Jobs & Labor

STEM grads finding varied job prospects

July 30, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

STEM grads finding varied job prospects

A report released earlier this month by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that only about a quarter of recent STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) graduates wind up working in STEM jobs. Obviously, educators, legislators, and employers themselves ought to stop all this cheerleading for STEM courses and focus instead on more high-demand fields. Right? Not so fast. Like most things that appear simple on the surface, this bears a little additional scrutiny. It turns out that, yes, the headline … Continue reading

Rumor has it Washington’s apple crop will break 2012 record

July 11, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Rumor has it Washington’s apple crop will break 2012 record

We set a record with 128.8 million boxes in 2012 and early estimates are pointing at a fresh apple harvest of 145 million 40-pound boxes this fall. But the total crop, that is, once you add processed apples, could be in the neighborhood of 170 million boxes. This huge increase is likely so long as Washington continues seeing good weather and there are no labor shortages. Frost or an early freeze would reduce the harvest period, which would demand more … Continue reading

Does raising the minimum wage actually increase jobs?

July 10, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Does raising the minimum wage actually increase jobs?

For decades, some have argued that it’s an economic law: if you raise wages, jobs are reduced. But evidence is coming in showing that raising the minimum wage actually boosts state economies compared to states that don’t raise it. Instead of a zero-sum game, where somebody has to lose if somebody else wins, new thinking and new evidence shows that boosting the spending power of low-wage workers helps lift the entire economy of a state. Washington state has the highest … Continue reading

WA: Top scores in personal income growth, innovation, and quality of life

June 28, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

WA: Top scores in personal income growth, innovation, and quality of life

Personal income in Washington topped the list in the first quarter of 2014, ahead of the nation’s 0.8 percent gain, says a report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). For the first three months of this year, personal income rose in 46 states, with Washington leading the way at 1.4 percent. This is great news after a fourth quarter in which personal income growth in our state stood at 0.3 percent. Personal income is defined by the BEA as income … Continue reading

Washington among top five ‘most adaptable’ economies

June 24, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Washington among top five ‘most adaptable’ economies

A new study conducted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation names Washington state the fourth most adaptable economy in the nation. That is good news as long as the trend towards a more information- and technology based-economy persists. The Foundation’s report focused on 25 different factors in their analysis, split into five broad categories: the availability of “knowledge jobs,” how globalized the state is, their economic dynamism, their embrace of the digital economy, and their ability to develop and … Continue reading

Don’t let a “business” give you the business

June 17, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Don’t let a “business” give you the business

Consumers, not to mention good businesses, suffer major pains at the hands of sketchy operators and shady, fly-by-night set-ups . The state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) strongly urges people to check out unknown or unfamiliar businesses before doing business with them. “You pay; so should they. Report unregistered businesses” is the theme for a helpful consumer-protection program. Before you lay your money down, look up a company’s history to see if it’s lying to you. Click suspectfraud.com to make sure … Continue reading

Continuing our food theme: Red snapper and rockfish are back

June 13, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Continuing our food theme: Red snapper and rockfish are back

Starting in 1977, rockfish and similar species were scooped up off the West Coast at unsustainable rates. That stopped in the year 2000, when the federal government declared an economic disaster.According to a new report by the Marine Stewardship Council, a push to reduce overfishing since then has worked. Rockfish, red snapper, Dover sole and other groundfish are now certified as being environmentally sustainable. Here’s a key passage from the Associated Press story about this achievement: “It may come as … Continue reading

An economic story in three charts

June 12, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

An economic story in three charts

Washington state has a growing population and growing economy – but it’s been hard to fund schools, roads and other basic services.These three charts help explain why. First, unlike our neighbors to the east (Idaho) and south (Oregon), Washington doesn’t have an income tax, so our state relies more on the sales tax. Yet the economy has changed and moved away from the sales of physical goods. Back in the 1940s, goods made up more than 60 percent of the … Continue reading

More treatment options for injured workers

June 10, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

More treatment options for injured workers

The Department of Labor & Industries’ medical provider network for injured workers has more than doubled in size since it went live in January 2013. The network, which includes physicians, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, doctors of podiatry, advanced registered nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists and optometrists, is one of the results of landmark legislation passed on 2011 to reduce costs for the state’s workers’ compensation program, and improve workers’ outcomes following injury. According to this L&I press release, with more than … Continue reading

