: No new taxes in Senate budget proposal

No new taxes in Senate budget proposal

The state legislative session is likely to end on exactly the opposite note as last year’s: on time and without new taxes. That is...
Is your county “rural” enough?

Is your county “rural” enough?

State lawmakers behind a bipartisan proposal to reduce the business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for manufacturers say they want to help rural Washington...
Snoqualmie Falls shot

Tourism bill garners strong support

House lawmakers on Feb. 20 heard public comment on a bill which would establish a statewide tourism agency that proponents say would fill the...
Time for a tax cut?

Time for a tax cut?

Supporters of a capital gains income tax to allow reductions in the state property tax rate advanced a bill doing just that Feb. 19...
Carbon emission proposal “chasing a phantom”

Carbon emission proposal “chasing a phantom”

House lawmakers narrowly approved legislation Feb. 14 imposing more stringent carbon emission reduction goals for Washington state. ESHB 1144 would revise benchmarks created in a...
Bill would promote broadband access

Bill would promote broadband access

In the ongoing push to extend broadband across Washington, all of the state’s 75 port districts will be able to build and operate high-speed...
Helping cross-laminated timber go mainstream

Helping cross-laminated timber go mainstream

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) isn’t a silver bullet for Washington’s rural economy and public forestland health, but it may be as close as it gets. The...
Senate approves rural broadband pilot program

Senate approves rural broadband pilot program

Senate lawmakers overwhelming approved legislation on Monday that supporters hope will create further momentum for full high-speed internet deployment in Washington state. ESSB 6034 creates...
Construction workers discuss safety

Prevailing wage bill clears the Senate

The Washington state Senate has approved a bill which would specify how prevailing wages must be set. Although the majority of lawmakers are supportive...
Net neutrality bill could face legal “throttling”

Net neutrality bill could face legal “throttling”

The Washington House overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation February 9 imposing net neutrality policy that proponents say will protect Internet consumers and small business owners,...
A top-up for beer, wine growler enthusiasts

A top-up for beer, wine growler enthusiasts

Washingtonians who want to take home a growler of their favorite local beer, wine, cider or mead from their local farmers market may get...
Nurse spending time with patient

Individual provider bill controversial

Lawmakers opposed to SB 6911 are arguing the bill would take away the freedom of choice for individual home care providers when considering whether...
Employer helps intern with equipment

Career readiness bill aims to fill skill gaps

Academic representatives and employers alike are praising a proposal they say would help prepare more of Washington’s youth for the workforce and fill skilled...
Committee passes renewable energy bill

Committee passes renewable energy bill

Roughly 75 percent of Washington’s energy production is carbon-free. Proponents of SSB 6253 want to set up a timeline for utility providers to reduce...
Putting the freeze on id theft prevention costs

Putting the freeze on ID theft prevention costs

Last year, a cybersecurity breach of the consumer reporting agency Equifax exposed the personal information of 143 million American consumers. That included credit card...
Doctor checking up on patient

Adopting a national model for insurance companies

Under a new bill, insurance companies would be required to follow a national framework for managing and reporting their business activity. Proponents of SB 5069...
Senate committee advances Sound Transit car tab bill

Senate committee advances Sound Transit car tab bill

A Senate bill providing modest tax relief for Puget Sound drivers paying the new ST3 motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) has cleared the Transportation...
Low carbon fuel standard proposal advances

Low carbon fuel standard proposal advances

A bill calling for a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program in Washington has cleared the House Transportation Committee and is on its way...
Hair stylist with customer

A big break for small businesses

Smaller businesses may be in for larger tax breaks via a recent proposal by state lawmakers.  Legislators have introduced a bill to modernize portions of...
Proposal looks to lower cost, boost development

Proposal looks to lower cost, boost development

It appears that rapid growth in the Puget Sound region is posing some math story problems at the state level. Back in 2016, the state...
Critics call carbon tax “Do Not Enter” sign

Critics call carbon tax “Do Not Enter” sign

The Senate Energy, Environment & Technology has voted to advance a modified version of Governor Jay Inslee’s carbon tax proposal, giving SB 6203 a...
Manufacturing employee working with a fire stove

Addressing manufacturing job loss

Two new, bipartisan bills are making their way through the Legislature, with the goal of addressing changes that are affecting Washington’s manufacturing sector. The bills’...

