Home Authors Posts by TJ Martinell

TJ Martinell

850 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
TJ Martinell is a native Washingtonian and award-winning journalist. Born and raised in Bellevue, he’s been involved in the news industry since working at his high school newspaper. His investigative reporting for various community newspapers in the Puget Sound region has been recognized by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and the Society for Professional Journalists. A graduate of Eastern Washington University, he has a B.A. in journalism and was the news editor of EWU’s student university newspaper.
Aerospace stakeholders contemplate path to recovery

Aerospace stakeholders contemplate path to recovery

Washington state’s aerospace industry has certainly seen better years than 2020. In addition to the economic shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic all...
New WPC study challenges Cascadia high-speed rail feasibility

New WPC study challenges Cascadia high-speed rail feasibility

Proponents of a proposed public-private partnership (P3) Cascadia high-speed rail line from Vancouver, B.C. to Portland, Ore. contend that the project could improve regional...
Commission may push for small airport loan extension

Commission may push for small airport loan extension

The state Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission (CACC) created by the state legislature in 2019 is tasked with developing a plan to meet Washington’s freight...
The economic shutdown and transportation revenue

The economic shutdown and transportation revenue

Prior to its defeat via a State Supreme Court decision, Initiative 976 would have reduced Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) revenue by $421...
How GMA could help – or hurt – housing crisis

How GMA could help – or hurt – housing crisis

After decades of planning under the state Growth Management Act (GMA), a significant number of builders, housing advocates, and state lawmakers believe the law...
Amid pandemic, analysts see opportunity for greater school choice

Amid pandemic, analysts see opportunity for greater school choice

Eight years after the State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision and subsequent billions in new tax revenue poured into the K-12 system by the state...
Historic Seattle rail bridge will remain, with repairs

Historic Seattle rail bridge will remain, with repairs

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) has announced it will repair the Salmon Bay Rail Bridge near the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle’s Ballard...
I-976 struck down as panel mulls new transportation taxes

I-976 struck down as panel mulls new transportation taxes

The release of the Washington State Supreme Court decision striking down Initiative 976 that was approved by voters last November seems appropriately timed –...
Unemployment tax hike will harm already struggling businesses

Unemployment tax hike will harm already struggling businesses

After a year of historic layoffs and unemployment claims that threatened to bankrupt the state Unemployment Trust Fund, businesses that managed to survive could...
K-12 funding and taxes: how much is enough?

K-12 funding and taxes: how much is enough?

Even though the state legislature has poured billions into the K-12 education system since the 2013-15 biennium following a 2012 State Supreme Court  ,...
Work group may favor “gradual” approach to single-payer health care

Work group may favor “gradual” approach to single-payer health care

The state Universal Health Care Work Group is working on a new report update for the state legislature outlining end goals to pursue, ultimately...
PSE announces small biz energy contest

PSE announces small biz energy contest

With half of Washington’s workforce employed by small businesses, the survival of those employers at a time of high unemployment has become a heightened...
COVID-19 and the role of telehealth

COVID-19 and the role of telehealth

The state legislature since 2015 has explored the concept of telemedicine – i part to improve healthcare access for rural communities. With the onset...
Reassessing transit for Interstate Bridge replacement

Reassessing transit for Interstate Bridge replacement

Disagreement among Washington and Oregon stakeholders regarding the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) in 2013 put a long pause on – then the Washington state...
Tourism industry could take years to recover from shutdown

Tourism industry could take years to recover from shutdown

Washington’s tourism industry continues to struggle amid the state’s economic shutdown in response to COVID-19, with the effects felt in both urban and rural...
Whatcom County may restart Cherry Point regulatory work

Whatcom County may restart Cherry Point regulatory work

For more than four years the Whatcom County Council has explored reregulating the Cherry Point industrial area, already one of the most regulated and...
Field director for 5th District candidate shares views with implications for public safety, business community

Implications for public safety, business community in 5th District Senate race

Discussions in recent months regarding law enforcement funding have also highlighted the role public safety professionals play in fostering and protecting a healthy business...
Housing as “critical infrastructure”

Housing as “critical infrastructure”

The state Growth Management Act (GMA) remains a primary focus for stakeholders who are trying to address Washington state’s housing shortage and lack of...
What has new basic education spending achieved?

What has new basic education spending achieved?

Although the latest update from the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) shows a 20 percent jump in revenue compared to the June...
Will future RUC revenue be protected?

Will future RUC revenue be protected?

The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) for eight years has studied the concept of a road usage charge (RUC) in which drivers pay a...
Private ferry route may replace WSDOT service

Private ferry route may replace WSDOT service

While King County looks at ferry service across Lake Washington, the state Joint Transportation Committee (JTC) is exploring the idea of a private ferry...
“Uphill” battle remains for single-payer healthcare work

“Uphill” battle remains for single-payer healthcare work

For more than a year a state work group has explored the idea of a universal healthcare system in Washington state with forthcoming recommendations...
Planned forest health work unaffected by wildfires – for now

Planned forest health work unaffected by wildfires – for now

The 2020 wildfire season has quickly escalated from one of the mildest in the past decade to one of the most severe, with more...
Defining “public use” for broadband

