Senate approves chemical ban

Senate approves chemical ban

The Washington Senate voted 35-13 on April 15 in favor of ESSHB 1112 to gradually phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons in refrigeration products...
Senate approves urban housing bill

Senate approves urban housing bill

The Washington Senate on April 13 voted 33-12 in favor of a House bill intended to boost the housing supply within urban areas in...
House approves clean energy bill

House approves clean energy bill

House lawmakers on April 11 approved a Senate bill intended to wean Washington state off electricity produced by carbon. However, despite numerous revisions and...
The long and short of subdivisions

The long and short of subdivisions

A Senate proposal intended to increase the maximum number of units within a short subdivision continues to advance through the legislature. On April 2,...

Local collaboration boosts progress on water management

After years of discussion over water rights, in-stream flow rules, the infamous Hirst decision and many other points of contention, there is reason to...
Negotiations continue on clean energy bill

Negotiations continue on clean energy bill

A Senate proposal to put Washington state on the path toward 100 percent clean energy is advancing through the House after clearing the Committee...
Will low carbon fuel standard move forward?

Will low carbon fuel standard move forward?

Now that a state House bill creating a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) has cleared that chamber, it remains to be seen whether its...
LCFS proposal advances from House

LCFS proposal advances from House

After a lengthy debate on Mar. 12 that included over half a dozen amendments added to the bill, state House lawmakers voted 53-43 in...
One step closer to socialized medicine?

One step closer to socialized medicine?

In a 57-41 vote on Mar. 8, the Washington House approved ESSHB 1523 after an extended and heated discussion that at one point caused...
State Senate approves tiny home bill

State Senate approves tiny home bill

The Washington Senate voted overwhelming 44-2 in favor of a bill allowing cities and towns to create ordinances regulating tiny house communities, while prohibiting...
: Guest worker fee, or job tax on farmers?

Guest worker fee, or job tax on farmers?

The Washington Senate in a 26-21 vote approved a bill creating a new fee to be paid by farmers who rely on H-2A visa...
Are lawmakers reviving I-1631?

Are lawmakers reviving I-1631?

Last November voters turned down Initiative 1631, which would have created a $15 per-metric-ton carbon tax and an oversight board composed primarily of governor-appointees...
Senate approves plastic bag ban

Senate approves plastic bag ban

Consumers soon may no longer be able to choose plastic bags at retail stores in Washington state, thanks to a proposal that passed in...
State farmers could take hit on chemical ban

State farmers could take hit on chemical ban

The state House has successfully passed ESSHB 1112 in a 55-39 vote to gradually phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons in products such as...
Can Washington maintain affordable energy?

Can Washington maintain affordable energy?

The same day Governor Jay Inslee announced his bid for the presidency on the Democrat ticket, the state Senate in a 28-19 vote passed...
Public bank proposal meets much criticism

Public bank proposal meets much criticism

The notion of a public bank in Washington state received a critical appraisal at a Feb. 21 public hearing of the Senate Financial Institutions,...
Shielding agriculture from overregulation

Shielding agriculture from overregulation

A common warning from critics of proposed carbon emission reduction legislation is that affected industries might pick up and leave for other regions with...
Cottages on rural lands

Cottages on rural lands

As the state legislature considers proposals for detached accessory dwelling units within the urban growth areas (UGA), legislators are also looking to expand those...
Secure or restrictive scheduling?

Secure or restrictive scheduling?

