Regular Session Concludes On Symbolic Tax Bill Votes

Regular Session Concludes On Symbolic Tax Bill Votes

The regular legislative session ended for all intents and purposes last week in Olympia with a symbolic vote on two Senate bills seeking to...
Lawmakers Lift Restrictions On School Siting

Lawmakers Lift Restrictions On School Siting

The Washington State Legislature this week approved legislation allowing school districts to build new facilities outside of their county’s “urban growth area” (UGA) under...

Promoting Rural Business Investments

Washington State lawmaker testimony proved lively last week on a bill that would establish a tax credit program to incentivize investment in rural businesses. SB 5208...
Potential Inslee Veto Looms Over Green Energy Bill

Potential Inslee Veto Looms Over Green Energy Bill

Washington industry leaders are calling on Governor Jay Inslee to sign a bipartisan bill overwhelmingly approved by the state House and Senate, which they...
Leveling The Playing Field For Manufacturing Businesses

Leveling The Playing Field For Manufacturing Businesses

A new Senate bill would encourage competitiveness and promote job creation for smaller and medium-sized manufacturing businesses by reducing their general business and occupation (B&O) tax rate....
Bringing Prosperity To All Of Washington

Bringing Prosperity To All Of Washington

The Washington State House on Wednesday, April 12 overwhelming approved a bill allowing counties suffering from economic hardship to sidestep some of the state Growth Management...
Connecting Job-Creating Rail Lines

Connecting Job Creators To Shortline Railroads

The Washington state Senate has passed a bipartisan bill that loosens the state Growth Management Act’s (GMA) rural land development restrictions, allowing local governments...
Developing A Small Business Bill Of Rights

Developing A Small Business Bill Of Rights

A bill seeking to equip small business owners with their own bill of rights during state agency inspections has passed both chambers of the Washington...
Clearing the Path To Middle-Skill Careers

Clearing the Path To Middle-Skill Careers

The Washington State House this week approved a measure which would boost recruitment efforts in high-demand industry fields, and fill worker shortages voiced by those...
Giving Small Businesses Regulatory Relief

Giving Small Businesses Regulatory Relief

Washington State small business employers might soon experience reduced regulatory burdens under a House bill which has now passed both chambers. On Friday, May 7,...
Senate Hirst Bill: It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over

Senate Hirst Bill: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

The fight for a potential fix to Hirst isn't over quite yet. Despite SB 5239 failing to receive a vote before the Wednesday, March 29 cutoff for passing...
Luring Major U.S. Export Industry To Washington

Luring Major U.S. Export Industry To Washington

In 2016, the semiconductor manufacturing industry exported $43.1 billion worth of product, making it the third most lucrative U.S. export. A new report by...
Making Washington More Appealing For Manufacturing

Making Washington More Appealing For Manufacturing

A Senate bill making its way through the Washington State Legislature aims to attract more manufacturing companies to move to the state and incentivize those...
House Budget Funding Bill Faces Uncertain Future

House Budget Funding Bill Faces Uncertain Future

With the state House proposed 2017-19 operating budget approved last week, eyes are now fixed on legislation needed to fund it. HB 2186 received...
Promoting Timely Completion Of Development Projects

Removing Bureaucratic Roadblocks To Economic Development

A Senate bill now making its rounds in the House might finally improve Washington's lengthy permitting process and save project leaders headache. That is according to...

Bi-State Bridge Proposal Spans Political Ravines

Legislation aiming to renew inter-state talks for replacing the Interstate 5 Bridge appears on the cusp of bicameral approval. This week SB 5806 was...
Battle Of The State Budgets Begins

Battle Of The State Budgets Begins

House Democrats have released their proposed 2017-19 operating budget that includes over $7 billion in increased basic education spending over four years and a...
Lawmakers Seek To Reduce Resident Energy Bills

Lawmakers Seek To Reduce Resident Energy Bills

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers want Washington utility customers who finance hydro-efficiency improvements at the federally-owned dams in the Columbia River Basin to...
Promoting Middle-Skill Worker Recruitment Efforts

Promoting Middle-Skill Worker Recruitment Efforts

After an overwhelming majority vote in the Washington State Senate earlier this month, business advocates this week are praising SB 5713 during it's first...
Alleviating Small Business Regulatory Burdens

Alleviating Small Business Regulatory Burdens

After a recent Washington State Auditor's Office (SAO) performance audit determined state agencies are falling short when complying with the Regulatory Fairness Act (RFA),...
Bill Proposes Public-Private Partnership To Improve Rural Broadband Access

Bill Proposes Public-Private Partnership To Improve Rural Broadband Access

In 2015, half a million Washington state residents lacked access to a broadband-speed Internet connection, according to the Broadband Now project. State lawmakers want...

Consolidating Beer, Wine, and Spirits Licenses For Retail Businesses 

Washington state lawmakers are strongly supporting a House measure which would reduce licensing burdens for grocery store and wine or beer specialty stores. HB 1351 received...
Small Business 'Bill Of Rights' Legislation Receiving Strong Support

Small Business ‘Bill Of Rights’ Legislation Receiving Strong Support

After unanimously passing their respective Washington State houses last month, two pieces of legislation related to informing small business of their rights under state...
New Carbon Tax Proposal Under Fire By Washington Manufacturers

New Carbon Tax Proposal Under Fire By Washington Manufacturers

House Democrats have proposed a new carbon tax they say addresses criticisms leveled against similar proposals that have failed to garner legislative or voter...
Deregulating Washington’s Movie Theater Industry

Deregulating Washington’s Movie Theater Industry

Local theater business owners are praising SB 5161, which they argue would offer a better return of investment for their venues and help those businesses better...
Washington Industry Urges Caution With Proposed Data Broker Tax

Washington Industry Urges Caution With Personal Data Sales Tax

Annual sales of personal information in the United States now exceeds $300 billion. Some state lawmakers want to tax those transactions when they involve...
Giving A Boost To Washington's Hi-Tech Research, Space Industry

Giving A Boost To Washington’s Hi-Tech Research, Space Industry

Washington currently ranks fifth in the nation for innovation related to research and development (R&D), according to a 2016 study by the Milken Institute...
The Future of 5G Networks In Washington State

The Future of 5G In Washington State

The expansion of 5th generation (5G) mobile networks technology is expected to create three million new jobs and increase the nation’s annual GDP by...