Rep. Jessyn Farrell’s statement on the Seattle City Council’s vote to raise the city’s minimum wage

June 2, 2014 - Rep. Jessyn Farrell

Rep. Jessyn Farrell’s statement on the Seattle City Council’s vote to raise the city’s minimum wage

Rep. Jessyn Farrell’s statement on the Seattle City Council’s vote to raise the city’s minimum wage  I wish to congratulate the Seattle City Council for today’s bold vote on a minimum wage increase for those who work in the city. We know our economy is stronger when an honest day’s work is rewarded with a fair wage. During the recovery, top earners have done quite well, the stock market has seen record highs, and corporate profits have never been better, … Continue reading

How important is the tech industry in Washington?

May 21, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

How important is the tech industry in Washington?

It supports 42 percent of our state’s workforce, so it’s pretty safe to assert that the tech industry in Washington is nothing short of vital. That’s what Geek Wire, a technology news site based in Seattle, reported after Monday’s Technology Alliance’s annual State of Technology Luncheon, the premier annual gathering for Washington’s innovation community, which had more than 700 people in attendance this year. According to the TA’s findings presented at the event: In 2013 more than 460,000 people were … Continue reading

Seattle Times, Brookings Institute: to boost economy, put hard hats to work

May 19, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Seattle Times, Brookings Institute: to boost economy, put hard hats to work

#104629760 / gettyimages.com Rebuilding our state’s old, crumbling buildings and infrastructure would create thousands of jobs in Washington state today – and thousands more for generations to come. That’s the conclusion of Seattle Times economic columnist Jon Talton, who points out Washington state is still benefiting from things built during the New Deal back in the 1930′s. Talton sums things up this way: Last week I lamented that Americans seem stuck with a mostly 1970-era infrastructure and lack the political … Continue reading

Save towards a retirement today

May 16, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Save towards a retirement today

If you work hard, you can succeed. That’s the American Dream. But for many workers that dream is out of reach. Check out these alarming figures from the National Institute on Retirement Security: The average American has $3,000 saved up for retirement People near retirement age have an average of $12,000 in the bank Half a million workers near retirement age in Washington state have saved less than $25,000 for retirement Many small businesses owners would like to offer retirement … Continue reading

Nation’s venture capitalists like what they see in Washington

April 29, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Nation’s venture capitalists like what they see in Washington

Once again putting the lie to the worn-out talking point that Washington’s business climate is less than friendly, the nation’s venture capitalists poured more than $170 million into startups in the Evergreen State during the first three months of this year. That’s almost twice the amount brought in during the same period in 2013, and brings to a cool $1.1 billion the total VC investments in new Washington businesses in the last five quarters.  Software and biotech companies continue to … Continue reading

Government: Enemy of innovation? Maybe not…..

April 28, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Government: Enemy of innovation? Maybe not…..

There’s no doubt that our robust, free-market economy has spurred a tremendous amount of private-sector innovation in technology, productivity and many other areas that has improved our quality of life and contributed to our nation’s prosperity. But, despite the claims of some critics, it turns out that the government also has played a critical role in fostering cutting-edge advances in the economy, including some of the most far-reaching and influential. That under-appreciated history is discussed in a recent consideration of … Continue reading

Washington may be facing a farm labor shortage, again

April 24, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Washington may be facing a farm labor shortage, again

Back in November we reported that our state’s ag industry is booming. For instance, our apple production was valued at $1.54 billion in 2010 and in 2012 it ballooned to $2.25 billion. Granted, the 2012 applepalooza was the result of favorable weather conditions, and smaller than normal crops from the competition. But who’s to say this combination won’t happen again? And, if it does, will Washington farmers have enough hands picking the fruit? Last month state economists reported a 5.2 … Continue reading

Washington startups pulling in cash

April 23, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Washington startups pulling in cash

