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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...
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...
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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...
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...
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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...
How safety shapes driverless car technology

How safety shapes driverless car technology

A new state law that takes effect in June creates a state work group that assists the Washington State Transportation Commission on making annual...
The politics of congestion tolling

The politics of congestion tolling

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced plans to toll certain roads in the city to reduce congestion and carbon emissions. Although the details aren’t...
Milk being poured

Organic milk farmers surviving, not thriving

Although market indicators in the 1990s pointed to organic dairy as the next fad, those farmers today are determining how to stay afloat in...
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...
Apple harvesting

Washington agriculture and the Chinese trade war

Washington agricultural businesses and producers need to find a new trade partner, and quick. That is what industry stakeholders are saying in response to...
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Lens Video: Promoting free trade for agriculture

Darigold President and CEO Stan Ryan discusses the importance of free trade for the agricultural industry during the 2018 Washington Council on International Trade...
Avoiding a misfire with Cascadia bullet train

Avoiding a misfire with Cascadia bullet train

Proponents of an ultra-high-speed rail line between British Columbia, Seattle and Oregon recently achieved another necessary step toward realizing that vision, while recent nightmare...
Treasurer warns of raiding rainy day fund

Treasurer warns of raiding rainy day fund

Washington state is expected to receive billions in unexpected revenue in the 2017-19 biennium, and the legislature’s intent via the 2018 supplemental operating budget...
Running the circuit for electric vehicles

Running the circuit for electric vehicles

A state sales tax exemption for electric vehicle purchases in Washington state is set to expire after reaching a threshold set by the legislature...
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...
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...
Navigating a road mileage charge

Navigating a road mileage charge

Washington’s road user charge (RUC) fee pilot program is underway with 2,000 volunteer drivers testing out a variety of ways to keep track of...
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...
Roadmap for Sound Transit future

Roadmap for Sound Transit future

Puget Sound drivers who want a reduced ST3 car tab tax may have to get as loud as the Seahawks stadium at gametime if...
Central Washington Sceneryvideo

Lens Video: Revitalizing Washington’s tourism program

Lens sat down with State Rep. Cary Condotta (R-12) to discuss the future of tourism in Washington state. Lawmakers are pushing to reopen a...
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...
The route to driverless cars

The route to driverless cars

Driverless vehicle technology is still under development, but Washington stakeholders aren’t waiting to encourage its inclusion in regional transportation policy. A presentation last year...
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...
Aviation loan program clears

Aviation loan program clears runway

For the first time in 10 years, Bowerman Airport in the Port of Grays Harbor announced that all of its 28 hangers are leased...
The dark side of carbon tax’s demise

The dark side of carbon tax’s demise

After the election of Sen. Manka Dhingra in the 45th legislative district gave Democrats control of both legislative chambers and the governorship, some wondered...
The striking cost of “meager” ST3 tax relief

The striking cost of “meager” ST3 tax relief

In the fight to reduce the new ST3 car tab tax for Puget Sound drivers, no matter who wins, Sound Transit still wins. It’s a...
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...
Lake Chelan

Revitalizing statewide tourism efforts

Two state lawmakers from central Washington are expressing the need for statewide tourism marketing, as they say Washington is overshadowed by other states’ efforts....
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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