Housing In Seattle-King County Is "Severely Unaffordable": Here's Why

Housing In Seattle-King County Is “Severely Unaffordable”: Here’s Why

Many words are spilled by government and advocates about the need to make housing more affordable in Seattle and King County. Special fees are...
Bi-State Bridge Story Needs Second Act

Bi-State Bridge Story Needs Second Act

There were hints recently of the rising from its musty crypt of the Deeply Dysfunctional Infrastructure Project Formerly Known As Columbia River Crossing. The...
A Big Dust-Up Is Coming On The New Washington State Clean Air Rule, And Soon

A Big Dust-Up Is Coming On The New Washington State Clean Air Rule, And...

It's easy enough to blanch at the thought of a pulp and paper mill. It's a little harder to imagine life without the toilet...
Second Real Estate Excise Tax Would Hurt Housing Affordability

Second Real Estate Excise Tax Would Hurt Housing Affordability

A cascade of reports and analyses have already established that Washington State's Growth Management Act and its implementation locally drives up housing costs in Seattle...
Growth Rules Stymie New Schools Needed To Relieve Crowdingvideo

Rumblings Grow On Minimum Wage

Sometimes there's a price for feeling good about yourself, says Larry Stewart. He's Executive Director of the Washington Association of Neighborhood Stores, which represents...
It's Only A Matter Of Time Before Washington State's Growth Management Act Gets A Well-Deserved Overhaul

It’s Only A Matter Of Time Before Washington State’s Growth Management Act Gets A...

In this off-year supplemental budget session few major policy reforms or new budget paradigms were expected to gain traction in the Washington state legislature....
Field director for 5th District candidate shares views with implications for public safety, business community

A Lens On The News Of Washington State

Today we launch Lens - at thelens.news. We're aiming to become a go-to journalism resource on Washington state, reporting from the intersection of public...
BNSF's Matthew Rose: Let's Keep Freight Rail On Track In The Northwest

BNSF’s Matthew Rose: Let’s Keep Freight Rail On Track In The Northwest

In an address that's still timely as Washington state grapples with controversial oil and coal terminal proposals, BNSF Railroad Executive Chairman Matthew Rose discusses...
Business Digging In To Homelessness

Business Digging In To Homelessness

It's been 11 years since issuance of a plan to end homelessness in 10 years by the City of Seattle, King County and non-profits....
Economic Lubricants Would Get Blow-Dried

Economic Lubricants Would Get Blow-Dried

Where one may see a tax preference, another may construe a tax incentive. Washington retailers, distributors, service providers and financial institutions through current state tax...

A Jump Start For Electric Vehicles

Despite government tax incentives in Washington state and reams of positive publicity, electric vehicles aren't really catching on here. Not yet. But a new...
Tariff Equity Would Grow State's Exports

Tariff Equity Would Grow State’s Exports

In February, a Moses Lake manufacturer with about 720 employees halted production. A 57 percent tariff on polysilicon has deterred Chinese companies from purchasing...
Critics: Seattle Hotel Measure I-124 Draconian, And Has Sketchy Waiver Clause

Critics: Seattle Hotel Measure I-124 Draconian, And Has Sketchy Waiver Clause

A major U.S. labor union local is advancing a Seattle ballot measure, Initiative 124 (I-124), which purports to help hotel housekeepers. However, industry sources...
On Broader Unemployment Measure, Washington 13th Highest Of 50 States

On Broader Unemployment Measure, Washington 13th Highest Of 50 States

Washington is lagging on employment, despite a booming economy in Central Puget Sound. Part of the problem is how unemployment is measured, and usually...
State Parks Seals Public-Private Deal

State Parks Seals Public-Private Deal

A proposed 62-year lease of the Saint Edward State Park seminary building in Kenmore, by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (WSPRC) to Seattle-based Daniels Real Estate...

Washington’s Global Trade Future Without The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Although the United States is advancing without a stake in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Washington state's global trade future is far from over. How...
House Budget Funding Bill Faces Uncertain Future

House Budget Funding Bill Faces Uncertain Future

With the state House proposed 2017-19 operating budget approved last week, eyes are now fixed on legislation needed to fund it. HB 2186 received...
Debate Continues Over Proposed Property Tax Hikes

Debate Continues Over Proposed Property Tax Hikes

Although state budget negotiations are at a standstill in Olympia, debate over legislative proposals to repeal the state’s property tax restriction on counties has...

