Committee passes renewable energy bill

Committee passes renewable energy bill

Roughly 75 percent of Washington’s energy production is carbon-free. Proponents of SSB 6253 want to set up a timeline for utility providers to reduce...
Avoiding Another Ports Slowdown

Avoiding Another Ports Slowdown

After a costly setback from fall 2014 through early 2015, major West Coast port labor unions and employers are set to begin negotiations well...
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...
Bellevue Baking Up New Medical Pot Rules

Bellevue Baking New Medical Pot Rules

The city of Bellevue is not exactly known for medical marijuana. But City Hall is abuzz over possible medical cannabis cooperatives and research facilities....

Stage Set For Two State Budget Battles

The Washington legislature already faces a projected $2.6 billion deficit for the 2019-21 biennial budget, as it digs in this coming January to fashion...
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...
Central Washington Sceneryvideo

Lens Video: Revitalizing Washington’s tourism program

Lens sat down with State Rep. Cary Condotta (R-12) to discuss the future of tourism in Washington state. Lawmakers are pushing to reopen a...

Stakeholders voice concerns over Spokane rail initiative

As the Spokane City Council decides to move a controversial measure to the fall ballot which would fine the transport of certain fossil fuels,...
Roads: The New Utility

Roads: The New Utility

Washington's gas tax was finally raised again last year by lawmakers as part of a 16-year, $16 billion transportation funding package for roads, transit...
Senate hearings set for Sound Transit bills

Senate hearings set for Sound Transit bills

As momentum for Sound Transit 3 car tab relief appears to be waning in the state House, efforts are being renewed in the Senate....
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.
Nurse with patient

Seeking solutions to healthcare employment issues

Employers in Washington’s healthcare sector are struggling with the employment pipeline and retainment, especially in rural areas. Representatives from the sector are now recommending...
'Right to work’ ruling could change public sector landscape

‘Right to work’ ruling could change public sector landscape

The state of Illinois is in a financial mess; every resident owes $11,000 for $150 billion in unfunded public pension liabilities. The state’s credit...
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...

Washington Policy Center to expand, focus on labor issues

The Washington Policy Center (WPC) has announced it will expand its research at the start of 2018, opening a center to focus on labor...
U.S. lawmakers speak to the future of global trade

Securing Washington’s trade future

During the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT)’s annual Trade Summit, U.S. lawmakers weighed in on how Washington state could maintain its position in...

Implementing Statewide Regulations For Ridesharing Companies

This week, the Washington State Senate approved a measure which would establish statewide laws for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Lyft or Uber. During...
Washington’s latest economic outlook

Washington’s latest economic outlook

The latest update from the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) reports yet another surge of unanticipated revenue, much of that thanks to...

Washington’s Global Trade Future Without The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Although the United States is advancing without a stake in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Washington state's global trade future is far from over. How...
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...
When driverless cars and public policy collide

When driverless cars and public policy collide

A recent deadly accident in Arizona involving a self-driving Uber vehicle and the company’s decision to halt their use on roads indicates the level...
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...
BNSF Railway Train

BNSF Railway proposes bridge project to ease congestion

BNSF Railway has proposed to build a second rail line that would run over Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, Idaho to help prevent congestion...
video

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...
Nurse spending time with patient

Individual provider bill controversial

Lawmakers opposed to SB 6911 are arguing the bill would take away the freedom of choice for individual home care providers when considering whether...
old water well

Hirst bill kicks off session water use talks

As legislators embark on the 2018 session, one of the first committee meetings saw introduction of a proposal to address negative effects stemming from...
Bringing Prosperity To All Of Washington

Bringing Prosperity To All Of Washington

The Washington State House on Wednesday, April 12 overwhelming approved a bill allowing counties suffering from economic hardship to sidestep some of the state Growth Management...
State Pension Fund Merger Gains Eyed

State Pension Fund Merger Gains Eyed

Merging two of Washington State’s eight public employee pension systems could save taxpayers almost $2 billion over the next 25 years, without reducing pension...
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...
Sound Transit 3: Lots Of Bucks, But How Much Bang?

Sound Transit 3: Lots Of Bucks, But How Much Bang?

Sound Transit will by current estimates spend almost $24 billion on the first two phases of its regional light rail, commuter rail and express...
Different Prescriptions To Ease Clark County Growing Pains

Different Prescriptions To Ease Clark County Growing Pains

As the legislature begins to wade into the contentious task of developing changes to the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA), one of Washington’s fastest-growing...
Early Battle Lines Drawn On School Funding

Early Battle Lines Drawn On School Funding

Comments by State Sen. John Braun (R-20) at a recent Education Funding Task Force meeting suggest a possible push for evidence-based decision-making to ensure Washington's...
Alarms Ringing On Higher Ed Attainment

Alarms Ringing On Higher Ed Attainment

Hundreds of thousands of new jobs are coming to Washington in the next five years, and they will mostly require education beyond high school. State data presented last...
Coal trains in terminal

Millennium Bulk Terminals’ parent company sues Inslee administration

Lighthouse Resources, Inc., the parent company of Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT), this week filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Jay Inslee and members of...
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...
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...
Senate fight tables tax relief bill

Senate fight tables tax relief bill

A narrowly split Washington Senate is at an impasse for the moment over a bill that calls for what some say is an illegal...
Inslee Signs Green Energy Bill

Inslee Signs Green Energy Bill

On the heels of a letter from forest-based industry leaders insisting that proposed legislation would keep utility rates low for customers and improve the...
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...
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...
The State Of The State? Deeply Conflicted

The State Of The State? Deeply Conflicted

In his January 11 State of the State speech, Governor Jay Inslee called for compromise between divided state legislative chambers in order to fully fund basic education. However, Inslee's hope of...
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)...

Hirst impact study reveals troubling tax implications

A recent economic impact study found that the 2016 Washington Supreme Court decision in Whatcom County v. Eric Hirst will likely increase real estate taxes...
Senate committee advances Sound Transit car tab bill

Senate committee advances Sound Transit car tab bill

A Senate bill providing modest tax relief for Puget Sound drivers paying the new ST3 motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) has cleared the Transportation...
Obama's Public Option Panned

Obama’s Public Option Panned

Concerned about consumer costs and under-enrollment, President Obama is asking Congress to consider a public option to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It would...
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...
Ensuring Washington’s future business competitiveness

Ensuring Washington’s future business competitiveness

Momentum is picking up against the city of Seattle’s progressive income tax as business leaders, former state officials and venture capitalists seek to insulate...
Will Seattle job tax affect state economy?

Will Seattle job tax affect state economy?

If Seattle’s recently approved job tax survives a voter initiative backed by the local business community and possible legislative action, its direct impact on...
Salmon Fishing Season Delay Takes An Economic Toll In Puget Sound Region

Salmon Fishing Season Delay Takes An Economic Toll In Puget Sound Region

Puget Sound’s recreational salmon fishing season is expected to open at the end of this week, after a nearly two-month delay caused by a...
Washington high court adds doubt to Seattle income tax appeal

Washington high court adds doubt to Seattle income tax appeal

A Washington State Supreme Court ruling issued Thursday may have just added yet another hurdle for any possible appeal by the city of Seattle...
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...

Reader Favorites