Lens News Archive

Proposal uses existing taxes to fund highways

Proposal uses existing taxes to fund highways

A major priority for Washington state is not only infrastructure funding to meet existing transportation demands, but also maintaining the revenue streams that finance...
Bellevue Chamber scores ‘win’ with Fain hire

Bellevue Chamber scores ‘win’ with Fain hire

The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce starts a new chapter this week as former legislator Joe Fain begins his tenure as the new president and...
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...
sharpened pencils

Picking Peter’s pocket to pay Paul: Lazy McCleary ‘fix’ leaves critical infrastructure projects out...

Old Mother Hubbard Went to the cupboard, To give the poor dog a bone; But when she got there The cupboard was bare, And so the poor dog had...
State bank proposed

State bank proposed

A newly introduced Senate bill would set up a state bank to meet demand for local infrastructure funding, despite warnings from the Washington state...
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....
Lawmaker proposes legalizing local income tax

Lawmaker proposes legalizing local income tax

Earlier this month, a group of Democrat state lawmakers submitted a brief in the lawsuit over the city of Seattle’s income tax ordinance arguing...
gas pump

Low Carbon Fuel Standard wrong for Washington: Costly, unworkable fuel policy

As part of his proposed 2019 climate agenda, the Governor wants the Legislature to take another run at imposing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard...
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...
Bill proposes wildfire containment strategy

Bill proposes wildfire containment strategy

A major challenge for state, federal and local fire crews responding to a wildfire can be locating a safe position to operate from, something...
Can growth and farming coexist?

Can growth and farming coexist?

As Washington state’s population grows, agricultural industry advocates say that farmers need more flexibility with their land designated for farming under the Growth Management...
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...
seattle skyline

Homeless shack villages: A business owner’s point of view

Since the arrival of Aloha Village and all that comes with a low-barrier shack encampment, my auto shop’s backlog has gone from a month...
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...
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...
Promises still unmet for small forestland owners

Promises still unmet for small forestland owners

Two decades after the state legislature passed the Forests and Fish Law to protect fish habitat, it is still unclear to what extent the...

“We are really only changing one word from ‘and’ to ‘or.’”

- Sen. Lynda Wilson testifying in support of her bill allowing local governments to extend urban services to rural areas under the state Growth...
Should Washington pioneer hydrogen cars?

Should Washington pioneer hydrogen cars?

As part of a broader shift toward clean energy, Washington state is establishing infrastructure for electric vehicles in key sections of the state. However,...
New runway for aviation loan program

New runway for aviation loan program

The state legislature last year overwhelmingly voted in favor of HB 1656 creating an aviation loan program to help smaller airports with infrastructure investment...
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...
Casting for fish barrier removal funds

Casting for fish barrier removal funds

Now that the legislature has satisfied the State Supreme Court’s McCleary order, it now faces another court order to remove hundreds of fish barriers...
The future of clean energy

The future of clean energy

As the state legislature examines proposals to eventually make Washington’s electricity 100 percent clean, they’re also taking a good look at emerging technology that...
Shifting goalposts for I-405 tolling

Shifting goalposts for I-405 tolling

A corridor performance analysis study in 2018 found that the 15-mile Interstate 405 tolling segment was performing well financially but failing to maintain a 45-mile-per-hour...
Washington’s hospitality labor shortage

Washington’s hospitality labor shortage

As Washington state is currently experiencing a low unemployment rate, industries such as hospitality in recent years have struggled to fill job openings. A...
Washington’s next major airport

Washington’s next major airport

Some state lawmakers think it’s time for Washington to start looking for the location of its next major commercial airport, and a new Senate...
Mixed reviews for tax system overhaul

Mixed reviews for tax system overhaul

A Senate proposal creating a revenue reform task force is getting mixed reviews among members of the business community as to whether the state’s...
The next stop for Cascadia high-speed rail

The next stop for Cascadia high-speed rail

Since 2017, the state has been exploring the idea of an ultra-high-speed rail line from Vancouver, B.C. through Seattle to Portland, Ore to better...
Attacking the gap: the bridge from class to career

Attacking the gap: the bridge from class to career

After years spent mired in the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision and battling over education funding, the legislature is now uniquely aligned around one major...
Lawmakers contemplate tolling authority change

Lawmakers contemplate tolling authority change

As local cities and even counties consider ways to reduce congestion or improve revenue streams, one option is tolling city streets. It’s an idea...
Protecting Washington transportation revenue

Protecting Washington transportation revenue

One of the concerns Washington residents may have about a possible road user charge (RUC) to replace the state gas tax for funding transportation...
Netflix-like subscriptions for transportation on demand?

Netflix-like subscriptions for transportation on demand?

A recurring challenge encountered by state policymakers and stakeholders is how to successfully, and safely, integrate driverless cars onto public roads. Another ongoing question...
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...
Funding raids endanger Washington infrastructure

Funding raids endanger Washington infrastructure

As part of the McCleary compromise to fully fund basic education, the state legislature has dipped repeatedly into several accounts outside the general fund....
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...
To reform (or not) Washington’s tax system

To reform (or not) Washington’s tax system

If there’s agreement among policy wonks that Washington’s tax code needs to change, there’s equal disagreement over the nuances of that discussion and what...
The year of GMA reform?

The year of GMA reform?

A recurring criticism of the state Growth Management Act (GMA) is that its regulations artificially restrict housing supply and stymie rural economic development. Two...
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...
Re-growing small working forestland

Re-growing small working forestland

In the 20 years since the Forests and Fish Law was passed, Washington’s small forestland owners have struggled to handle the new regulations regarding...
The push to expand broadband

The push to expand broadband

According to Broadband Now, 94 percent of Washington residents have access to broadband, placing the state 14th in the nation for coverage. State lawmakers...

Education: Future needs, lingering gaps open 2019 session

Lawmakers began the first week of the 2019 legislative session with a look toward the future of schools in Washington and a look back...
Can rangeland associations help fight wildfires?

Can rangeland associations help fight wildfires?

As stakeholders across Washington state continue to examine new ways to improve wildfire responses, state lawmakers have introduced HB 1188 which would enable private...
gavel

Bloomberg funds state AGs to file politically motivated lawsuits

State attorneys general (AG) are supposed to enforce the state’s laws on behalf of the state’s citizens, but several AG’s offices are at risk...
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...
Bipartisan support for Sound Transit reform

Bipartisan support for Sound Transit reform

Following the passage of ST3 in 2016, state lawmakers have proposed making Sound Transit’s board elected rather than appointed by county executives, something proponents...
What’s killing Southern Resident whales

What’s killing Southern Resident whales

There’s little debate that an insufficient lack of salmon is harming the Southern Resident killer whale population, evinced by proposals to ramp up hatchery...
The short subdivision housing solution

The short subdivision housing solution

An ongoing challenge facing Washington state is being able to improve housing affordability, in particular in the central Puget Sound area, despite a recent...
The fight over a capital gains income tax

The fight over a capital gains income tax

The Jan. 16 public hearing regarding Governor Inslee’s capital gains income tax proposal rehashed many ongoing arguments for and against the idea. Remarks by...
Fish and Forest Law: 20-year reflection

Forests and Fish Law: 20-year reflection

After 20 years since the 1999 Forests and Fish Law was approved by the state legislature and then-Governor Gary Locke, state lawmakers may need...
Biochar: potential forest health tool

Biochar: potential forest health tool

As state officials and stakeholders look for ways to improve forest health around Washington that are in need of restoration, one possible new tool...
New low carbon fuel standard proposed

New low carbon fuel standard proposed

As with last year, efforts to reduce Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions is prompting several bills as part of Governor Jay Inslee’s “green energy” proposal...
State of State heavy on campaign rhetoric

State of State heavy on campaign rhetoric

Governor Jay Inslee’s January 15 State of the State speech mixed presidential campaign rhetoric with state-level proposals regarding climate change, education, mental health and orca...
Protecting working forests in times of growth

Protecting working forests in times of growth

As Washington’s population continues to grow, many newcomers from other parts of the country or world may end up buying a home or property...

2019 Washington state legislative session

Washington state's 2019 legislative session begins today. Visit Lens for the latest business news.
High court rejects Seattle income tax case

High court rejects Seattle income tax case

The Washington State Supreme Court this week declined to make a direct review of a lawsuit filed against the city of Seattle’s income tax...

T-Mobile tops Verizon in quarterly gains

Bellevue company adds 1.4 million customers

Seattle home prices fall further

Seattle median home prices are now $100,000 cheaper than they were last spring. In a year, the King County condo price rose by .06...
Seattle appeals hotel worker ruling

Seattle appeals hotel worker ruling

Last month, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled against a voter initiative intended to protect hotel workers from assault by guests, though hospitality groups...