Implementing Statewide Regulations For Ridesharing Companies

This week, the Washington State Senate approved a measure which would establish statewide laws for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Lyft or Uber. During...
Income Tax Ban Fails Senate Vote, But Clarifies Lawmakers’ Stance

Income Tax Ban Fails Senate Vote, But Clarifies Lawmakers’ Stance

A proposed constitutional amendment banning state or local taxes on individual incomes failed to garner the necessary two-thirds majority vote in the State Senate...
utreach Efforts For A Skilled Workforce

Bolstering Industry Outreach Efforts For A Skilled Workforce

As part of a national survey last fall, Washington state's construction sector businesses reported a strong need for recruiting skilled workers for hourly craft jobs....
Measure Streamlining Municipal Business Licensing Clears House

Measure Streamlining Municipal Business Licensing Clears House

Washington small business owners may soon get a large licensing and reporting break. On Thursday, March 2, HB 2005 was voted out off the House...
Washington Industries Appeal EPA State Water Quality Standards

Washington Industries Appeal EPA State Water Quality Standards

A group of Washington employers and associations are appealing a newly-adopted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule for water quality standards in favor of a...
Potential "Hirst" Fix Clears Washington State Senate

Potential “Hirst” Fix Clears Washington State Senate

After much debate and public testimony, the Washington State Senate passed E2SSB 5239 in an attempt to correct the negative economic impacts of the...
Rival Political Strategies In Play Over Progressive Income Tax

Rival Political Strategies In Play Over Progressive Income Tax

After Olympia voters decisively rejected a proposed tax in November, there is a renewed push to permit a progressive income tax in Washington through...
Better Including Business On Higher Education Capital Budget Requests

Greater Business Influence On Higher Education Infrastructure

Recent legislation is gaining traction in the Washington state legislature which would join efforts from higher education institutions and state businesses together to decide where...
Creating A Streamlined, Uniform Process For Ridesharing Businesses

Creating A Streamlined, Uniform Process For Ridesharing Businesses

Drivers operating under Washington's ridesharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, often struggle acquiring proper licenses for operating within different cities. That is according...
Renewing Talks On Bi-State Bridge Replacement

Renewing Talks On Bi-State Bridge Replacement

State lawmakers want to restart discussions for replacing the Interstate 5 Bridge connecting Washington and Oregon, after the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) succumbed to...
Addressing Stalled Development in Rural Washington

Addressing Stalled Development in Rural Washington

A bipartisan bill related to the Hirst Supreme Court decision cleared committee at the end of last week, which would work to restore residential...

Washington State Lawmakers Move to Loosen Rural Growth Restrictions

Washington state lawmakers are trying to help rural counties suffering from economic stagnation or decline by allowing industrial and commercial growth outside so-called “urban...
Reducing Municipal General Business License Confusion

Reducing Municipal General Business License Confusion

Washington employers are often bogged down by the variety of licenses and regulations required to operate within multiple cities. That is what small business...
Shining Light on Secret Public Sector Labor Negotiations

Shining Light on Secret Public Sector Labor Negotiations

Two state Republican Senate bills aim to reform contract negotiations currently held in secret between public officials and public sector unions. SB 5545 would...

Washington’s Global Trade Future Without The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Although the United States is advancing without a stake in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Washington state's global trade future is far from over. How...
Finding The Hidden Jobs Of The Future

Finding The Hidden Jobs Of The Future

Haven't you always wanted to work in sustainable forestry, or salmon restoration? How about a steady, working-wage job operating, maintaining and repairing machinery used...
Two Starkly Different Visions For K-12

Two Starkly Different Visions For K-12

At a hearing of the Senate Ways and Means Committee Monday, January 30, lawmakers further staked out their ground in what will be protracted...
Paid Sick Leave Compromise Bill Emerges

Paid Sick Leave Compromise Bill Emerges

Bipartisan sponsors and employer stakeholders Monday, January 30 came together around a compromise bill on paid family and sick leave, at a hearing of...
State May Help Sonics, But Not With Cash

State May Help Sonics, But Not With Cash

State lawmakers January 26 kicked off the first of three planned work sessions to help decide if legislation would help bring the Seattle Sonics...
Cutting Red Tape On Job Licensing

Cutting Red Tape On Job Licensing

Nearly one-third of Washington jobs require government-issued occupational licenses or certificates, more than in all but two other states. Licensing delays and red tape...
Coming: A Workers' Comp Overhaul Try

Coming: A Workers’ Comp Overhaul Try

What would be meaty reforms to the state's troubled workers' compensation system are contained in new draft Senate legislation heard in the Commerce, Labor...
Forecast: Inslee's '17-'19 Budget Would Take $11 Billion In New Taxes By 2021

Forecast: Inslee’s ’17-’19 Budget Would Take $11 Billion In New Taxes By 2021

According to a recent four-year outlook from Washington's Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC), Governor Jay Inslee's 2017-19 operating budget would take about $11.3 billion...
Tourism Funding Gains Traction In Hous

Tourism Funding Gains Traction In House

The push to restore funding for statewide tourism in Washington accelerated Wednesday, January 25 at a public hearing of the House Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee....
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