GMA reform: To wait – or not

GMA reform: To wait – or not

Stakeholders are divided over whether state lawmakers should pass HB 2342 sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34) or wait until a possible Growth Management...
Tax incentive bill reveals economic ties

Tax incentive bill reveals economic ties

The state legislature in 2003 enacted several tax incentives for aerospace manufacturers such as the Boeing. In a strange turn of events, the company...
Washington’s future in “final frontier” economy

Washington’s future in “final frontier” economy

State lawmakers in recent years have monitored the emerging private space economy developing in Washington state, and while previous proposals have struggled to take...
Lawmakers and LCFS: ‘Let’s make a deal’

Lawmakers and LCFS: ‘Let’s make a deal’

In the ongoing push to implement a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), more than 30 House Democrats last week cosigned a letter stating that...
Stakeholders: Wildfire premobilization bill need adjustment

Stakeholders: Wildfire premobilization bill need adjustment

A bill that would allow premobilization of state resources to local wildfire incidents cleared the state House unanimously on Feb. 18. Now, some stakeholders...
Some emotions run high with new climate proposal

Some emotions run high with new climate proposal

The emotional temperature in Olympia ran high in some quarters during and after a public hearing of the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee...
How electric cars could affect state grid

How electric cars could affect state grid

A bill introduced this session would require all new cars sold starting in 2030 to be electric vehicles (EV). Although the legislation failed to...
A move to regulate drinks for kids clears state Senate

A move to regulate drinks for kids clears state Senate

The Feb. 13 Senate floor debate over a bill restricting what default beverages a restaurant can offer on its kids’ menu transformed into a...
‘Last ditch’ effort for harvest plan consensus

‘Last ditch’ effort for harvest plan consensus

It’s been five years since the Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA) first submitted its alternative harvest plan to the Forest Practices Board (FPB) as...
houses

You can’t make housing more affordable by making it more expensive

I’ve been a builder for 17 years and have seen many changes in our industry, good, bad, and those with unintended consequences; one of...
Angling for LCFS policy continues

Angling for LCFS policy continues

Although a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) bill reintroduced from last session and passed by the state House appears to be going nowhere in...
Hefty bank tax stands as judge upholds title-only bills

Hefty bank tax stands as judge upholds title-only bills

This legislative session three bills proposing to end the use of title-only legislation failed to clear their original committees prior to the cutoff date....
Foresters highlight need to fund existing support programs

Foresters highlight need to fund existing support programs

A new proposal in the state legislature to promote urban forestry has some foresters vocalizing the need to fund existing support programs before any...
Bill proposes driverless car regulations

Bill proposes driverless car regulations

A bill to implement some recommendations made last year by the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) regarding autonomous vehicles (AV) cleared the House Transportation...
Bill requires all new cars sold be electric by 2030

Bill requires all new cars sold be electric by 2030

With a state law mandating that Washington utilities provide 100 percent carbon-neutral energy by 2035, a House bill sponsored by Rep. Nicole Macri (D-43)...
RUC bill clears Transportation Committee

RUC bill clears Transportation Committee

SB 6586, a measure sponsored by Senate Transportation Vice Chair Rebecca Saldaña (D-37) that creates a road usage charge (RUC) program for electric and...
Clean Air Rule bill advances

Clean Air Rule bill advances

A revised HB 289 granting the state Department of Ecology the broad authority to regulate “indirect” carbon emission as part of its Clean Air...
Bill would shorten building permit deadlines

Bill would shorten building permit deadlines

As the debate continues over how best to address the cost of housing, building industry stakeholders say that along with housing impact fees, another...
Another run at jobs tax

Another run at jobs tax

Almost two years after opposing a job tax in Seattle that later was rescinded by the City Council with another local business tax possible,...
Stakeholders warn expanding DOE authority could jeopardize business

Stakeholders warn expanding DOE authority could jeopardize business

The Washington State Supreme Court last year invalidated parts of the state Department of Ecology’s (DOE) Clean Air Rule due to a lack of...
&O tax shuffle gets mixed reviews

B&O tax shuffle gets mixed reviews

The state legislature last year enacted E2SHB 2158, which imposes the business and occupation (B&O) tax surcharge on certain businesses to pay for higher education...
Stakeholders question need to rework water rights

Stakeholders question need to rework water rights

House lawmakers have introduced a proposal that would place some restrictions on water rights transfers in order to address concerns over public interest with...
GMA reform bill lands public hearing

GMA reform bill lands public hearing

One of the ways policymakers have sought to address the state’s housing crisis is by reforming provisions of the state Growth Management Act (GMA)...
Debate continues over road usage charge

Debate continues over road usage charge

Although state gas tax revenue used to fund state highways has remained stable, state lawmakers behind SB 6586 say now is the time to...
LCFS proposal “destroys our competitiveness”

LCFS proposal “destroys our competitiveness”

The state House has voted 52-44 in favor of a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program via HB 1110; introduced last year and at...
State bank bill revived

