Boosting Washington State Higher Education: The Conversation Deepens

Boosting Washington State Higher Education: The Conversation Deepens

Representing the largest four-year public universities in Washington, the Council of Presidents on January 17 told the State Senate Higher Education Committee their institutions need additional funding to...
Shell game with carbon tax revenue

Shell game with carbon tax revenue

Although Initiative 1631 has been pushed by advocates as a $15 per-ton fee on carbon emitters in the state that would reduce emissions and...
Seattle, think tank income tax arguments are “frivolous,” says plaintiff

Seattle, think tank income tax arguments are “frivolous,” says plaintiff

The plaintiffs challenging the city of Seattle’s income tax have succeeded so far, with a November 22 ruling in King County Superior Court overturning...
Lawmakers say Sound Transit misled voters, propose key reform measures

Lawmakers say Sound Transit misled voters, propose key reform measures

Following two work sessions investigating Sound Transit, top-ranking Republican lawmakers on the Senate Law and Justice Committee say the results prove the regional transit...
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...
Hair stylist with customer

A big break for small businesses

Smaller businesses may be in for larger tax breaks via a recent proposal by state lawmakers.  Legislators have introduced a bill to modernize portions of...
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...
Crate of apples

Trade war bites Washington apple industry

Washington state may be losing its largest market for apples given Mexico’s new retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports. Agricultural stakeholders say they are disappointed...
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...
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...
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...
Milk being poured

Organic milk farmers surviving, not thriving

Although market indicators in the 1990s pointed to organic dairy as the next fad, those farmers today are determining how to stay afloat in...
Tariffs and Washington’s economic outlook

Tariffs and Washington’s economic outlook

An ongoing concern among Washington state officials is the potential impact of a trade war between the U.S. and China. However, the latest economic...
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...

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...
Governor’s Veto Derails Popular Short Line Rail Bill

Governor’s Veto Derails Popular Short Line Rail Bill

Governor Jay Inslee this week vetoed a bipartisan bill approved by the state legislature that would have loosened the state Growth Management Act’s (GMA)...
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...
Does Washington Need A “Climate Change” For Manufacturers?

Does Washington need a “climate change” for manufacturers?

Washington manufacturers currently make up roughly nine percent of the state’s workforce. This represents a three percent drop since 2000, according to a new...

WWU study highlights economic benefits of agribusiness in Whatcom County

As a recent Western Washington University (WWU) study highlights the benefits of agriculture to Whatcom County businesses, one of the study’s authors as well...
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...
Paid Family Leave Debate Intensifies

Paid Family Leave Concerns Intensify

Washington state industry associations want lawmakers to pump the brakes on paid family and medical leave until they consult with affected employers. They say...
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...
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...
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...

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...
video

Lens Video: Promoting tech businesses in Vancouver

Lens attended the 2nd annual Vancouver Tech Tour which highlighted tech job openings at several businesses within the city as well as how the...
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...
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...
Forecast: Inslee's '17-'19 Budget Would Take $11 Billion In New Taxes By 2021

Forecast: Inslee’s ’17-’19 Budget Would Take $11 Billion In New Taxes By 2021

According to a recent four-year outlook from Washington's Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC), Governor Jay Inslee's 2017-19 operating budget would take about $11.3 billion...
The Minimum Wage, And Machines

The New Baseline: Special Skills

Political and policy activism on labor conditions for low-wage hourly workers is on the rise. Yet the growing emphasis on upstream tweaks may overshadow...
Bill would promote broadband access

Bill would promote broadband access

In the ongoing push to extend broadband across Washington, all of the state’s 75 port districts will be able to build and operate high-speed...
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....
Business, Industry Leaders Say Aerospace Tax Incentives Would Harm Competitiveness

Business, Industry Leaders Say Aerospace Tax Incentives Would Harm Competitiveness

Following the announced layoffs of hundreds of Boeing workers, state lawmakers are considering two bills during the special session that would link job quotas...

Former EPA Regional Director Questioned On Controversial Agency-Funded Campaign, Regulatory Issues

Governor Jay Inslee’s appointee to the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) Leadership Council, Dennis McLerran, took a shellacking from Senate Republicans during a Wednesday, June...

Shipping hub feels squeeze of regional growth

Santa’s workshop may be in the North Pole, but he has an outpost tucked away nearby in a place you might not expect: Tukwila,...
Seattle clothing shop

Licensing, permitting top regulatory burdens for Washington businesses

Washington businesses often struggle to navigate numerous licensing and regulatory requirements while operating in the state, and industry and business leaders are saying these...
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...
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...

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...
Blending science, policy on dams

Blending science, policy on dams

Proponents of breaching the four lower Snake River dams to aid the recovery of endangered salmon species know the move would ultimately require Congressional...
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...
Catching up with growing guest worker demand

Catching up with growing guest worker demand

In recent years Washington’s agricultural employers have dramatically increased the use of H-2A visa guest workers to harvest crops; the number of workers requested...
Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

It’s no secret that the Puget Sound region has a housing and traffic problem, but some local and regional lawmakers say regional policy for...
Senate budget includes income tax, reflects “shared values”

Senate budget includes income tax, reflects “shared values”

Although the Senate proposed $52.2 billion 2019-21 operating budget unveiled on Mar. 29 spends almost $700 million less than the House’s proposed budget, it...
State revenue good, tariff impacts uncertain

State revenue good, tariff impacts uncertain

Washington state continues to receive surplus revenue, while the impact of new retaliatory tariffs on exports remains uncertain. That was the takeaway from the...
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....
Construction workers planning next step

Lawmakers: Future of work proposal “redundant”

State lawmakers disagreed over the need for a bill which would predict changes in Washington industries and work by creating the future of work...
Tax credit proposed to aid rural broadband

Tax credit proposed to aid rural broadband

One Washington telecom provider wants all state residents to have high-speed internet access by 2028. It’s a goal driven primarily by uneven broadband access,...
Steel, Paper, Natural Gas Want Changes For Washington's Clean Air Rule, Take Two

Steel, Paper, Natural Gas Want Changes For New Clean Air Rule

The steel, paper and natural gas industries are among those looking for changes in the Washington state Clean Air Rule that's now under revision...
manufacturing worker in shop

Closing the manufacturing skills gap

Washington-based manufacturing business have a problem: they are short on skilled workers that can quickly adapt to ever-changing machinery and technology. Skagit Valley College...
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...

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