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...
A Lens On The News Of Washington State

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...
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...
Seattle's Worker Scheduling Mandate: It's Complicated

Seattle’s Looming Labor Scheduling Law: It’s Going To Be Kind Of Complicated

Labor advocates call it "fair scheduling" or "guaranteed scheduling." Opponents describe it as "restrictive scheduling." Depending on your perspective, it may be a worthy...
Huge War Chest Aids I-1464 'Campaign Finance Reform' Push In Washington State

Huge War Chest Aids I-1464 ‘Campaign Finance Reform’ Push In Washington State

Washington state election officials say that Initiative 1464 (I-1464) is likely to qualify for the fall ballot. It aims to institute several so-called campaign...
A roadmap For The Time Of Trump

A Roadmap For The Time Of Trump

Divisions are sharp in Washington State, and the United States, between economically challenged rural communities and thriving metro regions. This crystalised with the election of Donald Trump. Hillary...
Paid Family Leave Debate Intensifies

Paid Family Leave Concerns Intensify

Washington state industry associations want lawmakers to pump the brakes on paid family and medical leave until they consult with affected employers. They say...

Consolidating Beer, Wine, and Spirits Licenses For Retail Businesses 

Washington state lawmakers are strongly supporting a House measure which would reduce licensing burdens for grocery store and wine or beer specialty stores. HB 1351 received...
Statewide Tourism Marketing Authority Awaits Funding Source

Statewide Tourism Marketing Authority Awaits Funding Source

As budgetary negotiations continue this special session, the survival of a bill that would put Washington’s tourism efforts back on the map is dependent...
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...
Preparing Washington for air cargo’s big takeoff

Preparing Washington for air cargo’s big takeoff

Air freight is a popular form of transport for Washington producers exporting their products overseas to the Asia market. The state’s primary gateway for...
How healthy is Washington’s manufacturing industry?

How healthy is Washington’s manufacturing industry?

Of recent interest to both state lawmakers and the business community is the health of Washington’s manufacturing industry. Since 2000, the sector has shrunk...
Pear tree

Large harvest underway for Washington pears

While Washington is known for its apples, pears are also a vital part of the state’s economy and offer a unique opportunity for agricultural...
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...
Carbon Rule Approval May Spark Tussle

Carbon Rule Approval May Spark Tussle

The Washington State Department of Ecology has approved a controversial carbon cap rule that was advanced through administrative fiat and without legislative input by...

Cities, Counties Want Fine-Tuned Rules For Legal Pot Shops And Grow Ops

Persistent community concerns across Washington about recreational marijuana stores and growers may help drive changes to existing state and local regulations. One state lawmaker...
Regional Housing Crisis Headed To Lawmakers

Regional Housing Crisis Headed To Lawmakers

Already considered by the President of Seattle King County Realtors to be a crisis that is “ugly and getting uglier,” housing affordability in Greater...
Agencies Weak On Probing Rules' Costs

Agencies Weak On Probing Rules’ Costs

State agencies have frequently ignored the financial impacts of proposed regulations on small businesses, in violation of state law. That was the big take-away...
Finding The Hidden Jobs Of The Future

Finding The Hidden Jobs Of The Future

Haven't you always wanted to work in sustainable forestry, or salmon restoration? How about a steady, working-wage job operating, maintaining and repairing machinery used...
Giving Small Businesses Regulatory Relief

Giving Small Businesses Regulatory Relief

Washington State small business employers might soon experience reduced regulatory burdens under a House bill which has now passed both chambers. On Friday, May 7,...

Transportation Issues Complicate Wenatchee’s Economic Development Goals

Wenatchee metro is the only region in the state without direct access to an interstate highway, adding a layer of complexity to its economic...
Killing affordable micro-housing has complicated Seattle housing landscape

Killing affordable micro-housing has complicated Seattle housing landscape

One stated objective of the city of Seattle’s hotly contested income tax proposal is to address the regional housing affordability crisis. Not only has...
Higher tolls could improve I-405 travel times, WSDOT study says

Higher tolls could improve I-405 travel times, WSDOT study says

The fate of dynamic tolling of 17-miles of high occupancy (HOV) lanes on Interstate 405 between Bellevue and Lynnwood could have long-term implications for...
The new ‘battle for Seattle’

The new ‘battle for Seattle’

It’s a fight where the battlefields are drawn by political jurisdictions, casualties are measured by lost economic output, and victories are determined by new...
Wine grapes

Grape growers expect great harvest

Washington’s wine harvest is well underway, and representatives from the wine industry are expecting a large harvest with low disease risk. Grape growers say...
Steel, Paper, Natural Gas Want Changes For Washington's Clean Air Rule, Take Two

Steel, Paper, Natural Gas Want Changes For New Clean Air Rule

The steel, paper and natural gas industries are among those looking for changes in the Washington state Clean Air Rule that's now under revision...

