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...
Driver shortage extends beyond trucking industry

Driver shortage extends beyond trucking industry

A lack of drivers to meet freight demand isn’t a new problem to the trucking industry both nationally or in Washington state, but now...
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...
Engineering Economic Justice: It's Trickier Than You Might Think, As Lawmakers Learn

Engineering Economic Justice: It’s Trickier Than You Might Think, As Lawmakers Learn

Dueling gender pay equity bills from Washington State House Republicans and Democrats are prompting a closer look at the best ways to calculate if,...
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...
Forecast: Inslee's '17-'19 Budget Would Take $11 Billion In New Taxes By 2021

Forecast: Inslee’s ’17-’19 Budget Would Take $11 Billion In New Taxes By 2021

According to a recent four-year outlook from Washington's Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC), Governor Jay Inslee's 2017-19 operating budget would take about $11.3 billion...
Lawmakers say Sound Transit misled voters, propose key reform measures

Lawmakers say Sound Transit misled voters, propose key reform measures

Following two work sessions investigating Sound Transit, top-ranking Republican lawmakers on the Senate Law and Justice Committee say the results prove the regional transit...
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...
Lawmakers look back to the future for rural broadband access in Washington state

Lawmakers look back to the future for rural broadband access in Washington state

State lawmakers are renewing the push for greater rural broadband access in Washington communities. Proponents of a Senate bill introduced during this year’s session...
Fresh Start Eyed On Bi-State Bridge Fix

Fresh Start Eyed On Bi-State Bridge Fix

The proposal for a new bi-state bridge connecting Washington and Oregon went down in flames of acrimony two years ago. The Columbia River Crossing...
Fixing School Siting: Round Two

Fixing School Siting: Round Two

Washington state lawmakers are again trying to help overcrowded school districts serve students with new facilities, which in some cases would have to be built...
Container cargo being unloaded

Washington’s stake in ongoing trade talks

Washington state needs to position itself to best take advantage of Asia’s consumer boom, which is where trade stakeholders believe businesses will reap the...
Two Starkly Different Visions For K-12

Two Starkly Different Visions For K-12

At a hearing of the Senate Ways and Means Committee Monday, January 30, lawmakers further staked out their ground in what will be protracted...
City of Seattle at night

Head tax “last nail in the coffin”

In the latest development in the controversy surrounding the Seattle City Council’s proposed business tax plan, or “head tax,” Amazon has stopped development in...
Lawmakers investigate Sound Transit 3

Lawmakers investigate Sound Transit 3

Months following a strong public backlash to Sound Transit’s new motor vehicle excise (MVET) tax for ST3, state lawmakers this week commenced formal investigations...
Lawmakers: K-12, Post-Secondary Role Key To Lift For Washington Manufacturing

Lawmakers: K-12, Post-Secondary Role Key To Lift For Washington Manufacturing

Manufacturing employers in Washington and nationally are at a tricky juncture. Although new opportunities for growth such as carbon fiber product development are gaining...

Workers comp cases need increased state oversight, employers say

After four years of battling a reportedly fraudulent workers’ compensation claim, one Washington construction business has decided to drop the case to avoid further...
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...
Rival Political Strategies In Play Over Progressive Income Tax

Rival Political Strategies In Play Over Progressive Income Tax

After Olympia voters decisively rejected a proposed tax in November, there is a renewed push to permit a progressive income tax in Washington through...

Labor urges passage of Millennium Bulk Terminals permit to boost economy, create jobs

Members of the labor community have taken a strong interest in urging Cowlitz County to approve shoreline permits for the proposed export terminal project...
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...
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 Aims To Get A Better Grip On Workers’ Compensation Costs

As workers' compensation premiums continue to rise in Washington, raising alarms for employers, the state is already among the most expensive for claims. Washington from...
The dark side of carbon tax’s demise

The dark side of carbon tax’s demise

After the election of Sen. Manka Dhingra in the 45th legislative district gave Democrats control of both legislative chambers and the governorship, some wondered...
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....
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...
Seattle's Traffic Woes Require More Focus, Say Major Employers

Seattle’s Traffic Woes Require More Focus, Say Major Employers

Seattle region transit backers last weekend celebrated the extension of Sound Transit's light rail system from downtown north to the University District, and state...
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...
Apples in barrels at an orchard

