SB 5036

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Reported by House Committee On:

Local Government

Title: An act relating to the compensation of commissioners of certain metropolitan park districts.

Brief Description: Concerning the compensation of commissioners of certain metropolitan park districts.

Sponsors: Senators Conway and Takko.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Local Government: 3/15/19, 3/20/19 [DP].

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Increases the maximum amount authorized for metropolitan park district commissioners' compensation to $128 daily and $12,288 annually.

  • Increases the maximum annual compensation for Metro Parks Tacoma commissioners to $24,576.

  • Changes the date that the Office of Financial Management is required to make inflation-based adjustments to the dollar thresholds from 2008 to 2023.


Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 4 members: Representatives Pollet, Chair; Peterson, Vice Chair; Goehner and Senn.

Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 2 members: Representatives Kraft, Ranking Minority Member; Griffey, Assistant Ranking Minority Member.

Staff: Yvonne Walker (786-7841).


Metropolitan Park Districts.

In Washington a special purpose district (SPD) is a limited purpose local government separate from a city, town, or county government. All SPDs provide an array of services and facilities that are otherwise not available from city or county governments. A metropolitan park district (MPD) is a type of SPD created for the control, management, improvement, maintenance, or acquisition of parks, parkways, boulevards, and recreational facilities. A MPD may include territory located in portions or in all of one or more cities or counties.

Metropolitan Park District Board.

Most powers of the SPDs are vested in a board of district commissioners, board of district trustees, or board of district directors. The officers of a MPD include five elected park commissioners who serve up to six-year terms. The commissioners are elected simultaneously when voters are deciding whether a MPD should be formed.

Park commissioners may be compensated at a maximum rate of $90 per day and up to a maximum rate of $8,640 per year. The Office of Financial Management (OFM) is required to adjust the compensation amounts for inflation every five years, beginning July 1, 2008. In 2018 the OFM adjusted the amounts to a maximum of $128 per day with an annual compensation limit of $12,288. The adjustments are published in the Washington State Register but are not reflected in statute. The next adjustment is slated to occur on July 1, 2023.


Summary of Bill:

The maximum compensation amount for MPD commissioners are increased from:

The maximum annual compensation is $24,576 for any MPD district with facilities including an aquarium, a wildlife park, and a zoo accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. The date from which the OFM must make inflation adjustments to the compensation thresholds is changed from July 1, 2008, to July 1, 2023.


Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) This bill is a companion to a bill this committee passed out several weeks ago. This is a small bureaucratic house-cleaning bill for Metro Parks Tacoma. It raises the maximum cap to approximately $24,000 for Metro Parks Tacoma commissioners alone, but it does not change the per diem amount that they are compensated. Metro Parks Tacoma is one of 12 SPDs in Washington and it is one of the most complex. The problem is that as the district continues to grow, it is not able to have access to the commissioners towards the end of the year because they have hit their cap. As a result, the commissioners are having to do their work as a public official without being compensated. This bill just raises the amount of the cap that they would have access to and it does not necessarily change any rules around what they would get reimbursed for per day.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: Joe Brady, Metro Parks Tacoma.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.