Senate approves House timber bill

Senate approves House timber bill

The Washington Senate on April 16 voted 47-1 in favor of a bill intended to boost the timber industry in rural counties with higher...
Senate approves chemical ban

Senate approves chemical ban

The Washington Senate voted 35-13 on April 15 in favor of ESSHB 1112 to gradually phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons in refrigeration products...
Senate approves urban housing bill

Senate approves urban housing bill

The Washington Senate on April 13 voted 33-12 in favor of a House bill intended to boost the housing supply within urban areas in...
Public union consent bill passes

Public union consent bill passes

The Washington Senate on April 12 passed legislation regarding public sector union membership in the wake of the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court Janus ruling....
House approves clean energy bill

House approves clean energy bill

House lawmakers on April 11 approved a Senate bill intended to wean Washington state off electricity produced by carbon. However, despite numerous revisions and...
Senate bill would change state tax structure

Senate bill would change state tax structure

Despite a nearly $4.46 billion revenue increase from the 2017-19 biennium, some state lawmakers have introduced proposals to restructure Washington’s tax system. Among them...
Gov signs working forest bill

Gov signs working forest bill

Governor Jay Inslee has signed HB 1011 into law notifying buyers that a piece of property is located next to a working forest. The...
Should outdoor rec sales get taxed?

Should outdoor rec sales be taxed?

Following significant budget cuts by the legislature following the Great Recession, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has yet to resume...
Reeling in fish barrier removal proposals

Reeling in fish barrier removal proposals

Following a ruling last year by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding an injunction against Washington state, lawmakers are looking for money to fund hundreds...
Senate passes $52.2 billion operating budget

Senate passes $52.2 billion operating budget

The Washington Senate on April 4 voted 31-17 to approve a $52.2 billion 2019-21 operating budget. Although state senators approved a version of ESHB...
Business owners concerned over income tax proposal

Business owners concerned over income tax proposal

The latest effort this legislative session to enact a capital gains income tax via HB 2156 as part of the House 2019-21 operating budget...
Vape tax clears Senate committee

Vape tax clears Senate committee

A Senate proposal to tax vaping products, also known as e-cigarettes, cleared the Ways and Means Committee on April 2 after some revisions. Although...
The long and short of subdivisions

The long and short of subdivisions

A Senate proposal intended to increase the maximum number of units within a short subdivision continues to advance through the legislature. On April 2,...
Senate budget includes income tax, reflects “shared values”

Senate budget includes income tax, reflects “shared values”

Although the Senate proposed $52.2 billion 2019-21 operating budget unveiled on Mar. 29 spends almost $700 million less than the House’s proposed budget, it...
In search of balanced approach to housing affordability

In search of balanced approach to housing affordability

A recurring debate during this year’s legislative session concerns the state’s appropriate role regarding local housing supply and density, which can be largely determined...

Local collaboration boosts progress on water management

After years of discussion over water rights, in-stream flow rules, the infamous Hirst decision and many other points of contention, there is reason to...
Will new tax “vaporize” e-cigarette industry?

Will new tax “vaporize” e-cigarette industry?

Washington state currently levies an excise tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products that during the latest fiscal year brought in $414 million. Now,...
State House budget proposal includes new taxes

State House budget proposal includes new taxes

Last week, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released a report estimating that Washington will generate more than $50 billion in the 2019-21...
Negotiations continue on clean energy bill

Negotiations continue on clean energy bill

A Senate proposal to put Washington state on the path toward 100 percent clean energy is advancing through the House after clearing the Committee...
State revenue: how much is enough?

State revenue: how much is enough?

The latest report from the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) shows that the Washington state legislature has $50 billion to spend for...
Salvaging Elliot Bay’s fishing pier

Salvaging Elliott Bay’s fishing pier

For anglers and others lamenting the closure of the fishing pier overlooking Elliott Bay in Puget Sound two years ago over safety concerns, a...
Will low carbon fuel standard move forward?

Will low carbon fuel standard move forward?

Now that a state House bill creating a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) has cleared that chamber, it remains to be seen whether its...
Unanimous Senate vote on agricultural hemp

Unanimous Senate vote on agricultural hemp

Early last week, Senate lawmakers voted unanimously on ESSSB 5276 legalizing agricultural hemp production. If approved by the House and signed by Governor Jay...
House passes new "consent" bill for public worker unions

House passes new “consent” bill for public worker unions

Earlier this week House lawmakers approved in a 57-41 vote SSHB 1575 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) Janus ruling last year...
LCFS proposal advances from House

LCFS proposal advances from House

After a lengthy debate on Mar. 12 that included over half a dozen amendments added to the bill, state House lawmakers voted 53-43 in...
One step closer to socialized medicine?

One step closer to socialized medicine?

