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...
Treasurer asks Inslee to veto state bank study

Treasurer asks Inslee to veto state bank study

The state legislature has spent $650,000 in the past three years studying the concept of a state bank. If signed by Governor Jay Inslee,...
Truckers continue to operate, though struggling

Truckers continue to operate, though struggling

With the statewide temporary closure by Governor Jay Inslee of some stores, restaurants, bars, and recreational facilities, coupled with the telecommuting by employees of...
2020 legislative session roundup

2020 legislative session roundup

Washington’s 60-day 2020 legislative session concluded March 12 after state lawmakers approved a supplemental operating budget amid growing concerns about the coronavirus outbreak’s long-term...
Aerospace tax bill passes legislature

Aerospace tax bill passes legislature

The state legislature has passed SB 6690, a measure that removes aerospace industry tax incentives in order to avoid possible retaliatory tariffs. The bill...
Bill allows sports gambling on tribal lands, excludes card-room casinos

Bill allows sports gambling on tribal lands, excludes card-room casinos

A House bill allowing sports gambling on tribal lands has cleared the legislature after a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision ruled that states...
‘McCleary mandate’ for carbon reduction?

‘McCleary mandate’ for carbon reduction?

A House bill that would revise state greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals set up in 2008 has cleared the state legislature, though legislators...
Drought bill clears legislature

Drought bill clears legislature

A measure to improve the state’s response to drought that was introduced last year has finally cleared the legislature following several work sessions last...
Plastic bag ban or paper bag tax?

Plastic bag ban or paper bag tax?

A plastic bag ban proposal that cleared the Senate last year but failed in the House might make it out of the legislature this...
Proposal would incentivize hydropower investments

Proposal would incentivize hydropower investments

During the floor debates prior to passage of the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) last year, some legislators called attention to the absence of...
Making Washington airports self-sustaining

Making Washington airports self-sustaining

The state legislature two years ago approved an aviation loan program to improve community airport infrastructure, and now, legislators are taking a second run...
New Clean Air Rule proposal could be costly for consumers

New Clean Air Rule proposal could be costly for consumers

While scores of truckers, loggers and other stakeholders testified this week against ESHB 1110 which would create a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), its...

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