Net neutrality bills advance

As House lawmakers consider two similar net neutrality bills, another proposal has been introduced in the Senate that would apply the two-year federal policy...
Washington and the new “space race”

Washington and the new “space race”

Washington state is considered by many to be the “Silicon Valley of Space” due to its large cluster of cutting-edge spacecraft employers, and a...
New capital gains income tax proposed

New capital gains income tax proposed

A Democrat House lawmaker has introduced a bill establishing a statewide capital gains income tax while reducing the state property tax burden on certain...
Worker stocking fruit in grocery store

Employers support grocery, restaurant training bill

Business representatives are touting HB 2830 as way to increase training opportunities within restaurants and grocery stores across the state, saying the measure allows...
Tax credit proposed to aid rural broadband

Tax credit proposed to aid rural broadband

One Washington telecom provider wants all state residents to have high-speed internet access by 2028. It’s a goal driven primarily by uneven broadband access,...
Industry urges caution on net neutrality push

Industry urges caution on net neutrality push

Late last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reversed the Obama-era net neutrality policy that treated Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as utilities.  While a...
Low carbon fuel standard proposal advances

Low carbon fuel standard proposal advances

With a number of climate change proposals introduced this legislative session, Democrats may have to alter or yield on one to gain necessary Republican...
Patient giving blood

Business stakeholders wary of reinsurance bill

Business representatives are voicing concerns that a new bill related to health care reinsurance would mean yet another cost burden on small businesses and...
Industry: Carbon free by 2045 costly, unattainable

Industry: Carbon free by 2045 costly, unattainable

In a session dominated by climate change-related proposals, a Senate bill has been introduced calling for Washington state energy production to be carbon-free by...
Well in a garden

Hirst fix update: Water bill becomes law

After 18 months of stakeholder meetings and debate, the Washington State Legislature passed and Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a bill to address...
Recalibrating local growth management plans

Recalibrating local growth management plans

Washington has a growth problem, but the problem differs depending on where you live. In the Puget Sound region, an exploding population has led to...
Top of Granite Mountain

Tourism bill draws strong support

Washington is the only state in the country without a dedicated statewide tourism agency – and this has been the case since 2011. To address...
Senate hearings set for Sound Transit bills

Senate hearings set for Sound Transit bills

As momentum for Sound Transit 3 car tab relief appears to be waning in the state House, efforts are being renewed in the Senate....
Container ship entering port

Legislature asks Congress for harbor maintenance tax reform

Stakeholders from the retail sector, port leadership and labor leaders are voicing strong support for a measure which would request Congress to reform the...
Washington River

House Hirst bill may provide needed clarification

State lawmakers are hearing from building industry representatives and other stakeholders on a bill which aims to address the ongoing implications of the 2016...
Bumpy road possible for road user charge

Bumpy road possible for road user charge

With Washington’s road user charge fee (RUC) pilot program scheduled to start this year, some anticipate a possible decision by the legislature about whether...
Industry members urge restraint with carbon tax

Industry members urge restraint with carbon tax

Governor Jay Inslee’s efforts during recent legislative sessions to impose a statewide carbon tax have been unsuccessful, but with Democrats now controlling both chambers,...
Revitalizing Washington’s manufacturing industry with tax cut

Revitalizing Washington’s manufacturing industry with tax cut

During last year’s legislative session, the longest in state history, lawmakers approved a 2017-19 operating budget that included a reduced gross receipts tax, or...
Apprentice works on machinery

New grant to bolster employment efforts

Washington state youth and adults will now have access to new grant funding for job opportunities under the Career Connect Washington Initiative that begins...
Semi truck on highway

Electronic monitoring levels economic playing field

A recent Congressional mandate has instituted the use of electronic devices to ensure truckers throughout the country comply with rules that regulate the hours...
What constitutes Sound Transit car tab “relief”?

What constitutes Sound Transit car tab “relief”?

The 2018 legislative session began with key Democrat lawmakers vowing to implement tax relief for Puget Sound drivers paying a new motor vehicle excise...
Loading forestry truck

Employers support high-demand jobs bill

Washington state lawmakers heard from rural employers this week who support a pending proposal to support students to both earn degrees and succeed in...
Apprentice changes oil on car

Job training proposal could boost employment

The House Education Committee heard testimony this week on a bill which would create a pilot project to better connect Washington state public school...
Fuel standard proposal may be untenable, stakeholders warn

Stakeholders: Fuel standard proposal may be untenable

Washington state carbon emission reduction is the driving force behind an assortment of proposed legislation this session, with Governor Jay Inslee setting the mood...
Construction workers and equipment

Washington’s housing and transportation disconnect

Washington has spent roughly $12.5 billion on transportation capital projects since 2011-13, yet a lack of cohesion between transportation investments, regional housing and job...
old water well

Hirst bill kicks off session water use talks

As legislators embark on the 2018 session, one of the first committee meetings saw introduction of a proposal to address negative effects stemming from...
Coal trains in terminal

Millennium Bulk Terminals’ parent company sues Inslee administration

Lighthouse Resources, Inc., the parent company of Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT), this week filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Jay Inslee and members of...
people in front of amazon sign

Analyst: Amazon searching for better business climate

As Amazon looks for candidates for its second headquarters (HQ2), Seattle leadership would like a clean slate in its relationship with the company. One...
Lawmakers: Regional growth plans must acknowledge reality

Lawmakers: Regional growth plans must acknowledge reality

As the central Puget Sound region continues to struggle with explosive growth, some state lawmakers say certain provisions in the state’s Growth Management Act...
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