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...
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...
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...
Protecting Washington transportation revenue

Protecting Washington transportation revenue

One of the concerns Washington residents may have about a possible road user charge (RUC) to replace the state gas tax for funding transportation...
Some express reservations as clean energy proposal advances

Some express reservations as clean energy proposal advances

A legislative proposal to put Washington state on the path to 100 percent clean energy by 2045 this week cleared the Senate Environment, Energy...
Funding raids endanger Washington infrastructure

Funding raids endanger Washington infrastructure

As part of the McCleary compromise to fully fund basic education, the state legislature has dipped repeatedly into several accounts outside the general fund....
Investing in rural Washington

Investing in rural Washington

Though Washington is ranked by WalletHub as having the best state economy in the nation, often lost in the mix is the growing inequity...
To reform (or not) Washington’s tax system

To reform (or not) Washington’s tax system

If there’s agreement among policy wonks that Washington’s tax code needs to change, there’s equal disagreement over the nuances of that discussion and what...
Long journey ahead for road user charge

Long journey ahead for road user charge

If Washington state ever adopts a road user charge (RUC) to replace the motor vehicle fuel tax (MVFT), it’s going to be a long...
Stakeholders urge caution with green energy push

Stakeholders urge caution with green energy push

One of Governor Jay Inslee’s green energy proposals announced in December is to have Washington state utilities generate carbon-free electricity by 2030 and 100...
Employers prep for paid leave

Employers prep for paid leave

With the phase-in period for paid family and medical leave just around the corner, two members of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Advisory...
Apple picking

Ag stakeholders: Farm bill a win for WA

Representatives from Washington’s ag community and U.S. lawmakers say the recently passed farm bill is important for providing certainty for the state’s farmers and...
: Inslee’s budget proposal includes income tax

Inslee’s budget proposal includes income tax

After unveiling a series of clean energy proposals earlier this week devoid of a new tax, Governor Jay Inslee is now proposing a nine...
Noel Christmas Trees

Local businesses navigate Christmas tree shortage

‘Tis the season for Christmas tree selling, and Washington’s tree selling businesses and tree farms are busy cycling in trees so community members can...
video

Video: ‘Tis the season of trees

Lens interviewed Northwest Landscape Supply Owner Gary Fruhling and Bellevue resident Jeanne Ulstein to get their perspectives on the competition that Christmas tree selling...
Inslee announces new energy proposals

Inslee announces new energy proposals

After Washington voters overwhelming rejected a carbon tax proposal under Initiative 1631 in November, Governor Jay Inslee is once more turning to the state...
Cashier at store

Business community concerned over proposed overtime changes

Representatives from the business community say that while they appreciate efforts made by the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to update its overtime...
Should Washington’s tax system change?

Should Washington’s tax system change?

Many Washingtonians loathe the business and occupation (B&O) tax, and they’re not finished giving their thoughts on how to improve the state’s tax structure....

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