utreach Efforts For A Skilled Workforce

Bolstering Industry Outreach Efforts For A Skilled Workforce

As part of a national survey last fall, Washington state's construction sector businesses reported a strong need for recruiting skilled workers for hourly craft jobs....
Debate Continues Over Proposed Property Tax Hikes

Debate Continues Over Proposed Property Tax Hikes

Although state budget negotiations are at a standstill in Olympia, debate over legislative proposals to repeal the state’s property tax restriction on counties has...

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...
Camas mill closure the “canary in the coal mine”?

Camas mill closure the “canary in the coal mine”?

An Atlanta-based pulp and paper company announced this week its plans to close a Southwest Washington pulp mill that has operated since before Washington’s...
Semi truck on highway

Electronic monitoring levels economic playing field

A recent Congressional mandate has instituted the use of electronic devices to ensure truckers throughout the country comply with rules that regulate the hours...
Net neutrality bill could face legal “throttling”

Net neutrality bill could face legal “throttling”

The Washington House overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation February 9 imposing net neutrality policy that proponents say will protect Internet consumers and small business owners,...
Seasonal worker housing divides small town community

Seasonal worker housing divides small town community

A controversy within a tiny Central Washington community over a proposed housing unit on private land along its Main Street for foreign seasonal workers...
video

Lens Video: Labor weighs in on proposed head tax

Lens attended the Seattle City Council's Finance and Neighborhoods public hearing and asked Chris McClain, Business Manager for Iron Workers Local Union 86, his...
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...
SafeCo Field

King County tourism rocked by council plan

King County’s future tourism prospects took a hit when the county council elected to divert some of the lodging tax funding which was planned...

Questions remain with AWC brief

Following the submittal of an amicus brief by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) defending the city of Seattle’s authority to impose a local...
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...
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...
The future of Washington’s small forestland

The future of Washington’s small forestland

A new study authorized by the state legislature will determine how much small forestland remains in Washington state, along with ways to encourage the...
Sound Transit fumbles facts with vehicle tax

Sound Transit fumbles facts with vehicle tax

An unexpected wrench has been thrown into the cogs of Sound Transit’s legal defense of its new motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) as part...
More And Faster Jobs Data Shaping Higher Ed

More, Faster Jobs Data Shapes Higher Ed

Colleges are increasingly looking at the particular skills employers seek, using data analytics to mine thousands of job listings. They’re using tools rich with...
Heading For A Cage Match On Local Control Of Teacher Salaries

Heading For A Cage Match On Local Control Of Teacher Salaries

Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has filed a lawsuit he hopes will spur the legislature to assume financial responsibility for basic...
Free Markets Versus Intervention: Murray, Vance Square Off In First Debate

Free Markets Versus Intervention: Murray, Vance Square Off In First Debate

In a debate hosted by Gonzaga University this week, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington) and Republican challenger Chris Vance promoted distinct visions of how to grow...

Regulatory Fairness Bill Could Have Legs

Prospects could be better than average for a bipartisan House bill meant to ensure state agencies fully comply with the Regulatory Fairness Act (RFA). That law aims to protect employers from excessive...
Battle Of The State Budgets Begins

Battle Of The State Budgets Begins

House Democrats have released their proposed 2017-19 operating budget that includes over $7 billion in increased basic education spending over four years and a...

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...
Stakeholders: MBT water permit denial threatens jobs, future investment

Stakeholders: MBT water permit denial threatens jobs, future investment

Millennium Bulk Terminals’ proposed export facility in Longview has been denied its water quality permit by the state Department of Ecology (DOE), prompting members...
Century Link Field With Roof Open

Event spending boosts Seattle economic activity

Traveling events and sporting games are important to Seattle businesses as they lay the groundwork for additional spending in the local area. Some of...
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...
Windmill in plains

Utility regulatory change could add flexibility

Utility stakeholders and lawmakers are throwing their support behind a proposal which would allow additional regulatory options for electrical and natural gas companies. Proponents...
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...
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...
Harvested apples in box

Washington growers: Remove the tariffs

Washington’s agricultural stakeholders continue asking the Trump administration to resolve problems stemming from the current trade war between the U.S. and other major trading...
K-12 budget proposal includes income tax

K-12 budget proposal includes income tax

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal plans to submit an agency requested bill calling for a capital gains income tax to help pay for...
Fighting for future of farming

Fighting for future of farming

As the dust settles from the Nov. 6 election, members of Washington’s agricultural industry are preparing for next year’s legislative session and what they...
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...
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...
The world of tomorrow with 5G

The world of tomorrow with 5G

For enthusiasts of 5th generation (5G) mobile networks technology in the private sector, it’s hard to understate the positive impacts. The expansion alone is...
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...

Timeless Wisdom From Frank Zappa On Rights And Responsibilities Of Employers

If you think of Frank Zappa at all, it may be as an anachronistic rock musician who sometimes used bad words in his song...

Unemployment Insurance: The Wrong Medicine?

Washington employers carry a relatively high financial burden of providing insurance to jobless workers while they seek new employment. In 2015 businesses in the...
State Budget Deficit Estimates Jump Higher

State Budget Deficit Estimates Jump Higher

The budget stakes have risen for Washington lawmakers. A report last week from the Office of Program Research states the expected budget deficit for the 2017-19 biennium will now be almost $1.5...
Paid Sick Leave Compromise Bill Emerges

Paid Sick Leave Compromise Bill Emerges

Bipartisan sponsors and employer stakeholders Monday, January 30 came together around a compromise bill on paid family and sick leave, at a hearing of...
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...
Is Washington’s Tax System Really “Regressive”?

Is Washington’s tax system really “regressive”?

Although businesses pay over half the taxes collected by the state and local governments, a frequent claim among some tax reform advocates is that...
Combine Harvesting Wheat

Washington wheat growers weigh in on NAFTA, South Korean trade agreement

As North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations continue, the Washington wheat industry is sharing its concerns and hopes for a revamped contract. The...
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...
Proposal looks to lower cost, boost development

Proposal looks to lower cost, boost development

It appears that rapid growth in the Puget Sound region is posing some math story problems at the state level. Back in 2016, the state...
Aviation loan program clears

Aviation loan program clears runway

For the first time in 10 years, Bowerman Airport in the Port of Grays Harbor announced that all of its 28 hangers are leased...
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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...
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Lens Video: Woodinville- An unexpected hub for wine

Lens sat down with two Woodinville winemakers to discuss what the city has to offer for starting winemakers, and why it became a hub...
Container Ship

Washington’s stake in NAFTA replacement

Although the United States has reached an initial agreement with Mexico under the new United States-Mexico Trade Agreement, Washington state trade representatives say they...
Building the workforce of tomorrow

Building the workforce of tomorrow

Automation is expected to radically change the makeup of the U.S. workforce, and experts say Washington state should help the next generation of workers...
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...
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...
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...

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