Defining “public use” for broadband

The legislature last year enacted a law creating the State Broadband Office (SBO) within the state Department of Commerce to expand access to all...
Analyst says healthcare system “at crossroads”

Analyst says healthcare system “at crossroads”

Within the debate over healthcare reform in the U.S. are conflicting philosophies regarding how the system should operate and who ultimately should make health...
Wildfire season takes “fast and furious” turn

Wildfire season takes “fast and furious” turn

Washington state’s wildfire season dramatically intensified this past weekend with more than 20 times the number of acres burned in the past week than...
Washington’s budget woes

Washington’s budget woes

State lawmakers since May have been calling for a special session to address a significant operating budget revenue shortfall for the current biennium. Framing...
PSE signs agreement for new Oregon wind farm

PSE signs agreement for new Oregon wind farm

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has signed a new agreement with Portland-based Avangrid Renewables to build a 28,000 acre wind farm in north central Oregon...
King County GHG goal, policy “disconnect”

King County GHG goal, policy “disconnect”

A criticism often leveled against government environmental efforts is the disconnect between climate goals and what is actually achieved. Washington state and local governments...
Is increased DNR wildfire funding paying off?

Is increased DNR wildfire funding paying off?

This year’s wildfire season is on track to be one of the mildest in decades, though state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials say...
The politics of transportation revenue

The politics of transportation revenue

The Statewide Transportation Needs Assessment Advisory Panel is looking at potential new taxes or fees to aid an underfunded system throughout Washington state, and...
GMA’s top-down approach to housing could intensify

GMA’s top-down approach to housing could intensify

Since the early 1990s the state Growth Management Act (GMA) has directed regional and local zoning policy regarding economic development and housing to prevent...
Seattle’s spending priorities matter to businesses large and small

Seattle’s spending priorities matter to businesses large and small

The Seattle City Council last month passed a new payroll tax intended to help plug shortfalls in the city budget, and there’s a strong...
Restoring the legislature’s role during pandemic

Restoring the legislature’s role during pandemic

Despite a $4.5 billion shortfall for the current state operating budget, a $9 billion revenue gap through the next biennium and a current cash...
Former Washington Senator Slade Gorton dies, age 92

Former Washington Senator Slade Gorton dies, age 92

Former state legislator and U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton died Aug. 19 at the age of 92 after a brief illness. As State Attorney General,...
New legal precedent set for public pension policy

New legal precedent set for public pension policy

The Washington Pension Funding Council recently voted to maintain a 7.5 percent assumed rate of growth for pension investments to ease financial pressure on...
Trucking’s future role in RUC program

Trucking’s future role in RUC program

Although the trucking industry isn’t included in Washington state’s ongoing exploration of a road usage charge (RUC) program as an eventual replacement for the...
Budget cuts could undermine hatchery production

Budget cuts could undermine hatchery production

After years of trying to reestablish its pre-Great Recession funding levels, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is looking at potential...
I-5 Bridge talks remain cautious

I-5 Bridge talks remain cautious

More than two years after the Washington state legislature created an interstate committee to restart the I-5 Bridge replacement process, the political fallout from...
Washington’s cash flow woes

Washington’s cash flow woes

On top of a $4.5 billion revenue shortfall in its operating budget, the state of Washington is now facing a cash flow problem that...

“At this point it doesn’t look like there will even be a #waleg work...

– House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox (R-2).
Pension council rejects lower growth assumptions

Pension council rejects lower growth assumptions

The Pension Funding Council voted 4-2 at its July 29 meeting to keep a 7.5 percent assumed rate of growth for investments a week...
Mild wildfire season could intensify in weeks ahead

Mild wildfire season could intensify in weeks ahead

This year’s wildfire season is proving to be one of the mildest in the past decade, though weather forecasted for the next week could...
State tourism branding efforts complicated by pandemic

State tourism branding efforts complicated by pandemic

The state economic shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has only complicated efforts by the Washington Tourism Marketing Authority (WTMA) to promote the...
Could JBLM relocate to accommodate a future airport?

Could JBLM relocate to accommodate a future airport?

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Aviation Coordination Commission over the next two years must come up with several potential locations for a...
Unfunded liability drops as committee recommends lower pension rates

Unfunded liability drops as committee recommends lower pension rates

The state Select Committee on Pension Policy has voted to lower the assumed rate of return for the state’s public pension investments from 7.5...
Is single payer health care a nonstarter?

Is single payer health care a nonstarter?

Although Washington state’s Universal Health Care Work Group has yet to make formal recommendations to the state legislature on how to implement a single...
train

High speed rail talks move ahead

For three years, a coalition of public and private groups has explored the idea of an ultra-high-speed rail corridor from Vancouver, B.C. through Seattle...
Seattle City Council approves new payroll tax

Seattle City Council approves new payroll tax

Just over two years after passing and repealing a job tax ordinance, the Seattle City Council voted at a July 6 meeting in favor...
High court to decide I-976 fate

High court to decide I-976 fate

The state Supreme Court will decide the fate of Initiative 976 sponsored by Tim Eyman, following oral arguments at a June 30 hearing and...
Study: Rent control would wipe out year’s worth of housing

Study: Rent control would wipe out year’s worth of housing

In recent years, efforts at both the local and state levels have been made to restrict control of rental property by landlords. A proposal...

Reader Favorites