February 2021 Update From The President

Good Afternoon –

I am not one to make New Year’s Resolutions, but I have committed to providing greater openness and on-going communication with all of you on behalf of the WSEMA E-Board.  To help facilitate that, I will be sending monthly updates to ensure that you are all aware of the Board’s activities, as well as issues and opportunities for engagement.  Some will be longer, others shorter.  Today’s falls into the longer category.  Read on. 😊


Thank you very much to those of you who have recently completed your Member registration!  For those of you who still need to do so, here is the link for our Cvent Member Registration site:


As a reminder, dues must be paid by 31-March, if you want to be In Good Standing and be eligible to vote on the proposed Constitution & Bylaws amendments.  And with that segue….

**Constitution & Bylaws Proposed Amendments**

Please find attached the Comment Draft of the amended Constitution & Bylaws.  You may notice some formatting and grammatical changes; those will not be voted on.  Voting will be conducted on substantive changes only.  These proposed changes include:

  • Constitution – Article III – Membership 
    • Removed the “Exception” language, which limits eligibility to serve as an Association Officer to only those employed by RCW 38.52 agencies
    • Added clarifying language to the “Associate” member definition
    • Removed reference to Bylaws
  • Constitution – Article IV – Officers
    • Added clarifying language for Federally Recognized Tribes
    • Revised language to reflect the removal of the Exception
    • Added “non-governmental” to Member-At-Large: Private Sector
  • Bylaws – Article I – Membership
    • Removed redundancy of Member type definitions
  • Bylaws – Article II – Voting
    • Added prohibition against proxy voting
    • Removed “Exception” language
  • Bylaws – Article V – Elections
    • Added Section 2 – Electronic Voting
  • Bylaws – Article XI – Dues & Fees
    • Added current Dues rates
  • Bylaws – Article XIV – Amendments
    • Added statement allowing electronic voting for Bylaws amendments

To allow for Member input and discussion, we will be holding a minimum of two (2) virtual Member Forums prior to conducting the mail-in voting on the proposed amendments.  I will send an announcement as soon as those dates are determined, and they will be posted on the Calendar on our WSEMA website, as well.  If you are unable to attend the virtual forum(s), but would still like to share your views, please feel free to call or email me or any WSEMA Board Rep.

**2021 Legislative Session**

As you might imagine, there has been a flurry of proposed legislation in response to the pandemic, some well thought out, others, not so much.  Some have a direct impact on Emergency Management, others impact us tangentially, or are more focused on our partners. This is not an all-inclusive list, it is simply the ones that have captured my attention.  If there are others you are concerned about, please share.

House Bill 1029 – Provides for changes to the Governor’s Emergency Powers and how emergency proclamations are made and subsequently extended.


House Bill 1060 – Similar to HB1029, this bill provides for changes to RCW 43.06.210, requiring legislative approval for the extension of any gubernatorial emergency proclamations.


House Bill 1152 – This one is interesting… amending and/or repealing virtually all of the RCWs relevant to how Public Health is managed and services provided in WA State.  It eliminates local control in favor of regionalization, and would impact how we engage and partner with our ESF 8 agencies.


House Bill 1155 – This one is not COVID related; but it’s of interest because it amends RCW 82.14.420 and changes how the 1/10th of 1% sales and use tax is allocated for emergency communications systems and facilities. If your PSAP is your responsibility, it may impact you.


House Bill 1271 – This bill amends more than a dozen RCWs to ensure continuity of operations of county elected officials during pandemics.  It also adds representation of Coroners/Medical Examiners to the Emergency Management Council (EMC).


House Bill 1340 – This bill directs the creation of a State-wide pandemic preparation and response task force, something along the lines of what was implemented following the SR530 Landslide disaster in 2014.  Its concerns include; facilitation of coordinated response across health systems; protections for the business community and workers; provisions for flexible rent; and establishment of a multi-disciplinary team to manage “a coordinated and comprehensive statewide response to future pandemics.”  Other suggestions for potential strategies include a number of activities which already occur, or have been developed as we have moved through the past year.  This one bears watching.


Senate Bill 5039 – Amends RCW 43.06.220 to allow the governor to impose curfews, limit public assembly, limit possession and transportation of combustible/flammable/explosive materials, limit the sale of alcoholic beverages, and other restrictions.


Senate Bill 5101 – This one is easy – it adds Tribal Representation to the Emergency Management Council (EMC).  The bill was in executive session with the State Government and Elections committee earlier today and was passed to the Rules Committee for its second reading.


**E-Board Activities**

The E-Board will be meeting on the 17th, and we will determine the dates/times for the member forums during that meeting.  I will have that information out to you by 19-February.  We are continuing to work on the website and will have new content available soon.

I warned you that this one was long. Thanks for reading to the end.  As always, please reach out with any comments, concerns, or suggestions.

Best –