Seattle requests high court uphold hotel workers law

The city of Seattle will ask the state Supreme Court to review a case involving a voter-approved city law that was struck down by...

Some retailers suffer low Christmas sales

Macy’s sees shares drop
Driverless car potential meets reality

Driverless car potential meets reality

After a few years of strong optimism regarding driverless cars and their potential to radically transform the way people live and travel, recent incidents...

Senate bill would ban city street tolling

Senate Bill 5014 filed by Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-35) would prohibit local governments from imposing tolls on local roads, an idea the city of...

Internet faster after net neutrality repeal

Internet connection speeds up by a third
Mounting tension between China, U.S.

U.S., China continue trade talks

Progress being made

Study: consumers hit by Seattle soda tax

A new study by the University of Washington has concluded that the burden of Seattle’s soda tax fell almost entirely on consumers. The 1.75...
Boosting salmon production

Boosting salmon production

Last year, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) released 137 million salmon from its hatcheries, the lowest production year ever for the...
Mortgage rates at eight-month low

Mortgage rates at eight-month low

Rate below five percent

“If I would predict anything about this period, it probably won’t be as tough...

- Former Gov. Dan Evans on traffic congestion caused by the three week Highway 99 closure

Kroger opens experimental stores

Kroger has remodeled its QFC store in Redmond with experimental features including digital shelves and product tracking. The features rely on a cloud-based system...

A tenth of Seattle apartments empty

The Seattle Times reports that one in 10 Seattle apartments are empty, resulting in lower rent rates as landlords try to filling vacant units. According...

$30 car tab initiative to be on ballot

Initiative filer Tim Eyman says that he has enough signatures to get I-976 on the ballot this November. If approved by voters, it would cut all car-tab...
Another crack at car tab reform

Another crack at car tab reform

Last year’s legislative session ended with lawmakers yet again unable to agree on relief for Puget Sound drivers paying the new motor vehicle excise...

U.S. stocks drop, Apple shares plummet

U.S. stocks experienced another large drop Thursday following an announcement by Apple that iPhone sales in China had slowed. The news caused the company's...
Study ranks states most affected by government shutdown

Study ranks states most affected by government shutdown

Washington 18th most affected, says new study
Trump: Ramp up logging on federal land

Trump: Ramp up logging on federal land

Since 1986, timber harvests on Washington forestland managed by federal agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has decreased from 1.4 billion board...
Tesla shares jump after settlement reached

Telsa reduces prices, stock drops

The Associated Press reports that Tesla plans to cut vehicle prices by $2,000 after revealing lower-than expected sales. Following the announcement, shares fell 7.2 percent....

Long-term mortgage rates drop

U.S. 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages have dropped from 4.62 percent to 4.55 percent. The average rate a year ago was 3.99 percent. Read more here.
Time to adopt minimum residential density standard

Time to adopt minimum residential density standard

The 2019 legislative session is just over the horizon and political momentum to tackle our region’s affordable housing shortage is growing.  This confluence means...
New rules on overtime pay raise concerns for retailers

New rules on overtime pay raise concerns for retailers

For most of this year, Washington State’s Department of Labor & Industries has been working to update rules that govern which employees can qualify...

Sears dodges liquidation with buyout bid

Fox Business reports that Sears dodged liquidation last week following a buyout bid from its former CEO. Eddie Lampert is offering $1.5 billion in...

Amazon to expand Whole Foods stores

Amazon has announced plans to open new Whole Food stores within range of its Prime Now two-hour delivery service. The company also plans to...

U.S. stocks on losing streak

U.S. stocks have experienced a volatile week of selloffs followed by major gains, then minor losses. Now, the top three major indexes are now...

Wells Fargo to pay states $575 million over claims

The Wall Street Journal reports that Wells Fargo will pay more than a dozen states $575 million to settle claims related to a fake-account...

Growth of U.S. home prices fell in October

The growth of U.S. home sales fell in October from 5.2 percent to 5 percent, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index....
Stocks fall with rising interest rates

U.S. stocks drop after rally

Fox Business reports that after a 1,000 point rally, U.S. stocks dropped Thursday with further selloffs. The Nasdaq Composite is looking at its worst...
Are I-405 tolls ‘good to go’?

Are I-405 tolls ‘good to go’?

The 15-mile northern segment of Interstate 405 from Bellevue to Lynnwood has now had dynamic tolling in place on two lanes for over three...

U.S. stocks increase after selloffs

U.S. stocks recovered somewhat the day after Christmas following four sessions of selloffs. The S&P 500 increased by 2.4 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite...
Seattle drops from top cities for home price growth

Seattle drops from top cities for home price growth

After two years of leading the U.S. in housing market growth, Seattle has dropped from the top three cities for home sale increases. The...
Advances in taking mass timber mainstream

Advances in taking mass timber mainstream

As Washington looks to bring cross-laminated timber (CLT) into mainstream construction use, the International Code Council (ICC) has announced code change proposals that would...
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...

Stocks drop amid fears of government shutdown

Worst month since the Great Depression

AI increasingly a threat to jobs

As more advancements are made in automation, more wokers' jobs are put at risk…

Fed to raise interest rates

Market downturn draws concerns
I-5 bridge talks back to drawing board

I-5 bridge talks back to drawing board

After years of effort by state and local lawmakers as well as business groups, the Joint Oregon-Washington Legislative Action Committee finally met last week...
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...

Apple needs additional Seattle space for planned growth

Apple must find more office space to reach its 2022 growth goal.
businessmen shaking hands

Boosting business through responsible growth

For middle market companies, business success and responsible growth aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, prioritizing responsible growth is becoming increasingly important as successful companies...

“I’m not sure that all of the three — if any — have legs.”

- Sen. Dean Takko (D-19) on three tax proposals in Governor Inslee’s operating budget.
Stocks fall with rising interest rates

Investors hope for “Christmas miracle” rebound

First annual decline since 2015
readthedirt.org

Lawmaker: DNR proposal “Spotted Owl 2.0”

A proposal by the state Department of Natural Resources could “lay off” thousands of acres of working forests in western Washington as part of...
Sound Transit CEO could get $16,000 bonus

Sound Transit CEO could get $16,000 bonus

CEO previously denied raise
: Inslee’s budget proposal includes income tax

Inslee’s budget proposal includes income tax

After unveiling a series of clean energy proposals earlier this week devoid of a new tax, Governor Jay Inslee is now proposing a nine...

Amazon tests small sized “Go” stores

Amazon is testing smaller cashierless stores...
Noel Christmas Trees

Local businesses navigate Christmas tree shortage

‘Tis the season for Christmas tree selling, and Washington’s tree selling businesses and tree farms are busy cycling in trees so community members can...
Spokane County votes to open collective bargaining to public

Spokane County votes to open collective bargaining to public

Largest county to open union talks
Assessing road user charge pilot program

Assessing road user charge pilot program

With the conclusion of the state’s road user charge (RUC) pilot program next month, the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) is already examining some...
video

Video: ‘Tis the season of trees

Lens interviewed Northwest Landscape Supply Owner Gary Fruhling and Bellevue resident Jeanne Ulstein to get their perspectives on the competition that Christmas tree selling...

Northwest apple sector concerned over possible India tariff

Northwest apple growers and packers say they are concerned about movement of crops while navigating tariffs…
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...

“It’s a much more favorable market for a buyer today, especially as you go...

- Peng Tea, a John L. Scott broker on Seattle metro’s housing market.

Delayed Brexit cause stocks to tumble

Dow Jones drops more than 400 points
American entrepreneurs return from China

American entrepreneurs return from China

New regulations, taxes send them home
Cleansing fire: Restoring Washington’s forestland

Cleansing fire: Restoring Washington’s forestland

In 2016, the Washington state legislature directed the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to conduct a prescribed burn pilot project to explore the...
Gauging Washington’s transportation goals

Gauging Washington’s transportation goals

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Gray Notebook is the state agency’s quarterly performance report. First published in 2001, it is now considered...

KeyArena rennovation to cost $850 million

Developer Oak View Group announces latest KeyArena revamp cost estimate

U.S. coal consumption lowest since 1979

Strong competition from cheaper natural gas
Should Washington’s tax system change?

Should Washington’s tax system change?

Many Washingtonians loathe the business and occupation (B&O) tax, and they’re not finished giving their thoughts on how to improve the state’s tax structure....

Seattle approved for NHL team

Seattle is cleared for a NHL team to begin in the 2021-22 season
Taking mass timber mainstream

Taking mass timber mainstream

The Washington State Building Code Council took a major step last week toward broader use of cross-laminated timber (CLT), or “mass timber, in building...
Boeing Factory

Preparing students for the manufacturing skills gap

New data suggests that the U.S. manufacturing field will experience a significant skills gap in the next decade. Washington state stakeholders recommend that the...

