As Inslee pushes income tax, shift in messaging to attract out of state businesses

As Inslee pushes income tax, shift in messaging to attract out of state businesses

Part of the debate over Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed nine percent capital gains income tax, as with other prior proposals, is whether it is...
Mixed reaction to ferry privatization study

Mixed reaction to ferry privatization study

A new draft study by the state Joint Transportation Committee (JTC) has found that a private ferry route from Northwest Washington to British Columbia...
Tax proposals likely for transportation funding

Tax proposals likely for transportation funding

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) more than a year ago warned that the state’s infrastructure was a “glidepath to failure.” Since that...
Housing, GMA legislation possible for 2021

Housing, GMA legislation possible for 2021

State lawmakers say they intend to propose a variety of bills during the 2021 legislative session to tackle landlord-tenant relations and housing supply through...
Bellevue stakeholders: budget process elevates policy, de-escalates politics

Bellevue stakeholders: budget process elevates policy, de-escalates politics

The Seattle City Council this year has voted to slash police department funding in the next biennium by 18 percent and has enacted a...
“Trojan Horse” cap gains proposal likely in 2021

“Trojan Horse” cap gains proposal likely in 2021

Despite Sen. Mark Mullet (D-5) narrowly holding onto his legislative seat this November, proponents of a capital gains income tax say they still intend...
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...
Cybersecurity for the 2021 legislative session

Cybersecurity for the 2021 legislative session

Plans to convene the 2021 legislation session remotely raise not only issues regarding transparency and government accountability but also the risks of hacking and...
Questions linger over Interstate Bridge cost

Questions linger over Interstate Bridge cost

Among the many questions yet to be answered regarding an Interstate Bridge replacement is how much the project will cost, to what extent it...
Organizations see opportunity with virtual conferences

Organizations see opportunity with virtual conferences

Although the concept of online meetings and conferences isn’t new, the COVID-19 restrictions imposed in Washington since late March have forced state organizations and...
Avoiding Columbia River Crossing 2.0

Avoiding Columbia River Crossing 2.0

Of primary concern among stakeholders involved in the preliminary discussions on replacing the Interstate Bridge across the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon is...
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...
Washington’s mixed economy recovery

Washington’s mixed economy recovery

Washington’s economy continues to recover from historically high unemployment and revenue decreases earlier this year, though that recovery is inconsistent across industry sectors. The...
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...
New WPC study challenges Cascadia high-speed rail feasibility

New WPC study challenges Cascadia high-speed rail feasibility

Proponents of a proposed public-private partnership (P3) Cascadia high-speed rail line from Vancouver, B.C. to Portland, Ore. contend that the project could improve regional...
The economic shutdown and transportation revenue

The economic shutdown and transportation revenue

Prior to its defeat via a State Supreme Court decision, Initiative 976 would have reduced Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) revenue by $421...
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...
bus stop

Existing sales tax revenue sufficient for Metro bus service

If Seattle voters want to preserve bus service and believe a sales tax hike is needed to do that, they should take a moment...
Historic Seattle rail bridge will remain, with repairs

Historic Seattle rail bridge will remain, with repairs

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) has announced it will repair the Salmon Bay Rail Bridge near the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle’s Ballard...
I-976 struck down as panel mulls new transportation taxes

I-976 struck down as panel mulls new transportation taxes

The release of the Washington State Supreme Court decision striking down Initiative 976 that was approved by voters last November seems appropriately timed –...
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...
Reassessing transit for Interstate Bridge replacement

Reassessing transit for Interstate Bridge replacement

Disagreement among Washington and Oregon stakeholders regarding the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) in 2013 put a long pause on – then the Washington state...
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...
Will future RUC revenue be protected?

Will future RUC revenue be protected?

The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) for eight years has studied the concept of a road usage charge (RUC) in which drivers pay a...
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...
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...
Washington’s budget woes

Washington’s budget woes

State lawmakers since May have been calling for a special session to address a significant operating budget revenue shortfall for the current biennium. Framing...
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...
New legal precedent set for public pension policy

New legal precedent set for public pension policy

The Washington Pension Funding Council recently voted to maintain a 7.5 percent assumed rate of growth for pension investments to ease financial pressure on...
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...
I-5 Bridge talks remain cautious

I-5 Bridge talks remain cautious

More than two years after the Washington state legislature created an interstate committee to restart the I-5 Bridge replacement process, the political fallout from...
Washington’s cash flow woes

Washington’s cash flow woes

On top of a $4.5 billion revenue shortfall in its operating budget, the state of Washington is now facing a cash flow problem that...
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...
Pension council rejects lower growth assumptions

Pension council rejects lower growth assumptions

The Pension Funding Council voted 4-2 at its July 29 meeting to keep a 7.5 percent assumed rate of growth for investments a week...
Could JBLM relocate to accommodate a future airport?

Could JBLM relocate to accommodate a future airport?

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Aviation Coordination Commission over the next two years must come up with several potential locations for a...
train

High speed rail talks move ahead

For three years, a coalition of public and private groups has explored the idea of an ultra-high-speed rail corridor from Vancouver, B.C. through Seattle...
Seattle City Council approves new payroll tax

Seattle City Council approves new payroll tax

Just over two years after passing and repealing a job tax ordinance, the Seattle City Council voted at a July 6 meeting in favor...
High court to decide I-976 fate

High court to decide I-976 fate

The state Supreme Court will decide the fate of Initiative 976 sponsored by Tim Eyman, following oral arguments at a June 30 hearing and...
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...
New taxes under consideration for state transportation

New taxes under consideration for state transportation

Prior to the state-ordered shutdown due to COVID-19 and the passage of Initiative 976, the state transportation infrastructure was already suffering from a significant...
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...
Mixed reaction to Stampede Pass rail line

Mixed reaction to Stampede Pass rail line

A consulting group will soon release a final report on its study of passenger rail service from Seattle to Spokane via the Stampede Pass...
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...
State faces $4.5 billion budget shortfall

State faces $4.5 billion budget shortfall

The latest revenue forecast released by the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) revealed what most state officials and legislators already expected: a...
State Actuary: Pay now or later for obligations

State Actuary: Pay now or later for obligations

The State Actuary’s Office plans to review the public pension system’s actuarial gains or losses at the end of the month. However, there are...
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...
Sound Transit faces massive revenue hit

Sound Transit faces massive revenue hit

One of the major objections raised by Sound Transit advocates against a recent legislative proposal to reduce the ST3 motor vehicle excise tax by...
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...
Economic forecast released; officials urge special session

Economic forecast released; officials urge special session

A new update from the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) offered little surprise as to an economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19...
“Make or break” summer for craft breweries

“Make or break” summer for craft breweries

Although only one of the 420 craft breweries in Washington state has closed since businesses were shuttered due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the next...

Reader Favorites