Washington apple growers may regain Indonesia trade access

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer this month reaffirmed that Indonesian import licensing regulations for horticultural and animal products violated World Trade Organization (WTO)...
Creating Clark County jobs for local commuters

Creating Clark County jobs for local commuters

Around a third of Clark County’s workforce – 60,000 residents – commute for work each day across the Columbia River into Oregon. In coming...
video

Lens Video: Promoting rail infrastructure investments

Lens attended the Seattle Community Rail Briefing to hear why investing in rail infrastructure is important for Washington state trade.
Labor, Business Leaders Ask Governor to Support Energy Projects

Labor, Business Leaders Ask Governor to Support Energy Projects

Numerous Washington state labor leaders are urging Governor Jay Inslee to endorse two economic development projects bogged down in the state’s permitting process, highlighting the regional energy security, expanded...
Luring Major U.S. Export Industry To Washington

Luring Major U.S. Export Industry To Washington

In 2016, the semiconductor manufacturing industry exported $43.1 billion worth of product, making it the third most lucrative U.S. export. A new report by...
video

Lens Video – Vancouver Energy Project

Lens sat down with Vancouver Energy General Manager Jared Larrabee to discuss the proposed project, which is anticipated to create family-wage jobs, bolster energy...
Alleviating Small Business Regulatory Burdens

Alleviating Small Business Regulatory Burdens

After a recent Washington State Auditor's Office (SAO) performance audit determined state agencies are falling short when complying with the Regulatory Fairness Act (RFA),...
Airplane at Grant County International Airport

13th District lawmakers visit Japan to market Washington’s strengths

Washington’s 13th District lawmakers recently embarked on a trade mission to Japan to foster mutually beneficial relationships and encourage new development within the state....
Study findings may discourage legislators’ budget tinkering

Study findings may discourage legislators’ budget tinkering

Washington benefits from one of the more stable revenue streams in the nation, and the best among the West Coast states. That’s according to...

Implementing Statewide Regulations For Ridesharing Companies

This week, the Washington State Senate approved a measure which would establish statewide laws for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Lyft or Uber. During...
Lawmakers Lift Restrictions On School Siting

Lawmakers Lift Restrictions On School Siting

The Washington State Legislature this week approved legislation allowing school districts to build new facilities outside of their county’s “urban growth area” (UGA) under...
KeyArena

City council approves KeyArena renovations

The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved a $700 million KeyArena renovation plan, paving the way for more music and sports events which city...
Manufacturing Day

Manufacturing a new skilled workforce

Half of southwest Washington’s manufacturing 14,000-strong workforce is 45 or older, and regional employers and educators want to ensure there’s a steady supply of...
As Well Permit Woes Persist, Local Governments Navigate Challenging Waters

As Well Permit Woes Persist, Local Governments Navigate Challenging Waters

As both chambers of the Washington State Legislature fail to agree on an acceptable solution to the ongoing permit-exempt well use and rural development...

Bi-State Bridge Proposal Spans Political Ravines

Legislation aiming to renew inter-state talks for replacing the Interstate 5 Bridge appears on the cusp of bicameral approval. This week SB 5806 was...

Proposed Vancouver Energy Oil Terminal Would Bring Jobs, Revenue To Local Communities

Final public comment regarding a permit for the proposed Vancouver Energy oil terminal proved lively as local residents, environmental advocates, business stakeholders and members...
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...

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...
Seattle houses

Stakeholders discuss affordable housing policy

Green-building advocates and representatives from the housing sector and local government spoke this week at the 2018 Built Green Conference event on hot housing...
Worker stocking fruit in grocery store

Employers support grocery, restaurant training bill

Business representatives are touting HB 2830 as way to increase training opportunities within restaurants and grocery stores across the state, saying the measure allows...
Construction workers planning next step

Lawmakers: Future of work proposal “redundant”

State lawmakers disagreed over the need for a bill which would predict changes in Washington industries and work by creating the future of work...
While economy booms, forecasters strike measured tone

While economy booms, forecasters strike measured tone

As far as Washington state coffers are concerned, the good times keep on rolling. A new report from the Office of Financial Management (OFM)...
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...

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