U.S., Canada, Mexico  sign new trade deal

New pact updates free-trade zones
Seattle housing construction

Seattle’s housing market cools

Seattle’s housing prices have declined at one of the fastest rates in the country over the late summer into the fall months. Coupled with...
How the tariffs stole Christmas?

How the tariffs stole Christmas?

Trade dispute hits tree light prices

U.S. economy expands 3.5 percent in Q3

U.S. economy Q3 growth was strong, but not as strong as Q2…
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...

“It’s not often that we suggest following California’s lead on something.”

- The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board on eliminating daylight savings
Stocks fall with rising interest rates

Stock market sees gains after Fed chairman remarks

Fed chairman says rates increase will be slower
Auditor: Charter schools too new gauge effectiveness

Auditor: Charter schools too new to gauge effectiveness

Washington state charter schools are still too new to determine how effective they are at educating students in their classrooms, according to a new...
Small business food shop

Implementing tariffs “playing with fire”

A panel featuring representatives from small business, agriculture and the trade sector met in Seattle this month to discuss – and humanize – the...

Thurston County employment holds steady

Thurston County maintains its lower unemployment rate…
GM to lay off more than 14,000 workers

GM to lay off more than 14,000 workers

Job loss affects 6,000 factory workers
Amazon Go Store

Future of work in an automated world

Members of Washington’s Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTB) are recommending to the legislature that the state and its businesses should refocus efforts...
Time for a tax cut?

Time for a tax cut?

New tax revenue continues to pour into Washington state’s coffers, to the point where some government reform experts and state lawmakers say it’s time...
All-cash home buyers must reveal themselves

All-cash home buyers in King County must reveal themselves

New federal rule against money laundering
The push for active forest management

The push for active forest management

As the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) submits its largest firefighting budget request ever, it is also implementing its 20-year forest health plan...

Wine stakeholders discuss outlook

Wine professionals discuss latest trends for production and sales…
Student studying

Call to expand state financial aid

New research reveals that states should do a better job of including adults in financial aid programs to reach attainment goals. The data also...
More stores to remain closed for Thanksgiving

More stores to remain closed for Thanksgiving

The Seattle Times reports that more and more stores are closing for Thanksgiving due to the rise in online retail activity. The list of...
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...
Nurse with patient

Seeking solutions to healthcare employment issues

Employers in Washington’s healthcare sector are struggling with the employment pipeline and retainment, especially in rural areas. Representatives from the sector are now recommending...
Breakthrough coming for forest health efforts?

Breakthrough coming for forest health efforts?

As parts of California are being consumed by what has become the state’s worst wildfire season, Washington state lawmakers and private and public stakeholders...
Flawed conclusions in ocean warming study

Flawed conclusions in ocean warming study

Paper authors say too much uncertainty
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...

Boeing hints it could move up to 1,6000 jobs to Kent next year…
Aerial view of Spokane

Retooling Spokane’s economic development

Organizations representing local businesses and economic development interests have made it known that the previous and existing model for promoting the greater Spokane region...

Plaintiff responds in Seattle income tax lawsuit

Rejects notion of "home rule."
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...

What HQ2 means for Seattle’s housing market

Although Amazon is choosing to expand outside of Washington for its HQ2, it is unlikely Seattle’s housing market will take a dive soon…
City of Bellingham

Port of Bellingham to ramp up cargo capacity

A new agreement will allow the Port of Bellingham to handle more cargo shipments—a move which members of the port and the labor community...

Questions remain with AWC brief

Following the submittal of an amicus brief by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) defending the city of Seattle’s authority to impose a local...
'Black Friday' planned for trout fishing

‘Black Friday’ planned for trout fishing

: State agency to stock lakes
Voters reject carbon tax

Voters reject carbon tax

Washingtonians overwhelming rejected a proposed carbon tax via Initiative 1631 during Tuesday’s election – by a 56-44 percent margin. Despite numerous failed efforts to enact...

Tech sector cites displeasure with H-1B visa rejections

Large tech companies report that the number of H-1B visa denial rates continue to increase…
State revenue good, tariff impacts uncertain

State revenue good, tariff impacts uncertain

Washington state continues to receive surplus revenue, while the impact of new retaliatory tariffs on exports remains uncertain. That was the takeaway from the...
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...
Voters approve local food tax ban

Voters approve I-1634 local food tax ban

Latest update shows initiative garnered 54 percent of vote
Decreased bus ridership along future light rail route

Decreased bus ridership along future light rail route

Sound Transit this week will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to bus services to be implemented next March. Among them is the...
Amazon

Amazon’s fulfillment center near Spokane taking shape

Amazon’s fulfillment center near Spokane will provide 1,500 jobs…

“They’re a well-run company, they produce a great product that’s very innovative, and the...

Grant County Economic Development Council Chair Brant Mayo regarding the effect of new tariffs on the REC Silicon manufacturing plant in Moses Lake.

Toys R Us relaunch planned

Stores to reopen next fall
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...
Coin and magnifying glass

Washington already low-carbon leader, without new I-1631 energy tax

Washington employers, employees and residents share the goal of reducing carbon emissions, as evidenced by state’s low carbon footprint. Despite a 43 percent growth in...

Starbucks reports record sales

Company shares also jump
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...

Good news for Spokane County jobs rate

Spokane County’s jobs rate improves…
Voters approve local food tax ban

I-1634’s fight against local grocery taxes

For some backers of Initiative 1634, the measure is meant to prohibit local government from enacting soda taxes out of fear that ordinances like...
Amazon value drops by $250 billion

Amazon value drops by $250 billion

A 25 percent value drop in a month
Costco store

Costco to expand Issaquah headquarters

Costco Wholesale has received the green light to proceed with a 1.2 million square foot expansion to double its office space in its worldwide...
Experts propose state laws for driverless cars

Experts propose state laws for driverless cars

One of the challenges for a state work group tasked with looking at the emergence of driverless vehicles is how to incorporate the technology...

U.S. consumer confidence hits 18-year high

U.S. consumer confidence continues to rise…
video

Lens Video: Bolstering housing efforts to prepare for the future

Lens attended the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS) Housing Solutions Breakfast on Oct. 24.
IBM to buy Red Hat

IBM to buy Red Hat

Stocks soar for open software company
High court upholds charter schools

High court upholds charter schools

After three years of legal wrangling, the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that charter schools do not violate the state constitution and can...
Building the workforce of tomorrow

Building the workforce of tomorrow

Automation is expected to radically change the makeup of the U.S. workforce, and experts say Washington state should help the next generation of workers...
Sears bankruptcy might boost company sales

Sears bankruptcy might boost company sales

Craftsman sales may benefit
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...

Seattle minimum wage difficult for younger workers

The minimum wage has become troublesome for younger Seattleites looking to find jobs…
AWC defends Seattle’s income tax

AWC defends Seattle’s income tax

In a surprise move, the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) has filed an amicus brief to the State Supreme Court in defense of the...
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...
cargo container

Global trade requires timely investments in maritime, rail

Washington state prides itself on being a leader in global trade. As someone who has spent a significant amount of time in the maritime industry,...

Boeing pulls strong earnings

Plane maker lands new contracts
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...

Mayor estimates Seattle’s World Cup hosting costs

The City of Seattle released preliminary estimates for the cost of hosting the World Cup in 2026..
Apple farmer

State Ag Dept: Funding needed to offset tariffs

Amidst ongoing trade negotiations and retaliatory tariffs, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is putting forward a proposal to assist state growers who...

Moving up the deadline … is a procedural win that will give more certainty...

Rep. Dan Newhouse on President Trump’s new memo concerning the Snake River dams.

Trump issues memo on state dams

Orders management plans to be completed sooner

Boeing to create fast computing technology

Boeing is developing new superfast computing technology…

U.S. home construction declined last month

Homebuilders completed fewer builds in September…
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...
Internet line

Expanding rural broadband a necessity, advocates say

Though lawmakers are still gearing up for the next legislative session, one Senate committee this week heard about the need to expand rural broadband...

Washington ag production hit $10.6B last year

The value of Washington apples and milk put them ahead of other ag commodities in 2017…
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...

Hay and wheat producers can expect profitable harvest

This year’s hay and wheat harvest is expected to result in higher production and returns for those farmers…
Expedia’s ‘have job, will travel’ workplace

Expedia’s ‘have job, will travel’ workplace

Expedia Group’s decision to move its headquarters from Bellevue across Lake Washington to Seattle at the 40-acre former Amgen waterfront campus may further solidify...

Sears files for bankruptcy

The Associated Press reports that Sears has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to its large debt and after closing hundreds of stores....

