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...
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...
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...
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...

Fish Or Well Water: The False Dichotomy

Three months after a Washington State Supreme Court ruling effectively halted rural development that is reliant on well water, the effort to safeguard property rights...

Regulatory Fairness Bill Could Have Legs

Prospects could be better than average for a bipartisan House bill meant to ensure state agencies fully comply with the Regulatory Fairness Act (RFA). That law aims to protect employers from excessive...
Debate Grows On Craft Distillery Sales

Debate Grows On Craft Distillery Sales

Owners of smaller privately-owned liquor stores Wednesday, January 18 at a public hearing told the Washington State Senate Commerce, Labor and Sports Committee they're...
Paid Family Leave Battle Looms

Paid Family Leave Battle Looms

Employees in Washington state could claim up to 38 weeks of paid family and sick leave under companion bills introduced in the House and Senate...
Fixing School Siting: Round Two

Fixing School Siting: Round Two

Washington state lawmakers are again trying to help overcrowded school districts serve students with new facilities, which in some cases would have to be built...
Washington State Lawmakers Mull A New Layer Of Oversight For Asphalt Facilities

Washington State Lawmakers Mull A New Layer Of Oversight For Asphalt Facilities

You can't get anywhere without asphalt. It's a crucial component of many of the roads our cars and buses use every day. To deliver...
Agencies Weak On Probing Rules' Costs

Agencies Weak On Probing Rules’ Costs

State agencies have frequently ignored the financial impacts of proposed regulations on small businesses, in violation of state law. That was the big take-away...
Busting The State Workers' Comp Monopoly

Busting The State Workers’ Comp Monopoly

Washington is one of four states in the country without a private insurance option for workers' compensation. Busting the state monopoly on sales of workers comp policies to those employers who are not self-insured would...
Reforms Aplenty Could Tighten Up Workers' Compensation Costs In Washington State

Reforms Could Tighten Up Workers’ Compensation Costs In Washington

Washington state struggles to contain workers' compensation costs, ranking third in payouts nationally per $100 of payroll from 2010 through 2014. It is also one of only...

Housing Affordability And Traffic Collide

Despite often fierce reactions to express toll lanes installed in 2015 on I-405's northern portion, recent state data show most toll lane and general-purpose lane drivers on the...
Southwest Washington Seeks Foothold On Hard Road Back To Economic Health

Southwest Washington Seeks Foothold On Hard Road Back To Economic Health

In November, Jim Walsh became only the second Republican in the last 70 years to win a state legislative seat in Washington's 19th district....

Washington State Aims To Get A Better Grip On Workers’ Compensation Costs

As workers' compensation premiums continue to rise in Washington, raising alarms for employers, the state is already among the most expensive for claims. Washington from...
A roadmap For The Time Of Trump

A Roadmap For The Time Of Trump

Divisions are sharp in Washington State, and the United States, between economically challenged rural communities and thriving metro regions. This crystalised with the election of Donald Trump. Hillary...
Lower Snake River Dams At Storm's Eye

Lower Snake River Dams At Storm’s Eye

Three federal agencies are preparing a new environmental impact statement (EIS) intended to protect threatened salmon and steelhead, and it could result in a recommendation to breach, or decommission, the four...
EPA Mandate On Washington State Water Quality Faces Possible Challenges

EPA Mandate On Washington State Water Quality Faces Possible Challenges

It would cost about $7.4 billion total for every city in the Puget Sound region to upgrade their wastewater treatment plants to the best available technology, according to a projection by...

A Big Punt On Growth Management Reforms – Or A Roadmap To The Future?

A Washington State House panel is now considering proposed reforms to the controversial, 25-year-old Growth Management Act (GMA). It may either be aiming to...

New Reports: Port Project Delays A Blow To Workers, And Washington Economy

Recent reports from the Washington Maritime Federation (WMF) and Washington Research Council (WRC) emphasize that lengthy permitting processes for proposed fossil fuel transport projects at major Washington...
Concerns Deepen On EPA's Campaign Targeting Washington State Agriculture

Concerns Deepen On EPA’s Campaign Targeting Washington State Agriculture

Months before it was under heavy fire and halted funding of a tribal consortium's "What’s Upstream" campaign targeting Washington agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knew...
New Barriers Added By State Supreme Court For Building Homes With Well Water

New Barriers Added By State Supreme Court For Building Homes With Well Water

In the wake of a recent Washington State Supreme Court ruling, potential homebuilders relying on water from wells would be required to spend tens...
Will Washington Reign In Rule-makers?

Will Washington Rein In Rule-makers?

Lawmakers come and go, but unelected rule-makers are forever. Or so it seems. Decisions and actions of agencies and regulatory bodies in Washington state...