State bank bill revived

In recent legislative sessions Majority Caucus Vice Chair Bob Hasegawa (D-11) has pushed for the creation of a state bank to fund public infrastructure...
Bills could restructure housing impact fees

Bills could restructure housing impact fees

Two bills that could affect the structure of local impact fees imposed by cities on new housing construction with the goal of improving  housing...
Legislators plan to tweak urban density law

Legislators plan to tweak urban density law

HB 6334 sponsored by Rep. Jesse Salomon (D-32) and its companion bill HB 2343 introduced by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34) tweak several provisions in...
Critics warn “just cause” eviction bill will backfire

Critics warn “just cause” eviction bill will backfire

HB 2453 sponsored by Rep. Nicole Macri (D-43) would require that landlords evicting a tenant or refusing to renew a lease agreement do so...
Road user charge bill introduced

Road user charge bill introduced

A trio of Senate Democrats have introduced a bill creating an initial road user charge (RUC) program for electric and hybrid vehicles to begin...
Property rights v. “public interest”

Property rights v. “public interest”

State lawmakers have introduced SB 6301 that would allow the state Department of Ecology the authority to decide if a water rights transfer is...
Bill to reduce driving would hamper economic growth, stakeholders warn

Bill to reduce driving would hamper economic growth, stakeholders warn

A Senate bill aims to reduce the amount of miles Washingtonians drive through amendments to the state Growth Management Act (GMA). SB 6335 introduced...
Possible changes in store for clean energy law

Possible changes in store for clean energy law

The state legislature last year enacted the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) mandating that utilities achieve 100 percent carbon neutral energy by 2035 and...
Legal fight over public union membership continues

Legal fight over public union membership continues

Since the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court Janus decision ruling that public employees cannot be compelled to pay union dues, the Washington state legislature has...
LCFS, round three

LCFS, round three

Though state lawmakers for the past two years have unsuccessfully tried to enact a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) in an effort to reduce...
Hazardous Waste Tax revenue spike expected after rate hike

Hazardous Waste Tax revenue spike expected after rate hike

Last year, the state legislature approved a rate hike for the Hazardous Substance Tax (HST) that funds toxic site cleanup, among other things. As...
High court invalidates parts of clean air rule

High court invalidates parts of Clean Air rule

The Washington State Supreme Court in a Jan. 16 ruling has invalidated parts of the state Department of Ecology’s Clean Air Rule authorized by...
Inslee pushes for LCFS, homelessness funding

Inslee pushes for LCFS, homelessness program funding

Governor Jay Inslee’s Jan. 14 State of the State speech focused primarily on a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) proposal that in past session...
Study highlights Washington’s housing shortage

Study highlights Washington’s housing shortage

When it comes to housing affordability in Washington state, building advocates have sought to highlight the need for greater housing supply to meet growing...
Study claims lower Snake River dam removal would cost billions

Study claims lower Snake River dam removal would cost billions

As a state work group continues discussions regarding the future of the lower Snake River dams related to salmon recovery efforts, a new study...
Skagit County sues state over timber harvest plan

Skagit County sues state over timber harvest plan

The state Board of Natural Resources (BNR) last month approved a 10-year sustainable harvest calculator that coincided with a habitat conservation plan (HCP) for...
Driverless tech navigates challenging course

Driverless tech navigates challenging course

The Washington State Transportation Commissions (WSTC) in October approved recommendations to the state legislature concerning the integration of autonomous vehicles (AV) on public roadways....
Puget Sound LCFS could cost $900 per household

Puget Sound LCFS could cost $900 per household

While the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) considers a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) within four counties, Governor Jay Inslee’s newly released proposed...
Work group divided over universal healthcare

Work group divided over universal healthcare

The state Universal Health Care Work Group has released its initial report to the legislature on the idea of a single-payer or “universal” state...
Bellingham City Council to hear climate action proposal

Bellingham City Council to hear climate action proposal

The Bellingham Climate Action Plan Task Force this week approved its final report on carbon emission reduction policies that include banning the use of...
Future growth in Washington

Future growth in Washington

The Growth Management Act (GMA) has guided local and regional planning since the state legislature approved it in 1990. In the nearly three decades...
Forest stakeholders: Science should inform water typing rule

Forest stakeholders: Science should inform water typing rule

The state Forest Practices Board for 20 years has been working on a water typing rule that determines where fish habitat protected by state...
USMCA could “soften rough edges” on trade

USMCA could “soften rough edges” on trade

President Trump a year ago announced plans to withdraw from the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada and Mexico. Now, Congress is under...
Bellingham climate action proposal could cost homeowners big

Bellingham climate action proposal could cost homeowners big

The state legislature this year passed a law requiring that Washington utility providers convert to 100 percent carbon-neutral energy by 2035. Now, the city...
EPA to clarify “Waters of the United States”

EPA to clarify “Waters of the United States”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015 adopted a rule regarding “Waters of the United States” that determines what bodies of water are subject...
“Politics on steroids”: The fight over water quality standards

“Politics on steroids”: The fight over water quality standards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month closed the public comment period for a proposed withdrawal of its water quality standards for Washington state,...

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