Industry urges caution on net neutrality push

Industry urges caution on net neutrality push

Late last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reversed the Obama-era net neutrality policy that treated Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as utilities.  While a...

Proposed road user charge program faces uphill battle

The Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) road user charge (RUC) pilot program is scheduled to begin next year. WSTC officials hope to get 2,000...
Doctor checking up on patient

Adopting a national model for insurance companies

Under a new bill, insurance companies would be required to follow a national framework for managing and reporting their business activity. Proponents of SB 5069...
Retailers: Online sales tax ruling levels playing field

Retailers: Online sales tax ruling levels playing field

Last year, the Washington state legislature approved a law mandating that online retailers without a physical location in the state either remit or collect...
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...
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)...
K-12 Task Force Stuck, But It's Early Innings

K-12 Task Force Stuck, But It’s Early Innings

As the 2017 biennial budget session of the Washington legislature opened Monday, January 9, all eyes were on the Joint Education Funding Task Force. Under a law passed in 2016, it...
raiding-money

Raiding Washington’s toxic cleanup fund

A state Department of Ecology account intended to fund the cleanup of orphan hazardous sites in Washington is projected to have a $69 million...
Will State Supreme Court review Seattle’s income tax?

Will State Supreme Court review Seattle’s income tax?

With a King County Superior Court ruling last year against Seattle’s progressive income tax ordinance, the city is appealing in hopes that the State...
New tax to pay for wildfires?

New tax to pay for wildfires?

Since 2009, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has spent more than $700 million fighting wildfires. Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-24) and...
Rendering of U District Target

What’s up with retail downsizing?

Several large retailers are thinking small when it comes to expanding their businesses and promoting sales efficiency, especially within urban neighborhoods. Target has announced that...
KeyArena

City council approves KeyArena renovations

The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved a $700 million KeyArena renovation plan, paving the way for more music and sports events which city...
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...

Washington State Sweet Cherry Growers Expecting “Heavy Set” Harvest

It should be a bountiful sweet cherry harvest this year, according to recent estimates from the U.S. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). As cherry...
video

Lens Video: Washington’s skilled worker gap

Lens sat down with State Sen. Guy Palumbo (D-1) to discuss how Washington can better prepare for the projected skilled worker gap.
City of Bellingham

Port of Bellingham to ramp up cargo capacity

A new agreement will allow the Port of Bellingham to handle more cargo shipments—a move which members of the port and the labor community...
State Council Forced To Rescind Building Code Revisions

State Council Will Rescind Building Code Revisions; Hid The Ball

The Washington's State Building Code Council (SBCC) has agreed to rescind code amendments that a major trade group feared might weaken residential fire safety. The...
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...
Regular Session Concludes On Symbolic Tax Bill Votes

Regular Session Concludes On Symbolic Tax Bill Votes

The regular legislative session ended for all intents and purposes last week in Olympia with a symbolic vote on two Senate bills seeking to...
View over Seattle

The proposed Seattle head count tax: yet another business burden

Members of the Seattle City Council recently proposed a new head count tax on large businesses in Seattle to help fund homelessness programs and...
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...
Do carbon taxes work?

Do carbon taxes work?

A question some voters might have before voting on Initiative 1631 creating a $15-per-ton tax on carbon is whether it will actually work in...
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...
Huge War Chest Aids I-1464 'Campaign Finance Reform' Push In Washington State

Huge War Chest Aids I-1464 ‘Campaign Finance Reform’ Push In Washington State

Washington state election officials say that Initiative 1464 (I-1464) is likely to qualify for the fall ballot. It aims to institute several so-called campaign...
Giving A Boost To Washington's Hi-Tech Research, Space Industry

Giving A Boost To Washington’s Hi-Tech Research, Space Industry

Washington currently ranks fifth in the nation for innovation related to research and development (R&D), according to a 2016 study by the Milken Institute...
House budget includes capital gains tax

House budget includes capital gains tax

The House’s proposed supplement operating budget released Feb. 20 doesn’t spend nearly as much as its companion proposal in the Senate, but it assumes...
Mixed reviews for tax system overhaul

Mixed reviews for tax system overhaul

A Senate proposal creating a revenue reform task force is getting mixed reviews among members of the business community as to whether the state’s...
New taxes for transit?

