more about these proposed rules and make your voice heard. Share any thoughts or concerns that you might have.

The deadline for comments is January 4, 2018. 

RCO Application Webinar - Save the Date

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 9:30am

Description: Do you need funding for parks, trails, or boating access sites? Maybe you are interested in preserving farmland, forestland, or habitat conservation areas? If so, we have good news. The Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is accepting grant applications for all Recreation and Conservation Funding Board programs in 2018.

Join the RCO's application webinar from your office or home. The RCO will send another email as this date gets closer so you can register for this event.

Watch for that email or check the RCO's grant page.  

William D. Ruckelshaus Center Issues Final Report on Recreation Fees

On December 15, 2017, The William D. Ruckelshaus Center issued a final report on Recreation Fees In Washington State. This legislatively-directed study was set forth to review the great array of outdoor recreation fee-based passes in Washington State and provide recommendations/ options on ways to simplify the system. Learn more by reading the full report.

FBI Fingerprint Background Checking System

New authority to use FBI’s fingerprint-based, national background check system to screen prospective employees or volunteers who would have unsupervised access to kids, vulnerable adults, or the developmentally disabled:

We have received word from the Washington State Patrol that the FBI has completed its reviews of Engrossed House Bill 1620 passed by the 2017 Washington State Legislature and found the newly-enacted law to be compliant with its rules and policies for sharing national background check data with the WSP. As you may recall, the passaging of 1620 was a WRPA priority that gives city-run and county-run parks and recreation agencies first-time-ever authority to utilize the FBI background check data to screen prospective employees or volunteers who would have unsupervised access to kids, vulnerable adults, or the developmentally disabled. The bill refines and harmonizes the statutory authority for Park Districts/MPDs.

Agencies are now free to use this tool at their discretion. It involves a per-check fee to cover the WSP’s actual costs in administering the program. Agencies are not required to use the tool in 1620 – they may use private vendors if they so desire or they may choose not to access this fingerprint-based, national background check data. WRPA is recommending that agencies thoroughly evaluate this opportunity, as we wanted you to have this child safety and vulnerable adult safety tool at your disposal.

Read the final version of EHB 1620.

Review a list of agencies that currently have some statutory authority to use the national background check data

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