Startups seeking venture capital in Washington state had a strong start to 2014, pulling in more than $172 million to launch their nascent businesses in the first quarter of the year. That figure is less than the record-setting $485 million brought in during the final quarter of last year, but it is still more than double the numbers reported in Q1 of 2013 and ahead of the national average for venture capital investments. According to the report issued PricewaterhouseCoopers and … Continue reading

ICYMI: Gas prices are climbing

April 14, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

ICYMI: Gas prices are climbing

Just in time for the spring/summer driving season comes news that gas prices are up all across the land. In fact, folks at AAA are reporting that Washington’s recent average pump price of $3.71 a gallon nails us No. 9 on the national charts. Oregon ranks 10th at $3.69 a gallon, and California’s $4.05 comes in as the No. 2 most-expensive gallon. The average price for gas nationwide that day was $3.59 for a gallon of unleaded. Maintenance for refineries … Continue reading

Does it still pay to get a college degree?

April 2, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Does it still pay to get a college degree?

While the new state budget holds the line against any tuition increase, it is worth looking at the cost of a college degree. Does it pencil out? Do you make more money, or do all the student loans outweigh the benefits? Slate.com has a great story about a national site that actually ran the numbers. For the vast majority of students, there’s good news: even if you borrow every dime of tuition, books, room and board, you should come out … Continue reading

Opportunity Scholarship Program gets a boost in the budget

March 31, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Opportunity Scholarship Program gets a boost in the budget

In 2010, the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board found that seventeen percent of Washington businesses had difficulty filling vacancies. Eleven thousand employers reported there simply were not enough qualified job applicants for positions that require degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) fields. To address the problem,  the Legislature passed House Bill 2088 in 2011, creating the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship Program. This is a public-private partnership to help low- and middle-income Washington residents earn bachelor’s degrees and … Continue reading

Washington’s unemployment rate still lower than national rate

March 24, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Washington’s unemployment rate still lower than national rate

Washington’s unemployment rate remains at the lowest point in more than 5 years. During the first two months of 2014, the rate held steady at 6.4 percent, which was lower than the national rate of 6.7 percent for February. The Employment Security Department (ESD) reported last week that job gains continue with an estimated 2,500 new jobs last month. ESD also revised the January figures, which were originally reported as 3,800 new jobs, actually turned out to be 5,800. The … Continue reading

Creating jobs in creative ways

March 14, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Creating jobs in creative ways

Creating jobs isn’t just about traditional work-with-your-hands employment on highway projects, school construction or in Puget Sound boatyards – although House Democrats are good at that. It’s also about improving the 21st-century business environment to help entrepreneurs launch successful start-ups that can hire all kinds of workers, wearing collars of various colors. That’s the goal of House Bill 2023 , by Rep. Cyrus Habib of Kirkland, which has cleared the Legislature and awaits the governor’s signature to become law. The … Continue reading

“American Winter” screening tomorrow

February 24, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

The Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Financial Institutions are inviting the public to the screening of the award-winning foreclosure documentary “American Winter” on February 25 at 6 pm at the Capitol Theater in Olympia. The film portrays the stories of eight families in Portland, Oregon, their struggles during the recession and the impact that budget cuts to human services and poverty have on them in the midst of winter in the northwest. While the families in the film … Continue reading

Washington is selling lots of stuff everywhere!

February 20, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Washington is selling lots of stuff everywhere!

Two years ago today we reported that Washington set a record in 2011 by exporting $64.4 billion worth of goods; a 21 percent increase over 2010. The Department of Commerce just released the figures for last year and the news, while not surprising, is certainly something to write home about, or at least include here in our House Democratic blog: We set another record! In 2013, our state sold $81.9 billion in products and services to international customers. This $17.5 … Continue reading

The rise and fall of the middle class

February 10, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

The rise and fall of the middle class

How can we make the middle class stronger and reduce the rising tide of inequality? That’s a question being asked not only here in Washington state, but across America and throughout the world. The just-ending global recession—the worst since the Great Depression—brought this issue to the forefront. While the economy is recovering in Washington state and elsewhere, most of the gains of the recovery are going to the wealthy. This article dives into how and why, and it gives a … Continue reading