New taxes for transit?

Investments at the local and state levels on transit throughout Washington state isn’t keeping pace with economic growth, and new revenue sources such as...
Wine grapes

Grape growers expect great harvest

Washington’s wine harvest is well underway, and representatives from the wine industry are expecting a large harvest with low disease risk. Grape growers say...
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...
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...

Labor urges passage of Millennium Bulk Terminals permit to boost economy, create jobs

Members of the labor community have taken a strong interest in urging Cowlitz County to approve shoreline permits for the proposed export terminal project...
video

Lens Video: Challenges for Washington’s small, local farmers

Lens traveled to Kent-based Windy Acre Farm to ask owner Chris Sechrist about any obstacles to his farm's success while operating within King County...
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...
Critics: Cancer Risk Rates Out Of Whack In Washington Fish Consumption Rule-Making

Critics: Cancer Risk Rates Out Of Whack In Washington Fish Consumption Rule-Making

The Washington Department of Ecology’s draft rule on water quality standards related to human health sets unrealistically stringent cancer risk rate protections geared to...
Industry: Carbon free by 2045 costly, unattainable

Industry: Carbon free by 2045 costly, unattainable

In a session dominated by climate change-related proposals, a Senate bill has been introduced calling for Washington state energy production to be carbon-free by...
To Privatize (Or Not) Washington’s Electrical Grid

To Privatize (Or Not) Washington’s Electrical Grid

President Trump has proposed selling off the electrical infrastructure in Washington state currently owned and operated by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) as part...
State Treasurer warns against use of emergency funds in budget proposal

State Treasurer warns against use of emergency funds in budget proposal

Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed 2018 supplemental budget released Thursday brought forth mixed tidings of discomfort and joy. His operating budget would add $1 billion...
video

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...
The cost of fish barrier removal

The cost of fish barrier removal

A U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year upheld a lower court ruling ordering Washington state to remove hundreds of fish barriers that inhibit...
Unanimous support for forestland bill

Unanimous support for forestland bill

A bill to study the economic health of Washington small forestland owners has cleared the legislature with unanimous support. ESSB 5330 sponsored by Sen....
Lawmakers contemplate tolling authority change

Lawmakers contemplate tolling authority change

As local cities and even counties consider ways to reduce congestion or improve revenue streams, one option is tolling city streets. It’s an idea...
Experts Stress Washington Tax Stability As Other States Suffer Revenue Drops

Experts stress Washington tax stability as other states suffer revenue drops

State House lawmakers plan to hold public meetings throughout Washington over the next biennium to discuss the state’s taxing system, a roadshow-style tour funded...
Washington’s B&O tax ‘injustice’

Washington’s B&O tax ‘injustice’

This year’s legislative session ended without a reduced business and occupation (B&O) rate for manufacturers, a major priority for the state business community. The...
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,...
Statewide Tourism Marketing Authority Awaits Funding Source

Statewide Tourism Marketing Authority Awaits Funding Source

As budgetary negotiations continue this special session, the survival of a bill that would put Washington’s tourism efforts back on the map is dependent...
Seattle housing

Housing inventory woes may ease

It’s no surprise that Seattle and King County have problems with expensive housing prices and inventory shortages, Seattle was ranked 2nd on Forbes’ list...
A Pipeline To Skilled Trades: Family-Wage Jobs Aplenty For Electrician Trainees

A Pipeline To Skilled Trades: Family-Wage Jobs Aplenty For Electrician Trainees

More and more buildings are springing up around Puget Sound, but the skilled workers who build and maintain them are nearing retirement and the...
Finding The Hidden Jobs Of The Future

Finding The Hidden Jobs Of The Future

Haven't you always wanted to work in sustainable forestry, or salmon restoration? How about a steady, working-wage job operating, maintaining and repairing machinery used...
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’...
Dick's Drive-In sign

Business Profile: Dick’s Drive-In, then and now

When looking for a burger in the Seattle area, the spinning Dick’s Drive-In (DDI) sign may be hard to pass up for many Washingtonians....

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