“I think that anybody who is concerned about climate change should vote against 1631....

University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Professor Cliff Mass
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.
Mounting tension between China, U.S.

Mounting tension between China, U.S.

Multilateral summit planned for November
DNR “spread thin”, calls for robust funding

DNR “spread thin”, calls for robust funding

After another intense wildfire season that involved flames on both sides of the Cascades and poor air quality statewide, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary...
Salmon Bay Bridge

The need for rail infrastructure investment

If the Puget Sound region wants to continue its success as a leader in trade, then it must continue to make early investments in...

Quality harvest expected for potatoes, onions

Local potato and onion farmers should experience a good harvest this year…
Stocks fall with rising interest rates

Stocks fall with rising interest rates

Stocks fall with rising interest rates
K-12 budget proposal includes income tax

K-12 budget proposal includes income tax

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal plans to submit an agency requested bill calling for a capital gains income tax to help pay for...
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...
Amazon Box

Amazon’s wage increase and the retail sector

Amazon’s minimum wage increase could prove challenging for other retailers…
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...
Seattle Condos

Condos stage comeback in Seattle, Bellevue

Condos are returning to Seattle and Bellevue on a large scale for the first time since 2010. Representatives from the housing sector say new...

“There will never be another freaking transportation package as long as this in place.”

Washington and Northern Idaho District Council of Laborers Political Director Billy Wallace, Jr. on Initiative 1631.
U.S.-China tension could affect North Korea talks

U.S.-China tension could affect North Korea talks

North Korean leader to meet with China
King County home sales plummet

King County home sales plummet

Low sales creates huge inventory
Dairy Cow

Washington dairy and the USMCA

Representatives from Washington state’s trade and agricultural sectors are praising the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The trade deal would govern trade relations among...

Agricultural programs in limbo without Farm Bill renewal

Several farmers say they are temporarily without beneficial farm aid programs…
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...

Harvard economist warns of fragile economy

Caution despite optimism from the Fed
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...
More flexible ADU rules important housing solution

More flexible ADU rules important housing solution

As our region continues to debate how to add much-needed housing in urban areas and address our ongoing housing affordability crisis, much attention has...

Tariffs harming Moses Lake business

A Moses Lake-based solar energy company has been hit hard by tariffs…
Tesla shares jump after settlement reached

Tesla shares jump after settlement reached

CEO accepts SEC deal

“I would say frankly as the president has said he’s not been satisfied with...

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow on U.S.-China trade discussion.
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)...
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...
Elon Musk sued by SEC

Elon Musk sued by SEC

CEO rejects settlement offer
Port of Seattle

Analyzing the effectiveness of ag infrastructure

A WSU economist is raising awareness of the critical role infrastructure plays in the ag sector…
Whale task force may punt on dams

Whale task force may punt on dams

The Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Task Force created by Governor Jay Inslee has released a draft report of recommendations on how to aid...
Ford: metal tariffs costing us

Ford: metal tariffs costing us

CEO says $1 billion lost in profit
video

Lens Video: Promoting tech businesses in Vancouver

Lens attended the 2nd annual Vancouver Tech Tour which highlighted tech job openings at several businesses within the city as well as how the...
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...
Seattle

Mayor Durkan releases $5.9 billion budget plan

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has unveiled her budget proposal for 2019 and 2020…
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...
Gas pump

The rising price of oil doesn’t necessarily harm the economy

Even though gas prices have gradually increased over the past year, the U.S. economy has remained strong…
Tech employee

Vancouver’s booming tech industry

While some may consider Vancouver a more rural city, the community in recent years has embraced tech culture, allowing it to grow into a...
U.S. government bonds hit four month high

U.S. government bonds hit four month high

Highest yield since May 17
The hidden cost of K-12 pay raises

The hidden cost of K-12 pay raises

While local school districts struggle to find ways to pay for recently approved teacher salary increases, the full cost to Washington taxpayers is still...
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...
Boeing 737

Boeing plans to ramp up 737 production in Renton

Boeing is planning to increase 737 production in its Renton factory…
Clark County Council backs replacement I-5 Bridge Photo:

Clark County Council backs I-5 Bridge replacement

Clark County latest local gov. to push for new bridge.
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...
KeyArena

$700 million KeyArena rework approved

Seattle is one step closer to owning a professional hockey team…
Apple’s vulnerability in trade war

Apple’s vulnerability in trade war

iPhone production at risk
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...
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...
.S. may yet again be world’s top oil producer

U.S. may yet again be world’s top oil producer

Federal agency said U.S. “likely surpassed” its rivals
Will higher rec fees fly?

Will higher rec fees fly?

A proposal by the Fish and Wildlife Commission would raise recreational fees for activities such as fishing and hunting by 15 percent to help...
Sea-Tac Airport

New Sea-Tac terminal estimated at $1 billion

Sea-Tac is constructing an international arrivals facility, but delays and disagreements have raised the price tag…
Port of Vancouver backs I-5 bridge replacement

Port of Vancouver backs I-5 bridge replacement

Resolution cites “obsolete” existing bridge
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...
Cherries for sale

Cherry growers bear brunt of tariffs

Cherry growers in the Pacific Northwest were hit hard this harvest after a second wave of Chinese tariffs placed on their products, forcing farmers...
Red Delicious Apples

Washington apple growers expand their varieties

Apple growers make way for new varieties…
Lower temps cool wildfire season

Lower temps cool wildfire season

After weeks of hot temperatures and statewide smoke cover, decreasing temperatures and recent rainfall indicate the worst of this year’s wildfire season is over....

Seattle home prices drop

Housing inventory rises as prices decline

“Everybody is having a hard time finding people across the board.”

Peggy Marker, president of Fort Lauderdale-based Marker Construction commenting on the shortage of skilled labor.
Sound Transit lawsuit in court today

Sound Transit lawsuit in court today

Plaintiffs ask to overturn ST3 car tab tax
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...
Television screen

Washington consumers to receive compensation from Samsung

Samsung is reimbursing Washington consumers for a price-fix scheme…
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...
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...
Amazon temporarily reaches $1 trillion value

Amazon temporarily reaches $1 trillion value

CNBC reports that Seattle-based Amazon temporarily reached the $1 trillion value this week, leaving Apple as the sole publicly traded U.S. company to hold...

“The projections are that the economy is going to slow.”

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard
Theaters have best summer in years

Movie theaters have best summer in years

Ticket sales boosted by major blockbusters
MasterCard credit card

Google and Mastercard deal tracks retail purchases

Privacy concerns arise in a new deal struck between Google and Mastercard…

Ford ends plan to import small car over tariffs

Imports to have started next year
Orca recovery: More Chinook needed

Orca recovery: More Chinook needed

The dependency of Southern Resident killer whales on endangered Chinook salmon for their diet means the recovery efforts for both species are in many...
Port of Tacoma

Northwest Seaport Alliance to study the deepening of waterways

A new study will determine if the Port of Tacoma’s waterways will be deepened…
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...
Making schools start on time

Making schools start on time

The first day of school for the 2018-19  academic year has been marked by numerous teacher strikes throughout the state over proposed raises demanded...
Shanghai company could raise over $1 billion

Tesla rival opens in China

The Wall Street Journal reports that a Tesla rival company has opened in China and launched a U.S. stock sale with the potential to...
Potatoes

Smoke and Washington vegetables

The wildfire smoke may benefit some vegetable crops…
The “burn ‘em” strategy to improve Washington’s forests

The “burn ‘em” strategy to improve Washington’s forests

The apocalyptic-like smokescreen shrouding most of Washington earlier this month may ultimately make the best case on behalf of the state Department of Natural...
Mount Rainier

Bolstering Washington tourism

Washington state is reenergizing its statewide tourism efforts with the approval of a statewide tourism agency in March, however it has a way to...

Resistance to app store “tax” growing

The Seattle Times reports that companies are beginning to push back against Apple and Google app stores over a “tax” placed on developers for...

“I’ve never seen a bump like this one, and I’ve been in business since...

-- Longtime Wenatchee real estate broker Steve Bishop on the area’s housing market boom

Waymo to open up in China

Driverless vehicle maker Waymo has announced plans to open up shop in Shanghai. It has already registered a company called Huimo Business Consulting, and...
Crane in Seattle

Strike halts construction work in Seattle

Major construction comes to a halt in Seattle….
Fighting fire with fire

Fighting fire with fire

Washington experienced yet another weekend surge of new wildfires that continue to blanket large portions of the state in wildfire smoke. In central Washington,...
Amazon leases Expedia HQ

Amazon leases Expedia HQ

16-year lease begins next year
Washington’s latest economic outlook

Washington’s latest economic outlook

The latest update from the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) reports yet another surge of unanticipated revenue, much of that thanks to...
Migrant farm workers

How the smoke affects farmworkers

Farmworkers are taking steps to ensure they can continue working in the smoky conditions…
semi truck on road

The Hidden Impact of a Carbon Pollution “Fee”

Voters will be considering Initiative 1631 – a carbon “fee” – when they fill out their ballots this Fall. This gives us an opportunity...
Darigold eyes foreign market

Darigold eyes foreign market

The Seattle Times reports that despite talks of trade wars, the hundreds of farmers that make up the century-old Darigold cooperative want to sell...

