Do carbon taxes work?

Do carbon taxes work?

A question some voters might have before voting on Initiative 1631 creating a $15-per-ton tax on carbon is whether it will actually work in...
Columbia River pier

Millennium suing Ecology for bias

Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT) has announced it is suing Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon for bias in delaying its proposed export terminal project...
Utilities warn of “pancaking” carbon proposals

Utilities warn of “pancaking” carbon proposals

Two eastern Washington public utility districts (PUD) have passed resolutions opposing Initiative I-1631 which creats a carbon tax on certain emitters, saying they are...
Blending science, policy on dams

Blending science, policy on dams

Proponents of breaching the four lower Snake River dams to aid the recovery of endangered salmon species know the move would ultimately require Congressional...
Tariffs and Washington’s economic outlook

Tariffs and Washington’s economic outlook

An ongoing concern among Washington state officials is the potential impact of a trade war between the U.S. and China. However, the latest economic...
Catching up with growing guest worker demand

Catching up with growing guest worker demand

In recent years Washington’s agricultural employers have dramatically increased the use of H-2A visa guest workers to harvest crops; the number of workers requested...
Truckers: Carbon tax will raise prices everywhere

Truckers: Carbon tax will raise prices everywhere

The proposed $15 per-ton carbon tax via Initiative 1631 is portrayed by supporters as a way to reduce pollution in Washington state by placing...
The price of a carbon tax

The price of a carbon tax

As the November election approaches, the state’s business association composed of 7,000 members representing 700,000 employees has come out against a proposed carbon tax...
Lower Snake River dams eyed in orca recovery

Lower Snake River dams eyed in orca recovery

A new task force created by Governor Jay Inslee is looking at ways to aid Southern Resident killer whale recovery. A recent meeting in...
Dick's Drive-In sign

Business Profile: Dick’s Drive-In, then and now

When looking for a burger in the Seattle area, the spinning Dick’s Drive-In (DDI) sign may be hard to pass up for many Washingtonians....
Officials contemplate affordable housing strategy

Officials contemplate affordable housing strategy

The job tax unanimously approved by the Seattle City Council in May was purportedly intended to fund affordable housing efforts. Although the tax has...
Industry leaders decry Seattle’s priorities

Industry leaders decry Seattle’s priorities

While the death of the Seattle job tax following a City Council vote in June could be attributed to several causes – including its...
Straw in strawberry milkshake

Seattle goes strawless: no more plastic pointy things…

Seattle has become the largest metropolitan city to forbid the use of plastic straws and utensils as part of the plastic utensil and straw...
Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

It’s no secret that the Puget Sound region has a housing and traffic problem, but some local and regional lawmakers say regional policy for...
Businesses, analysts: carbon initiative will raise gas prices

Businesses, analysts: carbon initiative will raise gas prices

Proponents of a carbon reduction initiative this week filed the necessary signatures with the Secretary of State’s Office to place it on the November...
Assembling the right public policy for driverless cars

Assembling the right public policy for driverless cars

There may be as many components needed to form Washington’s public policy for driverless cars as the actual vehicles. It’s a challenge the Washington’s...
Retailers: Online sales tax ruling levels playing field

Retailers: Online sales tax ruling levels playing field

Last year, the Washington state legislature approved a law mandating that online retailers without a physical location in the state either remit or collect...
video

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)
Milking Washington’s small dairy farms…to death

Milking Washington’s small dairy farms…to death

Two feet doesn’t seem that far. Yet, industry members warn it’s a distance enough to threaten the survival of many Western Washington dairy farms...
Seattle businesses decapitate head tax

Seattle businesses decapitate head tax

Following a rowdy public comment period and unruly attendees, the Seattle City Council voted at a Tuesday special meeting to repeal the ordinance that...
Supreme Court sides with tribes in culvert ruling

Supreme Court sides with tribes in culvert ruling

In a split decision, the United States Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling ordering Washington state to remove fish barriers that local...
Seattle's Original Starbucks

Head tax shows Seattle is “hostile” to business

The Seattle City Council’s unanimous passage of a business head tax sent ripples throughout the business community and economic development organizations who are sounding...
'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...
video

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...
BNSF Railway Train

BNSF Railway proposes bridge project to ease congestion

BNSF Railway has proposed to build a second rail line that would run over Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, Idaho to help prevent congestion...
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 –...
video

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...
Lens Retrospect: Washington’s Arrested Development

Lens Reflections: Washington’s Arrested Development  

In recent years, major development efforts in Washington state have floundered due to environmental regulations that in the past would have stymied major infrastructure...
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...
Digital world solutions to physical world problems

Digital world solutions to physical world problems

New technology can bring uncertainty about its impact on society. As companies such as Waymo begin rolling out self-driving vehicles, safety concerns have led...
First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

Earlier this year state lawmakers and Governor Jay Inslee approved a law addressing rural growth restrictions imposed by the State Supreme Court’s 2016 Hirst...
High stakes in fish barrier ruling

High stakes in fish barrier ruling

Under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court is a case between Washington state and Native American tribes concerning treaty fishing rights and the removal...
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...
video

Lens Video: Washington’s trade future

Lens sat down with Lori Otto Punke, President of the Washington Council on International Trade, to discuss what Washington state industries reliant on global...
App demand for road user charge fee

App demand for road user charge fee

One planned feature of the Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) ongoing road user charge (RUC) pilot program is obtaining frequent participant feedback on their...
Residential well

Development picks up with Hirst fix

Three months since Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 6091, commonly referred to as the Hirst fix, into law, representatives from the Legislature, the...
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...
How healthy is Washington’s manufacturing industry?

How healthy is Washington’s manufacturing industry?

Of recent interest to both state lawmakers and the business community is the health of Washington’s manufacturing industry. Since 2000, the sector has shrunk...
Seattle ripe for ‘cottage’ industry

Seattle ripe for ‘cottage’ industry

The city of Seattle has 55,000 ways to add more rentals to the market without developing new land. That’s according to a recent article...
Truckers oppose road mileage charge

Truckers oppose road mileage charge

Washington state is conducting a road user charge (RUC) fee pilot program to test different ways drivers might one day track and pay a...
Steel worker welding a plate

Trump tariffs would harm small business

Following President Donald Trump’s announcement of new tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, U.S. lawmakers and business stakeholders are saying that the levies would...
When driverless cars and public policy collide

When driverless cars and public policy collide

A recent deadly accident in Arizona involving a self-driving Uber vehicle and the company’s decision to halt their use on roads indicates the level...
Seasonal worker housing divides small town community

Seasonal worker housing divides small town community

A controversy within a tiny Central Washington community over a proposed housing unit on private land along its Main Street for foreign seasonal workers...
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...
Keeping WA energy affordable

Keeping WA energy affordable

A consortium of legislation introduced this session aims to reduce the state’s carbon emissions, which are already among the lowest in the nation. On...
Legislator: Fear, speculation driving net neutrality action

Legislator: Fear, speculation driving net neutrality action

After a brief but spirited debate, the Washington state Senate approved the first state-level net neutrality legislation in the nation. SHB 2282 imposes several regulations...
A “report card” for tax cuts

A “report card” for tax breaks

A frequent debate among legislators is whether excluding an industry or business from a state tax is an incentive that brings more jobs and...
Container ship leaving port

Harbor maintenance tax reform advances with unanimous support

Legislators and representatives from the business and labor communities are showing strong support for the current Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) reform proposal moving through...
Windmill in plains

Utility regulatory change could add flexibility

Utility stakeholders and lawmakers are throwing their support behind a proposal which would allow additional regulatory options for electrical and natural gas companies. Proponents...
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