Small Cities Press County, PSRC On Growth

A shot across the bow was fired last week last week as two regional growth planning bodies met in Seattle. They were trying to...
Utilities, Industry Sue On State Carbon Cap

Utilities, Industry Sue On State Carbon Cap

The next moves have been made in the chess game encompassing Washington State’s new and controversial carbon cap rule, one that has been advanced...
Different Prescriptions To Ease Clark County Growing Pains

Different Prescriptions To Ease Clark County Growing Pains

As the legislature begins to wade into the contentious task of developing changes to the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA), one of Washington’s fastest-growing...
Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Representatives of Washington cities, counties, schools and citizens groups packed a committee meeting room in Olympia this week to urge that lawmakers amend the...
Carbon Rule Approval May Spark Tussle

Carbon Rule Approval May Spark Tussle

The Washington State Department of Ecology has approved a controversial carbon cap rule that was advanced through administrative fiat and without legislative input by...
Regional Housing Crisis Headed To Lawmakers

Regional Housing Crisis Headed To Lawmakers

Already considered by the President of Seattle King County Realtors to be a crisis that is “ugly and getting uglier,” housing affordability in Greater...
Seattle Getting Granular About Work, Again

Seattle Set To Micromanage Private Sector Work Scheduling; Employers Alarmed

In a move that could inspire similar legislation in other cities nationwide, the Seattle City Council “secure scheduling” ordinance is likely to pass Monday...
Minimum Wage, Maximum Debate

Minimum Wage, Maximum Debate

If approved by voters November 8, Washington Initiative 1433 (I-1433) would just two months later require employers statewide to pay $11 an hour minimum...
Seattle Push For Uber Union Vote Slowed; Automation Is Coming, In Time

Seattle Push For Uber Union Vote Slowed; Automation Is Coming, In Time

The City of Seattle is attempting to engineer unionization votes by drivers at Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft. The effort...
Seattle Worker Scheduling Law Panned

Seattle Worker Scheduling Law Panned

A 48-page draft “secure scheduling” ordinance would impose monetary penalties and micromanagement by mandate on larger Seattle food and retail businesses. Employers say it...

Unemployment Insurance: The Wrong Medicine?

Washington employers carry a relatively high financial burden of providing insurance to jobless workers while they seek new employment. In 2015 businesses in the...
Growth Management Act May Get A Refresh

Growth Management Act May Get A Refresh

Washington state legislators on the House Local Government Committee next month will begin a series of public work sessions to look at how to...
A Fishy Standard For Washington State Water Quality, But It Could Be Even Worse

A Fishy Standard For Washington State Water Quality, But It Could Be Even Worse

The Washington Department of Ecology last week approved new state fish consumption and water quality standards that critics say are too onerous and based on...
Seattle Employer Fees Still An Option, For More City Labor Law Probes And Outreach

Seattle Employer Fees Still An Option, For More City Labor Law Probes And Outreach

Dead for now is a ballot measure on a controversial employee hours-worked tax in Seattle. It would have been to fund more Seattle investigations...
Washington Should Steer Lightly As Driverless Cars Inch Toward Mainstream

Washington Should Steer Lightly As Driverless Cars Inch Toward Mainstream

Like other states, Washington will be confronted with a big question in coming years: how its surface transportation infrastructure will be transformed by driverless...
Spokane Will Vote On Oil Trains, But Measure One May Just Be Symbolic

Spokane Will Vote On Oil Trains, But Measure One May Just Be Symbolic

The Spokane City Council this week approved a November ballot measure asking voters whether oil and coal trains traveling through the city should be...

Occupational Licensing Reform Push Grows

Jerry Schmidt files horse teeth at his farm near Port Angeles, Washington for a fraction of a veterinarian's cost. After a formal complaint from...
Pierce Schools Take Aim At Growth Rule

Pierce Schools Take Aim At Growth Rule

Five school districts have filed a lawsuit against Pierce County to get around a state Growth Management Hearings Board ruling. They say it deprives...

Unemployment Insurance, Workers’ Comp Costs: 50-State Data Viz

An interactive, 50-state data visualization below shows unemployment insurance costs and workers’ compensation rates across the country. The two maps show how states rank...
Legal Attack On Carbon Cap May Be Brewing

Legal Attack On Carbon Cap Brewing?

There are hints in a recent letter to the Washington Department of Ecology from a state senator and in formal comments submitted to Ecology...
Obama's Public Option Panned

Obama’s Public Option Panned

Concerned about consumer costs and under-enrollment, President Obama is asking Congress to consider a public option to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It would...
Critics: Seattle Hotel Measure I-124 Draconian, And Has Sketchy Waiver Clause

Critics: Seattle Hotel Measure I-124 Draconian, And Has Sketchy Waiver Clause

A major U.S. labor union local is advancing a Seattle ballot measure, Initiative 124 (I-124), which purports to help hotel housekeepers. However, industry sources...
State Takes Long Look Under Hood Of Economic Engine Eyed For Clark County

State Takes Long Look Under Hood Of Economic Engine Eyed For Clark County

By the end of the year a Washington state panel will recommend to Governor Jay Inslee whether to proceed with the proposed Tesoro Savage...
Attack On Whatcom Refineries Tanks, For Now

Attack On Whatcom Refineries Tanks

Earlier this year the federal government and then the State of Washington scuttled a coal export terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County. Emboldened,...
Re-isuued Carbon Cap Rule Under Fire

Reissued Carbon Cap Rule Under Fire

A revised Washington state carbon cap rule will smack consumers hard, offers few real compliance pathways and could export jobs and carbon out-of-state, say...

Labor Backs Longview Coal Terminal

A proposed coal export terminal in Longview is accenting the divide between fossil fuel opponents and pro-growth forces which include a hefty array of labor...
A Full Plate For Washington Agriculture: Labor Needs, Visa And Immigration Reform

A Full Plate For Washington Agriculture: Labor Needs, Visa And Immigration Reform

The national trend in agriculture is an unsettling one, and hits close to home in Washington state. Despite growing demand for output, there are...
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