In a 57-41 vote on Mar. 8, the Washington House approved ESSHB 1523 after an extended and heated discussion that at one point caused...
State Senate approves tiny home bill

State Senate approves tiny home bill

The Washington Senate voted overwhelming 44-2 in favor of a bill allowing cities and towns to create ordinances regulating tiny house communities, while prohibiting...
: Guest worker fee, or job tax on farmers?

Guest worker fee, or job tax on farmers?

The Washington Senate in a 26-21 vote approved a bill creating a new fee to be paid by farmers who rely on H-2A visa...
Are lawmakers reviving I-1631?

Are lawmakers reviving I-1631?

Last November voters turned down Initiative 1631, which would have created a $15 per-metric-ton carbon tax and an oversight board composed primarily of governor-appointees...
Transportation package advances

Transportation package advances

A proposed 10-year transportation package to fund new infrastructure and court-ordered fish culvert projects cleared the Senate Transportation Committee after several amendments were incorporated....
Senate approves plastic bag ban

Senate approves plastic bag ban

Consumers soon may no longer be able to choose plastic bags at retail stores in Washington state, thanks to a proposal that passed in...
State farmers could take hit on chemical ban

State farmers could take hit on chemical ban

The state House has successfully passed ESSHB 1112 in a 55-39 vote to gradually phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons in products such as...
Can Washington maintain affordable energy?

Can Washington maintain affordable energy?

The same day Governor Jay Inslee announced his bid for the presidency on the Democrat ticket, the state Senate in a 28-19 vote passed...
Transportation proposal gets mixed review

Transportation proposal gets mixed review

Senate Transportation Chair Steve Hobbs (D-44) has unveiled a series of bills creating 10-year, $17 billion transportation package that includes a carbon fee and...

Trade war piles up casualties in Washington

Although President Donald Trump announced an extension of the Mar. 1 deadline for the ceasefire in tariff increases between the US and China, Washington...
Public bank proposal meets much criticism

Public bank proposal meets much criticism

The notion of a public bank in Washington state received a critical appraisal at a Feb. 21 public hearing of the Senate Financial Institutions,...
Another possible win for mass timber

Another possible win for mass timber

Now that the Washington State Building Code Council and International Code Council (ICC) have incorporated advances in cross-laminated timber (CLT) technology, a bipartisan group...
Bellevue Chamber scores ‘win’ with Fain hire

Bellevue Chamber scores ‘win’ with Fain hire

The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce starts a new chapter this week as former legislator Joe Fain begins his tenure as the new president and...
Shielding agriculture from overregulation

Shielding agriculture from overregulation

A common warning from critics of proposed carbon emission reduction legislation is that affected industries might pick up and leave for other regions with...
State bank proposed

State bank proposed

A newly introduced Senate bill would set up a state bank to meet demand for local infrastructure funding, despite warnings from the Washington state...
Cottages on rural lands

Cottages on rural lands

As the state legislature considers proposals for detached accessory dwelling units within the urban growth areas (UGA), legislators are also looking to expand those...
Secure or restrictive scheduling?

Secure or restrictive scheduling?

Following in the steps of Seattle, Washington state lawmakers have introduced statewide worker scheduling legislation that proponents argue will provide better certainty for workers....
Lawmaker proposes legalizing local income tax

Lawmaker proposes legalizing local income tax

Earlier this month, a group of Democrat state lawmakers submitted a brief in the lawsuit over the city of Seattle’s income tax ordinance arguing...
Low carbon fuel standard’s “hidden” gas tax

Low carbon fuel standard’s “hidden” gas tax

With Washington having the third-highest gas tax in the country, critics of a proposed low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) say it would make fuel...
Can growth and farming coexist?

Can growth and farming coexist?

As Washington state’s population grows, agricultural industry advocates say that farmers need more flexibility with their land designated for farming under the Growth Management...
refinery

‘Knockout punch’ for refineries with local government ‘bait-and-switch’

With one of the Washington environmental community’s top targets for elimination within its borders, Whatcom County demonstrated in January that the “public” part of...
Biz community decries bill to “kill” independent contracting

Biz community decries bill to “kill” independent contracting

A diverse coalition of Washington business community members are up in arms over a legislative proposal that critics say would essentially wipe out independent...
The push for minimum density standards

The push for minimum density standards

A frequent observation made by builders operating in the central Puget Sound area when discussing housing affordability is the varying housing density standards created...
Casting for fish barrier removal funds

Casting for fish barrier removal funds

Now that the legislature has satisfied the State Supreme Court’s McCleary order, it now faces another court order to remove hundreds of fish barriers...
Washington’s hospitality labor shortage

Washington’s hospitality labor shortage

As Washington state is currently experiencing a low unemployment rate, industries such as hospitality in recent years have struggled to fill job openings. A...
Washington’s next major airport

Washington’s next major airport

Some state lawmakers think it’s time for Washington to start looking for the location of its next major commercial airport, and a new Senate...

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