Proposed road user charge program faces uphill battle

The Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) road user charge (RUC) pilot program is scheduled to begin next year. WSTC officials hope to get 2,000...
Washingtonians overwhelmingly oppose new state taxes in advisory votes

Washingtonians overwhelmingly oppose new state taxes in advisory votes

Washington voters soundly rejected in non-binding advisory votes three tax measures approved by the state legislature this session. But it remains to be seen...
Construction workers and equipment

Washington’s housing and transportation disconnect

Washington has spent roughly $12.5 billion on transportation capital projects since 2011-13, yet a lack of cohesion between transportation investments, regional housing and job...
Legislator: Fear, speculation driving net neutrality action

Legislator: Fear, speculation driving net neutrality action

After a brief but spirited debate, the Washington state Senate approved the first state-level net neutrality legislation in the nation. SHB 2282 imposes several regulations...
Lens Retrospect: Washington’s Arrested Development

Lens Reflections: Washington’s Arrested Development  

In recent years, major development efforts in Washington state have floundered due to environmental regulations that in the past would have stymied major infrastructure...
Seattle Showbox

Seattle City Council insulates Showbox venue

The Seattle City Council voted this week to prevent the Seattle Showbox concert venue from being torn down and replaced by apartments. Proponents of...
Robotics team

Stakeholders examine future of work

The Future of Work Task Force convened this week to discuss areas of focus in Washington’s educational system in need of change to better...
Same space, more housing

Same space, more housing

As a Senate proposal to increase the housing supply advances, a separate House bill calls for a similar solution by allowing cities and counties...
Urban density bill signed by Inslee

Urban density bill signed by Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee has signed E2SHB 1923 sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34) into law – a bill that supporters hope will increase housing...
Sound Transit increases ST3 property tax rate

Sound Transit increases ST3 property tax

The Sound Transit Board of Directors has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a one percent property tax increase that is expected to generate an...
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...
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...
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...
Washington's Maritime Industries Strong; But Canada Could Eat Our Lunch

Washington’s Maritime Industries Strong; But Canada Could Eat Our Lunch

Washington state's maritime industries are more of an economic powerhouse than you probably imagined. According to a report from the Economic Development Council of...
I-405 Tolling Performance Strong, But Regional Growth Raises Capacity Concerns

I-405 Tolling Gets High Marks Again; More Lanes Are Eyed To Handle Growth

Drivers on I-405 east of Seattle are getting to their destinations faster nine months after a new express lane tolling system was added. However,...
Washington K-12 Students Have A Long Way To Go On Science Proficiency

Washington K-12 Students Have A Long Way To Go On Science Proficiency

Nearly 60 percent of Washington state public school fourth-graders don't reach the "proficient" level in science, nor do slightly more than 60 percent of...
State Pension Fund Merger Gains Eyed

State Pension Fund Merger Gains Eyed

Merging two of Washington State’s eight public employee pension systems could save taxpayers almost $2 billion over the next 25 years, without reducing pension...
Washington Industries Appeal EPA State Water Quality Standards

Washington Industries Appeal EPA State Water Quality Standards

A group of Washington employers and associations are appealing a newly-adopted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule for water quality standards in favor of a...
Leveling The Playing Field For Manufacturing Businesses

Leveling The Playing Field For Manufacturing Businesses

A new Senate bill would encourage competitiveness and promote job creation for smaller and medium-sized manufacturing businesses by reducing their general business and occupation (B&O) tax rate....
To Privatize (Or Not) Washington’s Electrical Grid

To Privatize (Or Not) Washington’s Electrical Grid

President Trump has proposed selling off the electrical infrastructure in Washington state currently owned and operated by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) as part...
Northwest dairy shares its unique stake in NAFTA

Northwest dairy shares its unique stake in NAFTA

As the U.S., Canada and Mexico prepare to enter the third round of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) discussions at the end...
More GMA fine-tuning needed for rural counties, say lawmakers

More GMA fine-tuning needed for rural counties, say lawmakers

As Washington continues to grow, rural counties throughout the state are struggling to attract new businesses and jobs for their residents. Some state and...
House approves revived Sound Transit car tab bill

House approves revived Sound Transit car tab bill

House lawmakers approved a Democrat-sponsored bill Wednesday reintroduced from last year’s session that reforms Sound Transit’s ST3 motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) calculation on...
Construction workers discussing plan

Addressing Washington’s skilled worker gap

With an aging workforce and new jobs appearing weekly across the state, one thing is clear: Washington needs to double down on preparing to...
21 Acres Market

Giving local farms a boost

One of the hardest challenges for a small, local farm is spreading awareness of its products and pushing its goods into market. In Woodinville,...
SafeCo Field

King County tourism rocked by council plan

King County’s future tourism prospects took a hit when the county council elected to divert some of the lodging tax funding which was planned...
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...
Transportation package advances

Transportation package advances

A proposed 10-year transportation package to fund new infrastructure and court-ordered fish culvert projects cleared the Senate Transportation Committee after several amendments were incorporated....
Navigating Washington’s housing crisis

Navigating Washington’s housing crisis

Housing unaffordability similar to conditions in California was forecasted for Washington state during a July 8 housing summit in Bellevue. Whether or not Washington...
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...
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...
Pro-driver v. pro-transit philosophies collide

Pro-driver v. pro-transit philosophies collide

During this year’s legislative session, some state lawmakers put forward a proposal that would have fundamentally altered statewide transportation policy by giving the Washington...
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...

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