Stakeholders warn against GMA amendments, “tone deaf” reform process

Stakeholders warn against GMA amendments, “tone deaf” reform process

For years, a variety of stakeholders including builders, housing organizations, and local government advocates have emphasized the need for changes to the state Growth...
Grocers grapple with shopper’ frustration over restrictions

Grocers grapple with shopper frustration over restrictions

Although independent grocers have been deemed essential and allowed to remain open throughout Governor Jay Inslee’s statewide restrictions that have been in place for...
“Chilling effect”: Eviction moratorium strains small landlords

“Chilling effect”: Eviction moratorium strains small landlords

As Governor Jay Inslee contemplates possible changes to his eviction moratorium amid a legal challenge to it, some property rights advocates warn that the...
Fish habitat buffer rule unlikely for 2021

Fish habitat buffer rule unlikely for 2021

For almost 20 years the state has used an interim rule created after the 1999 Forests and Fish Law to establish fish habitat buffers...
Capital gains tax, LCFS within reach next session

Capital gains tax, LCFS within reach next session

Democrat lawmakers and Governor Jay Inslee for years have sought to enact a variety of tax and regulatory proposals that have failed due to...
Landlords sue over eviction ban

Landlords sue over eviction ban

Under Governor Jay Inslee’s eviction moratorium that was extended last month through the remainder of 2020, landlords are prohibited from evicting tenants for failure...
Aerospace stakeholders contemplate path to recovery

Aerospace stakeholders contemplate path to recovery

Washington state’s aerospace industry has certainly seen better years than 2020. In addition to the economic shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic all...
Commission may push for small airport loan extension

Commission may push for small airport loan extension

The state Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission (CACC) created by the state legislature in 2019 is tasked with developing a plan to meet Washington’s freight...
How GMA could help – or hurt – housing crisis

How GMA could help – or hurt – housing crisis

After decades of planning under the state Growth Management Act (GMA), a significant number of builders, housing advocates, and state lawmakers believe the law...
COVID-19 and the role of telehealth

COVID-19 and the role of telehealth

The state legislature since 2015 has explored the concept of telemedicine – i part to improve healthcare access for rural communities. With the onset...
Whatcom County may restart Cherry Point regulatory work

Whatcom County may restart Cherry Point regulatory work

For more than four years the Whatcom County Council has explored reregulating the Cherry Point industrial area, already one of the most regulated and...
Housing as “critical infrastructure”

Housing as “critical infrastructure”

The state Growth Management Act (GMA) remains a primary focus for stakeholders who are trying to address Washington state’s housing shortage and lack of...
Private ferry route may replace WSDOT service

Private ferry route may replace WSDOT service

While King County looks at ferry service across Lake Washington, the state Joint Transportation Committee (JTC) is exploring the idea of a private ferry...
“Uphill” battle remains for single-payer healthcare work

“Uphill” battle remains for single-payer healthcare work

For more than a year a state work group has explored the idea of a universal healthcare system in Washington state with forthcoming recommendations...
Defining “public use” for broadband

Defining “public use” for broadband

The legislature last year enacted a law creating the State Broadband Office (SBO) within the state Department of Commerce to expand access to all...
Analyst says healthcare system “at crossroads”

Analyst says healthcare system “at crossroads”

Within the debate over healthcare reform in the U.S. are conflicting philosophies regarding how the system should operate and who ultimately should make health...
King County GHG goal, policy “disconnect”

King County GHG goal, policy “disconnect”

A criticism often leveled against government environmental efforts is the disconnect between climate goals and what is actually achieved. Washington state and local governments...
GMA’s top-down approach to housing could intensify

GMA’s top-down approach to housing could intensify

Since the early 1990s the state Growth Management Act (GMA) has directed regional and local zoning policy regarding economic development and housing to prevent...
Trucking’s future role in RUC program

Trucking’s future role in RUC program

Although the trucking industry isn’t included in Washington state’s ongoing exploration of a road usage charge (RUC) program as an eventual replacement for the...
shopping cart

Helping small businesses pivot to digital

As small businesses throughout Washington adjust to the challenges presented by the evolving regulations regarding COVID 19, it has become increasingly clear that in...
Is single payer health care a nonstarter?

Is single payer health care a nonstarter?

Although Washington state’s Universal Health Care Work Group has yet to make formal recommendations to the state legislature on how to implement a single...
Study: Rent control would wipe out year’s worth of housing

Study: Rent control would wipe out year’s worth of housing

In recent years, efforts at both the local and state levels have been made to restrict control of rental property by landlords. A proposal...
5g on a cloud

We need 5G now more than ever

This has been an impactful year. With a pandemic that has left many people working and learning from home, it became clear that without...
Department of Energy joins Hydropower Research Institute

Department of Energy joins Hydropower Research Institute

Several years ago a group of public and private utilities along with several federal government agencies formed the Hydropower Research Institute (HRI), a data-sharing,...
State audit offers Sound Transit cost reduction strategies

State audit offers Sound Transit cost reduction strategies

Keeping Sound Transit project costs within budget has been a concern starting with the 1996 Sound Move project and has persisted in recent years...
Group outlines plan for EV truck infrastructure