Unemployment Insurance: The Wrong Medicine?

Washington employers carry a relatively high financial burden of providing insurance to jobless workers while they seek new employment. In 2015 businesses in the...

A Big Punt On Growth Management Reforms – Or A Roadmap To The Future?

A Washington State House panel is now considering proposed reforms to the controversial, 25-year-old Growth Management Act (GMA). It may either be aiming to...
State House Leaders Seek Middle Ground

State House Leaders Seek Middle Ground

Governor Jay Inslee wasn't the only one sounding off on the state of the state last week. The first day of the legislative session,...
Measure Streamlining Municipal Business Licensing Clears House

Measure Streamlining Municipal Business Licensing Clears House

Washington small business owners may soon get a large licensing and reporting break. On Thursday, March 2, HB 2005 was voted out off the House...
As Budget Talks Stall, Members Resort to Political Theater

As Budget Talks Stall, Members Resort to Political Theater

With budget negotiations at a standstill, Washington state lawmakers are resorting to creative methods to continue discussions. After forcing a symbolic vote April 21...

Public awareness campaign warns voters of Spokane rail proposition

A public awareness campaign has launched to inform Spokane voters of the dangers of approving a proposition to fine rail car owners for transporting...
Lighthouse at the San Juan Islands

Washington tourism agencies prepare for the winter decline

As the winter months approach, Washington tourism agencies are implementing different campaigns and marketing strategies to keep travelers coming to visit state attractions. Strategies...
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...
Straw in strawberry milkshake

Seattle goes strawless: no more plastic pointy things…

Seattle has become the largest metropolitan city to forbid the use of plastic straws and utensils as part of the plastic utensil and straw...
Box of apples

The dangers of tariffs

Leadership representing trade and business agree that tariffs create a long-term hindering effect on Washington state industries and impede the effectiveness of trade until...
Avoiding Another Ports Slowdown

Avoiding Another Ports Slowdown

After a costly setback from fall 2014 through early 2015, major West Coast port labor unions and employers are set to begin negotiations well...
State Budget Deficit Estimates Jump Higher

State Budget Deficit Estimates Jump Higher

The budget stakes have risen for Washington lawmakers. A report last week from the Office of Program Research states the expected budget deficit for the 2017-19 biennium will now be almost $1.5...
Washington State Senate Majority In Flux As Trump Administration Plucks Talent

Washington State Senate Majority In Flux As Trump Administration Plucks Talent

The Trump-induced brain drain is making things tricky for the Republican-led majority controlling the Washington State Senate, in a year when fiscal conservative principles...
Bill Proposes Public-Private Partnership To Improve Rural Broadband Access

Bill Proposes Public-Private Partnership To Improve Rural Broadband Access

In 2015, half a million Washington state residents lacked access to a broadband-speed Internet connection, according to the Broadband Now project. State lawmakers want...
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...
Why small builders could become an endangered species in Seattle

Why small builders could become an endangered species in Seattle

Even as building industry leaders in the Seattle metro area are highlighting the need for land-use reform to reduce housing costs, many small builders...
Trains passing through terminal

Millennium Bulk Terminals sues Ecology for withheld records

Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT) filed a lawsuit this week against the Washington State Department of Ecology for withholding records used as the basis for...
Milk being poured

Organic milk farmers surviving, not thriving

Although market indicators in the 1990s pointed to organic dairy as the next fad, those farmers today are determining how to stay afloat in...
Container Ship

Washington’s stake in NAFTA replacement

Although the United States has reached an initial agreement with Mexico under the new United States-Mexico Trade Agreement, Washington state trade representatives say they...
Recalibrating local growth management plans

Recalibrating local growth management plans

Washington has a growth problem, but the problem differs depending on where you live. In the Puget Sound region, an exploding population has led to...
Tech Investors Wary Of New Taxes

Tech Investors Wary Of New Taxes

As the campaign season develops, some urban and Western Washingtonians may be hearing talk of a capital gains tax or a progressive income tax....
Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Representatives of Washington cities, counties, schools and citizens groups packed a committee meeting room in Olympia this week to urge that lawmakers amend the...

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