Two efforts that need our collective attention

Jan 25, 2016 by

Two efforts that need our collective attention

Although the 2016 state legislative session is very much underway our first Policy Alert of 2016 has to do with two administrative efforts that need our collective attention.

First, our Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will be discussing their draft Advertising Policy at their meeting later this week. In 2014 the Legislature enacted a statute (RCW 79A.05.087) allowing commercial advertising on State Parks websites and print media, and under certain conditions, within state parks. Later in 2014, the Commission repealed its own policy prohibiting advertising in parks and approved a policy to guide advertising on the agency’s websites, other digital media and printed publications. Commission staff has now developed an additional policy, found here, starting on p. 76, to guide advertising on site, within state parks and other agency-owned properties. The Commission meets on Jan. 27-28 in Lynwood to discuss the draft policy and hopes to pass the policy and their subsequent meeting in March.

We have several concerns with the draft policy, namely that it does not include junk food and sugar-sweetened beverages in their list of prohibited advertising content, despite a specific RCW provision that notes how “(2) The commission is encouraged to use its advertising authority to promote … (b) Wellness, healthy food options, healthy behaviors, and any other public health goals to principles adopted by the state.”

Comments are needed soon; before the agenda item appears on their Jan. 28 docket would be ideal, but comments following the meeting are also still quite timely since they will not be making any decisions until their March 31st meeting in Tumwater. See here for a link to our letter.

Please send your input to Commission@parks.wa.gov

 

Second, our state Department of Early Learning is taking comment on an important shift in how provider standards will be developed in the future. The draft effort is termed “standards alignment” and DEL is now taking comment on their draft approach. We are not necessarily opposed to the overall notion of aligning standards across three tiers; that approach seems sensible.

COPC has one major worry with a three-tiered approach to standards, which is that the tiering approach may unintentionally water down the standards for nutrition, physical activity and screen time found in the rules (Washington Administrative Code). COPC will provide direct input on this issue and make the point that having three levels of standards does not mean the standards found in rules should be anything less than current standard of practice, rather than minimal standards. Said another way, we are interested in a “good/better/best” approach rather than a “minimal/good/best” framework.

Comments are needed by the end of this month and should be directed to:
luba.bezborodnikova@del.wa.gov


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