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Lens Video: Head tax- Sending the right message to business

"It's not as if they (the Seattle City Council) had a change of mind, so I worry that we will see some other form of anti-growth, anti-jobs tax that will replace this one" -State Sen. Steve O'Ban (R-28)
Grocery store checkout line

Grocers embrace new tech to stay afloat

Grocery stores across Washington are stepping up their efforts to modernize and reformat their stores to better highlight what online shopping can never quite...
'Right to work’ ruling could change public sector landscape

‘Right to work’ ruling could change public sector landscape

The state of Illinois is in a financial mess; every resident owes $11,000 for $150 billion in unfunded public pension liabilities. The state’s credit...
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Lens Video: Challenges for Washington’s small, local farmers

Lens traveled to Kent-based Windy Acre Farm to ask owner Chris Sechrist about any obstacles to his farm's success while operating within King County...
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Lens Video: Seattle head tax-not just an Amazon tax

Lens asked Jan Gee, President and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA), her opinion of the Seattle City Council voting unanimously to...
Employees helping at a grocery store check out line

Head tax passes despite business outcry

The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved its head tax proposal that will impose a significant penalty on Seattle’s largest businesses in the name...
Right to work for public employees?

Right to work for public employees?

A case currently before the United States Supreme Court may soon determine whether public employees throughout the country have to pay union dues –...
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Lens Video: Labor weighs in on proposed head tax

Lens attended the Seattle City Council's Finance and Neighborhoods public hearing and asked Chris McClain, Business Manager for Iron Workers Local Union 86, his...
Welder at work

National associations join MBT lawsuit

National trade and resource associations and several states are joining Millennium Bulk Terminals’ (MBT) lawsuit against Governor Jay Inslee and his administration for obstructing...
City of Seattle at night

Head tax “last nail in the coffin”

In the latest development in the controversy surrounding the Seattle City Council’s proposed business tax plan, or “head tax,” Amazon has stopped development in...
Aerial shot of Seattle

Seattle business leaders: tax scheme punishing to employment sector

On Apr. 21, the Seattle City Council unveiled its proposed business tax plan to raise $75 million for additional  affordable housing options and addressing...
Initiative opens government labor talks to public

Initiative opens government labor talks to public

Governor Jay Inslee’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) next week will begin collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations with public unions in meetings that are...
BNSF Railway train

Washington’s ties to cleaner coal solution

As Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT) continues to weather six years of permit applications to create an export terminal in Longview, Washington, President and CEO...
U.S. lawmakers speak to the future of global trade

Securing Washington’s trade future

During the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT)’s annual Trade Summit, U.S. lawmakers weighed in on how Washington state could maintain its position in...
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Lens Video: Washington’s skilled worker gap

Lens sat down with State Sen. Guy Palumbo (D-1) to discuss how Washington can better prepare for the projected skilled worker gap.
Skilled workers in factory

The ‘Silver Tsunami’ and Washington’s skilled worker gap

As the older generation of workers is aging out of skilled jobs, what some refer to as the “Silver Tsunami”, many open positions are...
Construction workers discussing plan

Addressing Washington’s skilled worker gap

With an aging workforce and new jobs appearing weekly across the state, one thing is clear: Washington needs to double down on preparing to...
Raw law export in Longview

Longview: Tenant would feed city’s tech appetite

A company with a focus on powering supercomputers has set its sights on Longview, Washington as its potential location for operations. Both the company...
Ships docked

Modernizing the state’s fishing fleet

Lawmakers and stakeholders are praising a proposal which would help encourage competitiveness of the state’s fishing and seafood processing sectors by establishing a preferential...
Construction workers planning next step

Lawmakers: Future of work proposal “redundant”

State lawmakers disagreed over the need for a bill which would predict changes in Washington industries and work by creating the future of work...
Home caretaker with patient

House divided over individual provider bill

Lawmakers proved unwavering while discussing the passage of SB 6199 during House floor debate. There was a clear divide between Republicans and Democrats, with...
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...
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...
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’...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Construction workers on site

Employers call for better workplace safety citation process

Washington business owners are reporting that it is difficult to stay informed when receiving workplace safety inspection penalties given out by the Department of...
Seattle clothing shop

Licensing, permitting top regulatory burdens for Washington businesses

Washington businesses often struggle to navigate numerous licensing and regulatory requirements while operating in the state, and industry and business leaders are saying these...
Trains passing through terminal

Millennium Bulk Terminals sues Ecology for withheld records

Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT) filed a lawsuit this week against the Washington State Department of Ecology for withholding records used as the basis for...
Loading Crane at Port of Vancouver

Energy council recommends governor deny Vancouver Energy project

The Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) voted unanimously this week to send Governor Jay Inslee a recommendation to deny the proposed...
Dock extending into Columbia River

Stakeholders say Millennium permit denial endangers business climate

The Cowlitz County Hearings Examiner this week denied Millennium Bulk Terminals its Shoreline Permit for its proposed export terminal in Longview. Labor and business...
Does Washington Need A “Climate Change” For Manufacturers?

Does Washington need a “climate change” for manufacturers?

Washington manufacturers currently make up roughly nine percent of the state’s workforce. This represents a three percent drop since 2000, according to a new...
Wendy Hutchinson speaks to benefit of Millennium Bulk Terminals project

Hearings on Millennium Bulk Terminals permits conclude with strong support

Hearings concluded this week on Millennium Bulk Terminals’ (MBT) Shoreline Substantial Development and Conditional Use Permits for its proposed export terminal in Longview. The...

Washington Policy Center to expand, focus on labor issues

The Washington Policy Center (WPC) has announced it will expand its research at the start of 2018, opening a center to focus on labor...

Spokane rail measure bad for trade-dependent Washington

There is no question Washington is seeing increasing activism by those who are opposed to industrial projects, especially when fossil fuels are involved. While...

Labor urges passage of Millennium Bulk Terminals permit to boost economy, create jobs

Members of the labor community have taken a strong interest in urging Cowlitz County to approve shoreline permits for the proposed export terminal project...
Port a catalyst for economic growth in Clark County

Port a catalyst for economic growth in Clark County

As Clark County prepares for further economic development, the Port of Vancouver could prove another strong source of growth in the region. At the moment,...

WWU study highlights economic benefits of agribusiness in Whatcom County

As a recent Western Washington University (WWU) study highlights the benefits of agriculture to Whatcom County businesses, one of the study’s authors as well...

Think tank that helped create Seattle’s progressive income tax wants to defend it

A Seattle think tank that was paid $50,000 by the city for consultant work on its progressive income tax now wants to intervene in...

Public awareness campaign warns voters of Spokane rail proposition

A public awareness campaign has launched to inform Spokane voters of the dangers of approving a proposition to fine rail car owners for transporting...

Lawmakers take second look at possible collective bargain reforms

Some state lawmakers are looking at ways to avoid a repeat of this year’s extended special session – the longest in Washington history. One contributor...

Workers comp cases need increased state oversight, employers say

After four years of battling a reportedly fraudulent workers’ compensation claim, one Washington construction business has decided to drop the case to avoid further...

Millennium Bulk Terminals Receives First Permit For Coal Export Terminal

After nearly five years and five months in the permitting process, Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT) has finally received its first permit for the company’s...

Seattle’s Business Climate and Consequences of a Progressive Income Tax

Even if the Seattle City Council’s local progressive income tax survives a court challenge, the unanimous vote symbolizes an agenda by the city in...

Construction Business Owner Shares His Struggle With Unresolved Workers’ Compensation Claim

A long-standing workers’ compensation claim can be enough to put a company out of business, take away the owner’s ability to stay profitable, or...
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