“We’re all seeing the effects of a bad #WaWILDFIRE season right now — just...

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz
Truckers: Carbon tax will raise prices everywhere

Truckers: Carbon tax will raise prices everywhere

The proposed $15 per-ton carbon tax via Initiative 1631 is portrayed by supporters as a way to reduce pollution in Washington state by placing...
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...
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...
Google

Google plans to expand near Amazon

Excerpt: Google is planning to move into new buildings in South Lake Union…

Washington no longer top housing market

Nevada takes the lead in fastest price increase
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...
Wildfires lead to hazardous air conditions

Wildfires lead to hazardous air conditions

Washington’s wildfire season has ramped up with lighting strikes, hot temperatures and significant drought causing dozens of fires over the weekend. The conditions have...
Doctor with patient

Chelan and Douglas Counties unemployment drops

Chelan and Douglas Counties are experiencing record job growth…
The price of a carbon tax

The price of a carbon tax

As the November election approaches, the state’s business association composed of 7,000 members representing 700,000 employees has come out against a proposed carbon tax...
manufacturing worker in shop

Closing the manufacturing skills gap

Washington-based manufacturing business have a problem: they are short on skilled workers that can quickly adapt to ever-changing machinery and technology. Skagit Valley College...

“What’s happening to the beer companies is, they are losing all their craft beer...

Jon Taffer, host of Paramount Network’s “Bar Rescue.”
Fish and Wildlife approve proposed budget

Fish and Wildlife approve proposed budget

Revised plan includes funding for hatchery
EPA reconsiders Washington’s water quality standards

EPA reconsiders Washington’s water quality standards

New rule imposed stricter standards
Fish and Wildlife pause on fee hikes

Fish and Wildlife pause on fee hikes

Fear of backlash by outdoor recreational enthusiasts forced to pay higher fishing and hunting fees led the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to pause...
Farm worker

Growers suggest guest workers help pay living costs

Washington farmers are asking for minor changes to the H-2A guest worker program…
Harvested apples in box

Washington growers: Remove the tariffs

Washington’s agricultural stakeholders continue asking the Trump administration to resolve problems stemming from the current trade war between the U.S. and other major trading...
Lower Snake River dams eyed in orca recovery

Lower Snake River dams eyed in orca recovery

A new task force created by Governor Jay Inslee is looking at ways to aid Southern Resident killer whale recovery. A recent meeting in...

Tesla might go private

Fox News reports that Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk announced Tuesday on social media that is considering taking the company private. Board members...
Basket of apples

Washington apples face threat of tariffs from India

Washington apple growers may face challenges if India decides to place tariffs on American imports…
Ruling upholds preemptive raid on rainy day fund

Ruling upholds preemptive raid on rainy day fund

A two-thirds majority is required under most circumstances for legislators to dip into the state’s budget stabilization account (BSA), a.k.a. the rainy-day fund, which...
video

Lens Video: Dick’s Drive In- Growing alongside Seattle

Lens met with Jasmine Donovan, Executive Vice President and CFO of Dick's Drive-In, to learn about how the restaurant got its start and has...
cebook wants user bank data

Facebook wants user bank data

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is asking large U.S. banks to share their customer financial information such as checking account balance and...
Created by Welcomia - Freepik.com

Is Washington’s traffic congestion problem unsolvable?

Washington State Department of Transportation Secretary Roger Millar has come under fire for recent remarks on traffic congestion and WSDOT’s role in managing the...
Dick's Drive-In sign

Business Profile: Dick’s Drive-In, then and now

When looking for a burger in the Seattle area, the spinning Dick’s Drive-In (DDI) sign may be hard to pass up for many Washingtonians....

U.S. hiring drops slightly

Jobless rate 3.9 percent
Washington wildfire season intensifies

Washington wildfire season intensifies

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has responded to nearly 900 wildfires so far this season. Already, that is more than the total...
Wheat Field

Washington state industries hit hard by trade war

The ongoing trade war is especially harming Washington-based businesses…
Inslee declares wildfire state of emergency

Inslee declares wildfire state of emergency

Proclamation cites “abnormally dry conditions”
Will State Supreme Court review Seattle’s income tax?

Will State Supreme Court review Seattle’s income tax?

With a King County Superior Court ruling last year against Seattle’s progressive income tax ordinance, the city is appealing in hopes that the State...
Cross-laminated timber as forest-management strategy

Cross-laminated timber as forest-management strategy

The state legislature earlier this year called on the Washington State Building Code Council (WSBCC) to adopt rules for cross-laminated timber (CLT) use when...
Extra costs for KeyArena renovation won’t hit taxpayers

Extra costs for KeyArena renovation won’t hit taxpayers

$100 million cost increase

“I’ve been in this business for 40 years and we need to acknowledge when...

Washington State Department of Transportation Secretary Roger Millar
Fulfillment Center

The “Amazon Effect” on Spokane’s business community

Although Spokane was not chosen as the location for Amazon’s HQ2, the city’s efforts were not in vain. The company has announced it would...

Sound Transit light-rail line project costs increase by $460 million

The Seattle Times reports that Sound Transit is now projecting their light-rail line from Angle Lake to Federal Way will cost $2.55 billion, a...
Paving the way for driverless vehicles with 5G

Paving the way for driverless vehicles with 5G

As ongoing development of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology continues, state legislators and industry members are working on strategies to effectively integrate those vehicles with...
Does Washington’s tax structure need fixing?

Does Washington’s tax structure need fixing?

A series of public meetings hosted by a state House work group highlighted the frustrations residents and businesses have with Washington’s tax structure. However,...
video

Lens Video: Apprenticeships- The path to a stable career

Lens visited the Puget Sound Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (PSEJATC) school in Renton and interviewed Kevin Trinh, a fifth year apprentice, and...
GM braces for higher steel, aluminum prices

GM braces for higher steel, aluminum prices

New tariffs to impact profits
Why Washington outdoor enthusiasts may get a fee hike

Why Washington outdoor enthusiasts may get a fee hike

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) needs around $30 million to cover a shortfall for the 2019-21 biennium, and recreational enthusiasts who...
Migrant workers in field

H-2A housing plans prove controversial

More and more farmers are looking to hire temporary workers to fill needed jobs, however they are finding it hard to agree with the local community on where to house those people...

“It’s surreal. I guess it will seem real when we get the first bills...

Pike Place Fish Market Manager Samuel Samson referring to the recent purchase of the  Seattle business by long-time employees.
JetBlue founder to form new airline

JetBlue founder to form new airline

Investor group to buy from Airbus
Preparing for Washington’s air cargo growth

Preparing for Washington’s air cargo growth

Washington’s airports in 2015 handled $47.6 billion in freight – 10.5 percent of the state’s total gross domestic product for that year. That cargo...
Electrical apprentices in class

Local trade school offers secure career path

Over 2,000 Washingtonians are choosing to pursue trade-related careers in the electrical field through registered apprenticeships, a choice which often leaves them with a...
Wildfire grows to 58,000 acres

Wildfire grows to 58,000 acres

Parts of I-90 closed again due to flames
Officials contemplate affordable housing strategy

Officials contemplate affordable housing strategy

The job tax unanimously approved by the Seattle City Council in May was purportedly intended to fund affordable housing efforts. Although the tax has...
Flying car concept

Rolls-Royce joins aerial taxi race

Rolls-Royce has announced plans for an aerial taxi which would be finished in the early 2020s….

Seattle is the crane capital, again

Increase in construction activity after brief lull
Washington's 2018 wildfire seasonvideo

Video: Washington’s 2018 wildfire season

Lens looks at several wildfires that Washington firefighters have fought so far this season, including the Ryegrass Coulee Fire and the Little Camas Fire.
townhouses

Housing density: coming soon to your small town?

The pressure on the Central Puget Sound housing market is as intense as it may have ever been. Driven by a hot employment market...
Raspberries

Increased raspberry imports harm Whatcom County farmers

The U.S. has upped its imports on frozen raspberries, which places a strain on local farmers trying to sell their fruit during the harvest…
Washington’s firefighters face flames near and far

Washington’s firefighters face flames near and far

Washington firefighters in the past week were able to successfully combat several wildfires, including one that threatened the small community of Vantage near the...
Seattle housing

Housing inventory woes may ease

It’s no surprise that Seattle and King County have problems with expensive housing prices and inventory shortages, Seattle was ranked 2nd on Forbes’ list...

