Kitsap County gives state bill for $2.65 million for 'unfunded mandates'

11/19/02

Bremerton Sun


Kitsap County, WA - The state owes Kitsap County $2.65 million for "unfunded mandates" that the state has failed to pay in 2002, according to a claim to be submitted by county officials.

In a resolution approved Monday, the county commissioners said state law and recent court cases obligate the state to "fully reimburse" local governments when the Legislature imposes a new program on local government.

Since 1995, when the law went into effect, Kitsap County has spent nearly $7 million on such unfunded mandates, said County Administrator Malcolm Fleming in a letter to the Washington State Office of Risk Management.

Unfunded mandates listed by Fleming include:

- Mandatory jail time for criminals.

- Medication dispensed to jail inmates by licensed medical staff.

- Sex-offender registration.

- New domestic-violence laws.

- County-funded attorneys for child-dependency cases.

- Mandatory training for managers in law enforcement.

- About a dozen changes to drunken-driving laws, including mandatory next-day court appearances for those charged.

- Mandatory adoption of a new stormwater ordinance.

- Mandatory analysis of county's "buildable lands" under the Growth Management Act.

- Mandatory analysis of "best available science" for the county's Critical Areas Ordinance.

Fleming said the statewide organizations representing cities and counties will try to collect the money during the next session of the Legislature.

County Commissioner Jan Angel noted, "We're probably not going to receive the money, but we'll keep this in front of them."

Christopher Dunagan

County budget presentation honored

Kitsap County has been recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association as one of the best in the country in presenting its budget document.

The association honors local governments with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for budgets rated "proficient" in four categories. Budget experts for the association judge local budgets for their use as policy documents, financial plans, operations guides and communications devices.

This is the second consecutive year that Kitsap County has received the national recognition.

Christopher Dunagan

 

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