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...
Revitalizing Washington’s manufacturing industry with tax cut

Revitalizing Washington’s manufacturing industry with tax cut

During last year’s legislative session, the longest in state history, lawmakers approved a 2017-19 operating budget that included a reduced gross receipts tax, or...
GMA reform bill lands public hearing

GMA reform bill lands public hearing

One of the ways policymakers have sought to address the state’s housing crisis is by reforming provisions of the state Growth Management Act (GMA)...
EPA to clarify “Waters of the United States”

EPA to clarify “Waters of the United States”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015 adopted a rule regarding “Waters of the United States” that determines what bodies of water are subject...
Fuel standard proposal may be untenable, stakeholders warn

Stakeholders: Fuel standard proposal may be untenable

Washington state carbon emission reduction is the driving force behind an assortment of proposed legislation this session, with Governor Jay Inslee setting the mood...
Industry members urge restraint with carbon tax

Industry members urge restraint with carbon tax

Governor Jay Inslee’s efforts during recent legislative sessions to impose a statewide carbon tax have been unsuccessful, but with Democrats now controlling both chambers,...
Overtime Session Foreshadows An Even Bigger Budget Challenge In 2017

Overtime Session Foreshadows An Even Bigger Budget Challenge In 2017

As the state Legislature heads into a special session to conclude negotiations on mid-course adjustments to the $38 billion 2015-2017 state budget, some lawmakers...
Tourism: Marketing Washington’s appeal

Tourism: Marketing Washington’s appeal

After seven years as the only state with no tourism agency, the state legislature in 2018 revamped those efforts by creating the Washington Tourism...
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...
Seattle Showbox

Seattle City Council insulates Showbox venue

The Seattle City Council voted this week to prevent the Seattle Showbox concert venue from being torn down and replaced by apartments. Proponents of...
Legal fight over public union membership continues

Legal fight over public union membership continues

Since the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court Janus decision ruling that public employees cannot be compelled to pay union dues, the Washington state legislature has...
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...
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...
Department, Businesses Prepare For Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Requirements

Department, Businesses Prepare For Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Requirements

As Washington prepares to implement a mandatory paid sick leave law for businesses, the department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is gauging small business concerns and considering cost mitigation...

Millennium Bulk Terminals Receives First Permit For Coal Export Terminal

After nearly five years and five months in the permitting process, Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT) has finally received its first permit for the company’s...
Commission approves driverless car recommendations

Commission approves driverless car recommendations

The Washington State Transportation Commission (WTSC) next month will submit a report to Governor Jay Inslee and the state legislature regarding the testing and...
Reevaluating prevailing wage

Reevaluating prevailing wage

State lawmakers are signaling they may reevaluate a bill they approved earlier this year that was intended to streamline the process by which the...

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...
Hefty bank tax stands as judge upholds title-only bills

Hefty bank tax stands as judge upholds title-only bills

This legislative session three bills proposing to end the use of title-only legislation failed to clear their original committees prior to the cutoff date....
How long will Washington’s good times last?

How long will Washington’s good times last?

On the surface, Washington appears to be in good economic shape. In only eight months, the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) has added...

Public Pension Reform: A Work In Progress

Washington has eight public pension systems for employees of state and local governments, and 15 plans within those systems. According to the latest numbers...
Home caretaker with patient

House divided over individual provider bill

Lawmakers proved unwavering while discussing the passage of SB 6199 during House floor debate. There was a clear divide between Republicans and Democrats, with...
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...
High stakes in fish barrier ruling

High stakes in fish barrier ruling

Under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court is a case between Washington state and Native American tribes concerning treaty fishing rights and the removal...
Washington River

House Hirst bill may provide needed clarification

State lawmakers are hearing from building industry representatives and other stakeholders on a bill which aims to address the ongoing implications of the 2016...
As Budget Talks Stall, Members Resort to Political Theater

As Budget Talks Stall, Members Resort to Political Theater

With budget negotiations at a standstill, Washington state lawmakers are resorting to creative methods to continue discussions. After forcing a symbolic vote April 21...
Sound Transit 3 Blemishes Spotlighted

Sound Transit 3 Benefits Questioned

Sound Transit 3 envisions light rail as the agency's primary transportation mode in the Puget Sound region by 2050. Some policy experts and business...
Is California Washington’s housing future?

Is California Washington’s housing future?

Washington is experiencing a statewide housing shortage problem that is unlikely to change anytime soon, according to Washington Center for Real Estate Research (WCRER)...
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...
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...
Doctor talking with patient

Charting a course to private health care coverage

Lawmakers have approved a measure which would guarantee individual market health care coverage in all counties in Washington, regardless of whether or not a...
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...
What constitutes Sound Transit car tab “relief”?

What constitutes Sound Transit car tab “relief”?

The 2018 legislative session began with key Democrat lawmakers vowing to implement tax relief for Puget Sound drivers paying a new motor vehicle excise...
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...
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...
Income tax bill advances

Income tax bill advances

The same week a 2014 legal memo to the Seattle City council regarding a proposed “millionaire’s tax” was released, the House Finance Committee voted...
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...
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...
LCFS proposal “destroys our competitiveness”

LCFS proposal “destroys our competitiveness”

The state House has voted 52-44 in favor of a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program via HB 1110; introduced last year and at...
Washington’s economy remains steady

Washington’s economy remains steady

Washington’s economy continues to outperform the nation and pad state coffers – tade disputes between the U.S. and countries like China notwithstanding. The latest...
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...
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,...
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...
Iron workers union opposes carbon tax

Iron workers union opposes carbon tax

Fears about the effect of a carbon tax on new job creation has prompted the Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest to...
Labor, Business Leaders Ask Governor to Support Energy Projects

Labor, Business Leaders Ask Governor to Support Energy Projects

Numerous Washington state labor leaders are urging Governor Jay Inslee to endorse two economic development projects bogged down in the state’s permitting process, highlighting the regional energy security, expanded...
Apples in barrels at an orchard

Washington apple growers may regain Indonesia trade access

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer this month reaffirmed that Indonesian import licensing regulations for horticultural and animal products violated World Trade Organization (WTO)...
Amazon Go Store

Future of work in an automated world

Members of Washington’s Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTB) are recommending to the legislature that the state and its businesses should refocus efforts...
Lawsuit challenges “title-only” bills

Lawsuit challenges “title-only” bills

In the last days of this year’s legislative session, state lawmakers – without any prior discussion – introduced and passed a new tax on...
How Janus could change Washington’s politics

How Janus could affect Washington state

In a major blow to public sector labor unions, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned 22 state laws requiring state employees pay them a...

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...
Lawmakers investigate Sound Transit 3

Lawmakers investigate Sound Transit 3

Months following a strong public backlash to Sound Transit’s new motor vehicle excise (MVET) tax for ST3, state lawmakers this week commenced formal investigations...

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