“It’s an above-average amount of money to spend on a campaign of this kind.”

Independent political consultant Aaron Pickus on the fundraising efforts to repeal Seattle’s job tax.
Airbus CEO optimistic about rivalry with Boeing

Airbus CEO optimistic about rivalry with Boeing

CEO reflects on company before retirement
Industry leaders decry Seattle’s priorities

Industry leaders decry Seattle’s priorities

While the death of the Seattle job tax following a City Council vote in June could be attributed to several causes – including its...
Justice Departments appeals ruling on corporate merger

Justice Department appeals ruling on corporate merger

AT&T cites need to compete with tech companies
Construction workers

Tariffs prove costly for construction sector, consumers

Trade negotiations between the U.S. and countries including China, Canada and Mexico continue, leaving many sectors, including construction, to absorb the increased costs to...
Foresters weigh in on fish barrier removal

Foresters weigh in on fish barrier removal

A recent split decision by the U.S. Supreme Court calls on Washington state to remove thousands of fish barriers impeding salmon passage by 2030. Forest landowners say...
Workers in the office

U.S. job market leading more employees to quit

A higher portion of U.S. workers are quitting their jobs…

Microsoft announces more layoffs

Job loss within international sales force
Wildfires hit Washington communities

Wildfires hit Washington communities

In less than a month, two wildfires have threatened a small Central Washington community and prompted level three evacuations for all residents as 250...
Washington cherries in boxes

Washington’s stake in farm bills’ trade provisions

Both the U.S. House and Senate and have passed their respective versions of the farm bill which would make changes to major U.S. Department...
laptop and shopping bag

Supreme Court upholds tax fairness for retailers

Retailers across the nation have won a hard-earned victory with the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on sales tax fairness. After a 5-4 vote last...
Starbucks Coffee

Starbucks going strawless

In a move consistent with the recent Seattle plastic straw and utensil ban, Starbucks vows to remove plastic straws from all of its stores within two years…
The future of right to work in Washington state

The future of right to work in Washington state

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision overturning required union dues for government workers, the Washington-based Freedom Foundation has filed a class-action lawsuit on...

“Any business that tried to charge customers without their permission would have the state...

Freedom Foundation labor expert Maxford Nelson on a new lawsuit by Washington state workers to recover money from forced unionism.
City Light could raise rates by 30 percent

City Light could raise rates by 30 percent

Rate increase despite lower spending plan
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...

Business offers “crash course” for truck drivers

School to help fill labor shortage
Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

It’s no secret that the Puget Sound region has a housing and traffic problem, but some local and regional lawmakers say regional policy for...
Farmer

Assisting agriculture producers during trade negotiations

After visiting Spokane to talk with local farmers, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture assured the industry that it would not be hit hardest by the trade wars…
Businesses, analysts: carbon initiative will raise gas prices

Businesses, analysts: carbon initiative will raise gas prices

Proponents of a carbon reduction initiative this week filed the necessary signatures with the Secretary of State’s Office to place it on the November...
The road to redevelopment in Yakima

The road to redevelopment in Yakima

The possible transformation of a former lumber mill site located just outside the city of Yakima into a mixed-use development has the potential to...
Cows

Northwest beef sector optimistic despite tariffs

While the Northwest beef sector will face additional tariffs this week, those ranchers say they remain hopeful…
Canada begins imposing tariffs on U.S. goods

Canada begins imposing tariffs on U.S. goods

The Associated Press reports that Canada began Sunday imposing tariffs on $12.6 billion worth of U.S. goods in response to U.S., tariffs on their...

“Technology will decide which country emerges as the world’s dominant economic power in the...

Ruchir Sharma, Morgan Stanley Investment Managemen’s chief global strategist referring to U.S. and China
Wine tasting

A look into Woodinville’s thriving wine industry

When planning a trip to taste Washington wine you don’t have to travel five hours east of Seattle. Woodinville is only 30 minutes from...
Assembling the right public policy for driverless cars

Assembling the right public policy for driverless cars

There may be as many components needed to form Washington’s public policy for driverless cars as the actual vehicles. It’s a challenge the Washington’s...
Sockeye salmon fishing season to open on Columbia River

Sockeye salmon fishing season to open on Columbia River

Chinook salmon must be released

Agricultural businesses may see fee change

Although Ecology has not modified its fee structure for its air quality registration program in six years, the department is proposing a modification of those fees…
How Janus could change Washington’s politics

How Janus could affect Washington state

In a major blow to public sector labor unions, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned 22 state laws requiring state employees pay them a...
video

Lens Video: Woodinville- An unexpected hub for wine

Lens sat down with two Woodinville winemakers to discuss what the city has to offer for starting winemakers, and why it became a hub...
Washington population continues to grow

Washington population continues to grow

Seattle remains by far most populous Washington city
Breakthrough coming for forest health efforts?

New wildfire strategies paying off

In recent years, Washington’s firefighting agencies have worked to improve the initial response to wildfires as part of an overall strategy toward reducing the...
House being built

Seattle’s increased home prices on 20 month streak

Seattle continues its long trend of home price increases for the 20th month in a row…

“We’re already looking ahead to 2019 as an opportunity. We’ll absolutely try to build...

Markham McIntyre, executive director of the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy referring to the successful effort to repeal Seattle's head tax.
Container ship pulling into Port of Seattle

Washington’s stake in trade negotiations

Another day, another…tariff? That seems to be the reality for the U.S. and its trade partners as trade wars continue to escalate, leaving American...

Seattle landlords offering move-in perks

High inventory leads to creative incentives

Europe slaps tariffs on American goods

Latest skirmish in trade war
Retailers: Online sales tax ruling levels playing field

Retailers: Online sales tax ruling levels playing field

Last year, the Washington state legislature approved a law mandating that online retailers without a physical location in the state either remit or collect...
student writing in notepad

Our long McCleary nightmare is over. Now, the real work of reforming public education...

Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court gave its blessing to the work of several consecutive legislatures: a grinding political effort to meet the...
Online shopper

States and retailers win in new online shopping ruling

Online shoppers weren’t always required to pay sales tax for online purchases, but a recent Supreme Court decision changes that…
Worries linger over Washington’s economy growth

Worries linger over Washington’s economic growth

The city of Seattle’s short-lived head tax may be dead, but for some state officials a cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the long-term...
video

Lens Video: Head tax- Sending the right message to business

"It's not as if they (the Seattle City Council) had a change of mind, so I worry that we will see some other form of anti-growth, anti-jobs tax that will replace this one" -State Sen. Steve O'Ban (R-28)
Starbuck to close over 100 stores

Starbuck to close over 100 stores

Store sales flatlining
Milking Washington’s small dairy farms…to death

Milking Washington’s small dairy farms…to death

Two feet doesn’t seem that far. Yet, industry members warn it’s a distance enough to threaten the survival of many Western Washington dairy farms...
Wheat field

An update on Washington’s winter wheat harvest

Recent USDA numbers predict that Washington will experience a winter wheat harvest similar to last year’s…

“Too many Seattleites don’t know how good we have it”

Seattle Times economic columnist Jon Talton  
A strong economy reduces food stamp participants

A strong economy reduces food stamp participants

Lowest enrollment since 2010
Students in class

Paving the way to postsecondary success

“The credential is essential in Washington state.” That is what a recently published Washington Roundtable report states in its analysis of what the state needs...
Bellevue's solution to traffic: driverless cars

Bellevue’s solution to traffic: driverless cars

Fleet of automated vehicles planned for vanpools.
Navigating a post-McCleary classroom

Navigating a post-McCleary classroom

After six years and $9.5 billion in new spending, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled last week that the state legislature was finally in...
townhouse

Homeownership: Time to tap unused tools

June is National Homeownership Month, which was established to promote the many benefits of owning a home. Homeownership provides stability for individuals and families,...
Seattle City Council

Seattle City Council shifts head tax blame

Not only did the Seattle City Council repeal its head tax proposal not even a full month after unanimously approving it, they also pointed the finger at anyone but themselves for its failure…
Is ST3 car tab tax unconstitutional?

Is ST3 car tab tax unconstitutional?