Group outlines plan for EV truck infrastructure

A group of West Coast utilities are collaborating on long-term planning for an interstate electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure for EV trucks in hopes...
Businesses groups protest heavy fines for confusing guidelines

Businesses groups protest heavy fines for confusing guidelines

As businesses reopen across the state, many are struggling to comply with what industry advocates argue are inconsistent and ambiguous safety guidelines issued by...
Air pollution unaffected by traffic decrease, data show

Air pollution unaffected by traffic decrease, data show

One of the many arguments proponents have made for either a regional or statewide low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) to reduce the amount of...
Shutdown raises concerns over government power

Shutdown raises concerns over government power

A Chelan County Superior Court judge this week ruled that a lawsuit against Governor Jay Inslee’s stay home order can move forward. The use...
Feds invalidate state law on crude oil transport

Feds invalidate state law on crude oil transport

A federal agency has invalidated a 2019 state law regulating crude oil transportation, concluding that a federal law preempts the state requirement. The move...
Businesses, legislators advocate flexibility, autonomy with reopening policies

Businesses, legislators advocate flexibility, autonomy with reopening policies

Governor Jay Inslee has unveiled additional details about how businesses such as restaurants can partially reopen, along with information about the latest state efforts...
Washington meat supply backlogged, but stable

Washington meat supply backlogged, but stable

While the appearance of rationing policies in grocery stores today for meat and beef products similar to those used for toilet papers in March...
Landlords offer “creative solutions,” support to struggling tenants

Landlords offer “creative solutions,” support to struggling tenants

With an eviction moratorium in place since March 18 and the continued closure of businesses throughout Washington state, landlords are offering a variety of...
Small biz “barely hanging on”

Small biz “barely hanging on”

Days after reopening the construction industry, Governor Jay Inslee announced that some outdoor recreation on state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land will also...
Low-risk construction activity set to resume

Low-risk construction activity set to resume

Governor Jay Inslee has announced that low-risk construction work will be allowed to resume, provided businesses adhere to safety guidelines developed by a state...
Emergency rule “season-ending” for many farmers

Emergency rule “season-ending” for many farmers

Many Washington state farmers rely on foreign workers through the Federal H-2A work visa program to harvest their crops. However, the Department of Health...
Inslee may reopen construction, other activity

Inslee may reopen construction, other activity

Governor Jay Inslee announced in an April 21 address to the state that his March 18 “shelter-in-place” order will extend beyond May 4, though certain activities...
EPA restores state water quality standards

EPA restores state water quality standards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially restored the state Department of Ecology’s water quality standards for Washington state after a strange turn of...
Supply chain strain underscores agriculture’s role

Supply chain strain underscores agriculture’s role

Many Washington farmers have argued there is a disconnect in the state between those that produce food and those who consume it – a...
Stakeholders urge discussions on reopening businesses

Stakeholders urge discussions on reopening businesses

Key elected state officials and small business advocates are stressing the need for a state plan to allow businesses to reopen their doors as...
Washington’s “economic refugees” caution against new taxes

Washington’s “economic refugees” caution against new taxes

With the Washington State Supreme Court unwilling to reexamine its long-standing position that a graduated income tax is illegal, some local and state elected...

Real estate tax revenue up amid decreased activity, COVID-19 response

Despite decreased real estate activity and social distancing restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the state collected millions more in real estate excise...
No construction order “open season” for squatting, theft, vandalism

No construction order “open season” for squatting, theft, vandalism

As stakeholders continue to discuss how to resume construction activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, builders across the state say criminals are taking advantage of...
Efforts continue to recognize construction as “essential activity”

Efforts continue to recognize construction as “essential activity”

Although Governor Jay Inslee declined to add construction to the list of allowed “essential activities” as part of an April 7 update on the...
Seattle job tax 2.0: “Punitive tax policy”

Seattle job tax 2.0: “Punitive tax policy”

Two years after approving and then quickly repealing a $275-per-employee job tax to fund homelessness programs, the Seattle City Council at its April 6...
Air agency drops regional fuel standard proposal

Air agency drops regional fuel standard proposal

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) is no longer considering a regional low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) after a third legislative effort to...
Shutdown puts damper on Washington housing market

Shutdown puts damper on Washington housing market

Not only has the state response to COVID-19 paused commercial and residential construction, it has also put considerable restrictions on real estate transactions, and...
Builders say construction is “essential activity”

Builders say construction is “essential activity”

Governor Jay Inslee on March 23 issued a “shelter-in-place” order closing all non-essential business activity in the state, including construction work. Builders are now...
Inslee signs plastic bag ban despite COVID-19 concerns with reusable bags

Inslee signs plastic bag ban despite COVID-19 concerns with reusable bags

Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law ESSB 5323 which bans the use of plastic bags, even though other states around the country are...
city bus

Transit agencies should reduce service, promote safer options during COVID-19 outbreak

The global COVID-19 outbreak is an unexpected shock to our way of life. Federal and local governments are implementing strict “social distancing” measures that,...
Panic purchases can create shortage illusion

Panic purchases can create shortage illusion

As is now well recognized in communities throughout the state, the COVID-19 outbreak and response has provoked panic purchases by Washington consumers of items...

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