Following in the steps of Seattle, Washington state lawmakers have introduced statewide worker scheduling legislation that proponents argue will provide better certainty for workers....
Low carbon fuel standard’s “hidden” gas tax

Low carbon fuel standard’s “hidden” gas tax

With Washington having the third-highest gas tax in the country, critics of a proposed low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) say it would make fuel...
refinery

‘Knockout punch’ for refineries with local government ‘bait-and-switch’

With one of the Washington environmental community’s top targets for elimination within its borders, Whatcom County demonstrated in January that the “public” part of...
Biz community decries bill to “kill” independent contracting

Biz community decries bill to “kill” independent contracting

A diverse coalition of Washington business community members are up in arms over a legislative proposal that critics say would essentially wipe out independent...
The push for minimum density standards

The push for minimum density standards

A frequent observation made by builders operating in the central Puget Sound area when discussing housing affordability is the varying housing density standards created...
Some express reservations as clean energy proposal advances

Some express reservations as clean energy proposal advances

A legislative proposal to put Washington state on the path to 100 percent clean energy by 2045 this week cleared the Senate Environment, Energy...
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...
Long journey ahead for road user charge

Long journey ahead for road user charge

If Washington state ever adopts a road user charge (RUC) to replace the motor vehicle fuel tax (MVFT), it’s going to be a long...
Stakeholders urge caution with green energy push

Stakeholders urge caution with green energy push

One of Governor Jay Inslee’s green energy proposals announced in December is to have Washington state utilities generate carbon-free electricity by 2030 and 100...
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...
Apple picking

Ag stakeholders: Farm bill a win for WA

Representatives from Washington’s ag community and U.S. lawmakers say the recently passed farm bill is important for providing certainty for the state’s farmers and...
Inslee announces new energy proposals

Inslee announces new energy proposals

After Washington voters overwhelming rejected a carbon tax proposal under Initiative 1631 in November, Governor Jay Inslee is once more turning to the state...
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...
Fighting for future of farming

Fighting for future of farming

As the dust settles from the Nov. 6 election, members of Washington’s agricultural industry are preparing for next year’s legislative session and what they...
Task force recommends dam removal study

Task force recommends dam removal study

The state Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force created by Governor Jay Inslee has released a list of 36 recommendations on how to aid...
The cost of fish barrier removal

The cost of fish barrier removal

A U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year upheld a lower court ruling ordering Washington state to remove hundreds of fish barriers that inhibit...
State treasurer opposes public bank

Treasurer opposes public bank

While a $500,00 state-funded study aims to create a proposal for a public state bank funded by taxes and fees, State Treasurer Duane Davidson...
Little margin for error with carbon tax

Little margin for error with carbon tax

If Initiative 1631 is approved by voters next week as part of an effort to reduce Washington’s already low carbon emissions, there would be...
Seattle homebuilding

Stakeholders brainstorm housing solutions

Housing prices have begun to stabilize in the Puget Sound region, however the trend will not last long if homebuilders and developers are unable...
Reevaluating prevailing wage

Reevaluating prevailing wage

State lawmakers are signaling they may reevaluate a bill they approved earlier this year that was intended to streamline the process by which the...
How the state can invest in local growth

How the state can invest in local growth

Before business growth or new developments can occur in a city, port or county, the conditions on the ground have to be right. To...
Study estimates carbon tax costs

Study estimates carbon tax costs

When all’s said and done, a carbon fee proposed under Initiative 1631 would increase total costs for the average Washington household by $440 in...
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...
Expanding Washington’s housing supply

Expanding Washington’s housing supply

Although Seattle’s real estate market has finally begun to cool, a shortage of available housing remains a statewide problem that has also contributed to...
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...
piggy bank

No capital gains tax “selling point” for Washington

Discussions of Washington’s tax structure often include accusations that it is one of the most regressive in the nation. While some tax experts dispute...
Treading lightly on tax reform

Treading lightly on tax reform

A state House work group has held public meetings this year to discuss problems with Washington’s tax structure and potential regulatory changes. While those...
Do carbon taxes work?

Do carbon taxes work?

A question some voters might have before voting on Initiative 1631 creating a $15-per-ton tax on carbon is whether it will actually work in...
Columbia River pier

Millennium suing Ecology for bias

Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT) has announced it is suing Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon for bias in delaying its proposed export terminal project...
Utilities warn of “pancaking” carbon proposals

Utilities warn of “pancaking” carbon proposals

Two eastern Washington public utility districts (PUD) have passed resolutions opposing Initiative I-1631 which creats a carbon tax on certain emitters, saying they are...
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...
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...
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...

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