A class action lawsuit recently filed against Sound Transit and Washington state by seven plaintiffs could answer the question already asked by some lawmakers...
Army Corps of Engineers gives Seattle harbor project green light

Army Corps of Engineers gives Seattle harbor project green light

Harbor would become nation’s deepest
Seattle businesses decapitate head tax

Seattle businesses decapitate head tax

Following a rowdy public comment period and unruly attendees, the Seattle City Council voted at a Tuesday special meeting to repeal the ordinance that...
Container ship

Trade wars: dangerous for U.S. business

The benefit of President Donald Trump’s business tax cuts may become overshadowed by the negative effects that levies have on the business community…
Supreme Court sides with tribes in culvert ruling

Supreme Court sides with tribes in culvert ruling

In a split decision, the United States Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling ordering Washington state to remove fish barriers that local...
Net neutrality officially repealed

Net neutrality officially repealed

Washington remains only state to reinstate policy…

“We really are as far from single-family residences as we can possibly get in...

Lynnwood Councilman Ian Cotton referring to a planned 18-story mixed-use development that will include 349 apartments.
buildings seattle skyline

Washington state’s future depends on saving Seattle from itself

By now, most Seattleites should realize that some of the goo-goo-eyed infatuation the outside world has had for the city is fading.  That is...
Crate of apples

Trade war bites Washington apple industry

Washington state may be losing its largest market for apples given Mexico’s new retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports. Agricultural stakeholders say they are disappointed...
Students in classroom

Washington State ruled in compliance with McCleary decision

Washington state was found to have fully implemented its school funding plan, ending the McCleary case…

“The idea of levying a tax on job creators seems so obviously counterproductive that...

-Kris Johnson, President of the Association of Washington Business, on the Seattle head tax.
Container ship

U.S. trade deficit continues to shrink

The U.S. has stepped up its export efforts in the past two months, but trade stakeholders say more progress should be made…
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,...
Grocery store checkout line

Grocers embrace new tech to stay afloat

Grocery stores across Washington are stepping up their efforts to modernize and reformat their stores to better highlight what online shopping can never quite...
Construction Workers

U.S. has more job openings than people looking for jobs

Looking for a job? The good news is there are more openings than those looking in the U.S. for the first time in 18 years…

“It’s giving us a black eye…It certainly makes the state look like we’re dominated...

-State Rep. Jim Walsh (R-19) on Seattle’s head tax.
Amazon Biosphere

Amazon HQ2 search and effect on potential host cities

As cities fight for Amazon’s HQ2 spot, experts warn they might be trying a little too hard to become a tech hub…
Container ship

China: No trade deal if U.S. tariffs proceed

The latest in the U.S. and China trade war: The U.S. must drop its tariff plan or China will abandon any trade benefits negotiated thus far…
video

Lens Video: Connecting farm products to local communities

Lens met with Liesl McWhorter, Farm & Market Manager for 21 Acres, to discuss how the farmers market and educational outreach programs are helping...
Boeing machinists in South Carolina vote to unionize

Boeing machinists in South Carolina vote to unionize

Vote comes after failed effort at Boeing 787 plant….
Rendering of U District Target

What’s up with retail downsizing?

Several large retailers are thinking small when it comes to expanding their businesses and promoting sales efficiency, especially within urban neighborhoods. Target has announced that...
Customer shopping for clothes

Whatcom County experiences record retail sales year

Consumers in Whatcom County contributed over nine percent more retail sales in 2017 than the year before…
Will Seattle job tax affect state economy?

Will Seattle job tax affect state economy?

If Seattle’s recently approved job tax survives a voter initiative backed by the local business community and possible legislative action, its direct impact on...
Inslee opposes Canadian oil pipeline expansion

Inslee opposes Canadian oil pipeline expansion

Another major project opposed by Inslee on environmental grounds…

Preserving Washington’s prosperity

Eight years since Washington voters overwhelmingly rejected Initiative 1098 that would have created a progressive income tax, state revenue has grown from approximately $29...
DIck's Drive-In restaurant

Head tax opposition continues

Several opponents of the head tax have been out gathering signatures needed to qualify the referendum on the tax for the fall ballot…
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...
Seattle's Original Starbucks

Head tax shows Seattle is “hostile” to business

The Seattle City Council’s unanimous passage of a business head tax sent ripples throughout the business community and economic development organizations who are sounding...
Seattle ripe for ‘cottage’ industry

Seattle to streamline cottage building process

My Northwest reports that Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced plans to streamline the process for building cottages, also known as a detached accessory...
'Right to work’ ruling could change public sector landscape

‘Right to work’ ruling could change public sector landscape

The state of Illinois is in a financial mess; every resident owes $11,000 for $150 billion in unfunded public pension liabilities. The state’s credit...
Seattle view from the water

Seattle becomes this decade’s fastest-growing big U.S. city

The Seattle freeze can’t keep away new residents- the city is now ranked first for fastest population growth out of U.S. cities this decade.
video

Lens Video: Challenges for Washington’s small, local farmers

Lens traveled to Kent-based Windy Acre Farm to ask owner Chris Sechrist about any obstacles to his farm's success while operating within King County...
Breakthrough coming for forest health efforts?video

Lens Video: Washington prepares for wildfire season

Lens was on site at a controlled burn May 16 outside of Yakima as part of the state Department of Natural Resources' interagency wildfire...
Silicon Valley cities mull Seattle-style job tax

Silicon Valley cities mull Seattle-style job tax

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that several Silicon Valley cities are contemplating a job tax similar to one recently approved by the Seattle...
Seattle storefront

Opposition to head tax raises $300,000

Crosscut reports that members from the business community and economic development organizations have already pledged more than $300,000 to repeal the head tax…
Trump calls for truce in trade war with China

Trump calls for truce in trade war with China

The Associated Press reports that President Donald Trump has called for a temporary truce with China on trade after previously calling for increased tarrifs....

“I firmly believe it undermines our international and national reputation.”

– former Governor Christine Gregoire on Seattle’s head tax.
video

Lens Video: Seattle head tax-not just an Amazon tax

Lens asked Jan Gee, President and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA), her opinion of the Seattle City Council voting unanimously to...
BNSF Railway Train

BNSF Railway proposes bridge project to ease congestion

BNSF Railway has proposed to build a second rail line that would run over Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, Idaho to help prevent congestion...
Trial by fire: State prepares for wildfire season

Trial by fire: State prepares for wildfire season

In recent years, prescribed burning has regained popularity as a one way for state and federal agencies to restore the millions of acres of...
Seattle homes rental rate declines

Slowed growth for Seattle homes rental increases

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that rent increases for single-family homes in the Puget Sound area has slowed to less than 1 percent...
Honeycrisp apples

Washington introduces a new apple: The Cosmic Crisp

Enter stage left, Washington state unveils the “Cosmic Crisp” apple variety thanks to a former Washington State University professor of apple breeding.
Employees helping at a grocery store check out line

Head tax passes despite business outcry

The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved its head tax proposal that will impose a significant penalty on Seattle’s largest businesses in the name...
City of Seattle

Amazon moves forward with construction, but hesitant  

Amazon will continue construction on one of its downtown towers, however the company will proceed with caution in the wake of the Seattle City Council's approval of its business head tax plan...
Right to work for public employees?

Right to work for public employees?

A case currently before the United States Supreme Court may soon determine whether public employees throughout the country have to pay union dues –...
Trump to help revitalize Chinese smartphone company

Trump recruits help for Chinese smartphone company

After announcing his plans for increased tariffs on Chinese-imported goods, President Trump is now asking the State Department of Commerce to help a Chinese telecom and smartphone company...

“Taxing jobs is ‘counterproductive”

King County Executive Dow Constantine on Seattle’s proposed head tax.
video

Lens Video: Labor weighs in on proposed head tax

Lens attended the Seattle City Council's Finance and Neighborhoods public hearing and asked Chris McClain, Business Manager for Iron Workers Local Union 86, his...
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...
Welder at work

National associations join MBT lawsuit

National trade and resource associations and several states are joining Millennium Bulk Terminals’ (MBT) lawsuit against Governor Jay Inslee and his administration for obstructing...
seattle skyline

131 businesses sign letter opposing head tax

KUOW News reports that big businesses aren’t the only ones speaking out against the Seattle City Council’s proposed business tax plan…
factory worker

Washington must welcome heavy industry to hedge service sector instability

The great recession has greatly receded across much of Washington state. Although rural Washingtonians lag their metropolitan counterparts, the average household is experiencing at...
Closing the lid on soda tax

Closing the lid on soda tax

As Seattle’s business community pushes back against a proposed head tax, a coalition of employers and workers unions wants to quarantine the city’s soda...
gas pump

Oil prices highest in four years

Feeling a squeeze at the pump? ABC News reports that oil prices have risen above $70 per barrel this week...
Congress may decide fate of the lower Snake River dams

Congress may decide fate of the lower Snake River dams

A U.S. House resolution backed by three Washington Republican lawmakers protecting the lower Snake River dams from breaching to improve endangered salmon species populations...
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...
Digital world solutions to physical world problems

Digital world solutions to physical world problems

New technology can bring uncertainty about its impact on society. As companies such as Waymo begin rolling out self-driving vehicles, safety concerns have led...
First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

Earlier this year state lawmakers and Governor Jay Inslee approved a law addressing rural growth restrictions imposed by the State Supreme Court’s 2016 Hirst...
Wheat farmer standing in field

U.S. wheat industry: No Chinese tariffs

While China still negotiates potential tariffs on American imports, the U.S. wheat industry hopes the country will abandon the plan. If the tariffs are...
High stakes in fish barrier ruling

High stakes in fish barrier ruling

Under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court is a case between Washington state and Native American tribes concerning treaty fishing rights and the removal...
Carbon tax initiative raises numerous questions

Carbon tax initiative raises numerous questions

Although efforts in the state legislature earlier this year to enact a carbon tax were unsuccessful despite Democrat control of both chambers, proponents could...
Aerial shot of Seattle

Seattle business leaders: tax scheme punishing to employment sector

On Apr. 21, the Seattle City Council unveiled its proposed business tax plan to raise $75 million for additional  affordable housing options and addressing...
video

Lens Video: Washington’s trade future

Lens sat down with Lori Otto Punke, President of the Washington Council on International Trade, to discuss what Washington state industries reliant on global...
Initiative opens government labor talks to public

Initiative opens government labor talks to public

Governor Jay Inslee’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) next week will begin collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations with public unions in meetings that are...
App demand for road user charge fee

App demand for road user charge fee

One planned feature of the Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) ongoing road user charge (RUC) pilot program is obtaining frequent participant feedback on their...
video

Lens Video: Promoting Washington’s port competitiveness

Lens sat down with Port of Seattle Commissioner Ryan Calkins to discuss how Washington is responding to the current international trade landscape.

“This is political hypocrisy on the part of Seattle and it’s economic illiteracy on...

Mike Davis, Dallas economist commenting on the city’s proposed head tax.
Residential well

Development picks up with Hirst fix

Three months since Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 6091, commonly referred to as the Hirst fix, into law, representatives from the Legislature, the...
How safety shapes driverless car technology

How safety shapes driverless car technology

A new state law that takes effect in June creates a state work group that assists the Washington State Transportation Commission on making annual...

Tariff? What Tariff? Chinese sellers still buying Washington apples…

iFIBER ONE News reports that Chinese retailers are still purchasing Washington apples despite the 25 percent tariff recently imposed on them by the Chinese government in response to Trump's substantial new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
End of “fire-borrowing” era

End of “fire-borrowing” era

In recent years, the rising cost of fighting wildfires in National Forests has forced the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to pay for fire suppression...
The politics of congestion tolling

The politics of congestion tolling

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced plans to toll certain roads in the city to reduce congestion and carbon emissions. Although the details aren’t...
BNSF Railway train

Washington’s ties to cleaner coal solution

As Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT) continues to weather six years of permit applications to create an export terminal in Longview, Washington, President and CEO...
The cost of McCleary compliance

The cost of McCleary compliance

With another billion in new basic education spending for teacher salaries included in the 2018 supplemental budget by the state legislature this session, lawmakers...
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...
animal swallowing dollar bills

Business owners: Head tax yet another burden

With small businesses struggling and closing all over Seattle, many business owners feel the City Council is working against them. The latest of these...
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...
Pacific Salmon population explosion

Pacific Salmon population explosion

As Washington stakeholders and policymakers explore ways to increase the state’s population of certain salmon protected as endangered species under federal law, the Pacific...
Apple harvesting

Washington agriculture and the Chinese trade war

Washington agricultural businesses and producers need to find a new trade partner, and quick. That is what industry stakeholders are saying in response to...
video

Lens Video: Promoting free trade for agriculture

Darigold President and CEO Stan Ryan discusses the importance of free trade for the agricultural industry during the 2018 Washington Council on International Trade...
Washington’s B&O tax ‘injustice’

Washington’s B&O tax ‘injustice’

This year’s legislative session ended without a reduced business and occupation (B&O) rate for manufacturers, a major priority for the state business community. The...
Avoiding a misfire with Cascadia bullet train

Avoiding a misfire with Cascadia bullet train

Proponents of an ultra-high-speed rail line between British Columbia, Seattle and Oregon recently achieved another necessary step toward realizing that vision, while recent nightmare...
Statewide soda tax ban would send an important message: Do policy smarter.

Statewide soda tax ban would send an important message: Do policy smarter.

The Seattle Lab has another magic elixir – a tax on some sweetened beverages like sports drinks and soda – hyped as a much-needed...
Treading lightly on “no man’s land”

Treading lightly on “no man’s land”

The state Wildland Fire Advisory Committee isn’t wasting any time thinking of ways to combat wildfires in areas outside of any jurisdiction, also known...
Treasurer warns of raiding rainy day fund

Treasurer warns of raiding rainy day fund

Washington state is expected to receive billions in unexpected revenue in the 2017-19 biennium, and the legislature’s intent via the 2018 supplemental operating budget...
Running the circuit for electric vehicles

Running the circuit for electric vehicles

A state sales tax exemption for electric vehicle purchases in Washington state is set to expire after reaching a threshold set by the legislature...
city street and people

Finding balance among jobs, housing, environment key to growth planning

The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is about to undertake an update of Vision 2040, which sets forth a blueprint for growth in King,...
U.S. lawmakers speak to the future of global trade

Securing Washington’s trade future

During the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT)’s annual Trade Summit, U.S. lawmakers weighed in on how Washington state could maintain its position in...
Seattle ripe for ‘cottage’ industry

Seattle ripe for ‘cottage’ industry

The city of Seattle has 55,000 ways to add more rentals to the market without developing new land. That’s according to a recent article...
video

Lens Video: Washington’s skilled worker gap

Lens sat down with State Sen. Guy Palumbo (D-1) to discuss how Washington can better prepare for the projected skilled worker gap.
Skilled workers in factory

The ‘Silver Tsunami’ and Washington’s skilled worker gap

As the older generation of workers is aging out of skilled jobs, what some refer to as the “Silver Tsunami”, many open positions are...
Truckers oppose road mileage charge

Truckers oppose road mileage charge

Washington state is conducting a road user charge (RUC) fee pilot program to test different ways drivers might one day track and pay a...
Steel worker welding a plate

Trump tariffs would harm small business

Following President Donald Trump’s announcement of new tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, U.S. lawmakers and business stakeholders are saying that the levies would...
When driverless cars and public policy collide

When driverless cars and public policy collide

A recent deadly accident in Arizona involving a self-driving Uber vehicle and the company’s decision to halt their use on roads indicates the level...
Wildfires in “no man’s land”

Wildfires in “no man’s land”

Outside the jurisdiction of Washington’s 417 fire departments and fire stations are regions of the state known as “no man’s land”; territory where no...
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...
Seasonal worker housing divides small town community

Seasonal worker housing divides small town community

A controversy within a tiny Central Washington community over a proposed housing unit on private land along its Main Street for foreign seasonal workers...
Navigating a road mileage charge

Navigating a road mileage charge

Washington’s road user charge (RUC) fee pilot program is underway with 2,000 volunteer drivers testing out a variety of ways to keep track of...
Raw law export in Longview

Longview: Tenant would feed city’s tech appetite

A company with a focus on powering supercomputers has set its sights on Longview, Washington as its potential location for operations. Both the company...
Roadmap for Sound Transit future

Roadmap for Sound Transit future

Puget Sound drivers who want a reduced ST3 car tab tax may have to get as loud as the Seahawks stadium at gametime if...
Lens LegiTrack Update: May 1, 2017

Lens LegiTrack Update: March 9, 2018

Future of work task force SB 6544 (Chase) would establish the future of work task force. Read More. Under the measure, the task force would...
Supplemental budget tax-free, no B&O relief

Supplemental budget tax-free, no B&O relief

The Washington legislature has agreed to a supplemental operating budget for the 2017-19 biennium that does not include new taxes as originally proposed in...
Doctor talking with patient

Charting a course to private health care coverage

Lawmakers have approved a measure which would guarantee individual market health care coverage in all counties in Washington, regardless of whether or not a...
City bus on street

Sound Transit will never be accountable to taxpayers until we directly elect its board

Washingtonians have a simple expectation of those who make our laws and spend our money: hear our concerns, respond and be accountable. For more than...
The cost of a property tax cut

The cost of a property tax cut

Washingtonians could get a state property tax rate reduction next year, but it may cost them more than they want to pay. After debating the...
Senate fight tables tax relief bill

Senate fight tables tax relief bill

A narrowly split Washington Senate is at an impasse for the moment over a bill that calls for what some say is an illegal...
Central Washington Sceneryvideo