Raising the minimum wage is not just a “progressive” issue

February 5, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Raising the minimum wage is not just a “progressive” issue

The minimum wage was born in Washington state back in 1937, when the U.S. Supreme Court uphold our state’s right to set a bare minimum on wages.Today, many citizens and lawmakers are advocating for a higher minimum wage to lift the working poor out of poverty.Voters in SeaTac approved a $15 minimum wage last November, which is the same target workers are aiming for in Seattle. Gov. Jay Inslee advocated for a higher minimum wage in his State of the … Continue reading

AP: Bill would guarantee vacations with pay

February 2, 2014 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

AP: Bill would guarantee vacations with pay

By Lisa Baumann, Associated Press OLYMPIA — Workers in Washington could be the first in the nation to be guaranteed paid vacation time under legislation being considered by state lawmakers. Democratic Rep. Gael Tarleton of Seattle, the prime sponsor of House Bill 2238, said the measure would require public and private employers with 25 or more employees to provide vacation leave for those who work 20 hours or more per week. It’s the first bill of its kind to be … Continue reading

Are you saving for retirement?

January 30, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Are you saving for retirement?

This week, at the public hearing for HB 2474, the retirement savings bill, Rep. Springer said, “It’s safe to say this is a bold undertaking, but to deal with a looming financial crisis, we must have a bold solution.  There are 38 million Americans who retire with no money saved for retirement. Where do we think these Americans will be at age 75 or 80 when they run out of savings?  At government’s doorstep needing public assistance.” HB 2474 would … Continue reading

Minimum wage to living wage

January 30, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Minimum wage to living wage

A Gallup poll conducted in January found that 67% of Americans are dissatisfied with the income distribution in our country. And the problem seems to be worsening. A recent report from Oxfam shows that, since the financial crisis in 2009, the wealthiest one percent in the US have captured 95% of financial growth, while the bottom 90% of the population have only become poorer. So what can we do to combat income inequality? There is no one solution that will … Continue reading

Liias, Fain, Pettigrew and Manweller introduce bipartisan technology R&D incentives renewal

January 28, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Liias, Fain, Pettigrew and Manweller introduce bipartisan technology R&D incentives renewal

Sen. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, Rep. Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle, and Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, introduced legislation in their respective chambers that would renew and extend research and development (R&D) tax incentives for the high technology and bio-technology industries in Washington until 2040. SB 6430 and HB 2685 are a bipartisan approach to renewal of the business and occupation tax credit for expenditures on R&D activities and the sales tax deferral on investment in R&D facilities and equipment … Continue reading

Are we in a second Gilded Age?

January 27, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Are we in a second Gilded Age?

According to a recent study, the top 10% of earners take home over half the total income earned in the United States.  The top 1% rake in over 1/5th of the income generated by all Americans. These numbers are at one of the highest levels measured since the income tax was instituted in 1913 — and are eerily reminiscent of those seen during the Gilded Age, just before the 1929 stock market collapse. While the top 1% have seen their … Continue reading

Minimum wage increase for adults introduced in House

January 23, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Minimum wage increase for adults introduced in House

Rep. Jessyn Farrell and 32 other House Democrats introduced a bill today that will step up the state minimum wage for adults to $12 an hour over three years. “We know our economy is stronger when an honest day’s work is rewarded with a fair wage,” Rep. Farrell said. “During the recovery, top earners have done quite well, the stock market has seen record highs, and corporate profits have never been better. This bill rewards work, moves the economy forward, … Continue reading

Tarleton to introduce paid-vacation leave bill

January 9, 2014 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

Tarleton to introduce paid-vacation leave bill

Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard) will introduce a bill on Monday that will require public and private employers in Washington with 25 or more employees to provide paid vacation leave for employees who work 20 or more hours per week on average. “We want to build jobs that support strong families and secure our middle class,” said Tarleton. “Every worker needs vacation time to rest and re-energize. This is what an innovative economy needs to improve quality of life for everyone.” … Continue reading

Washington’s economy in 2013: a look back

January 6, 2014 - Washington House Democrats

Washington’s economy in 2013: a look back

How did our state’s economy really do in 2013? The Economic Opportunity Institute took a hard look at the numbers and came out with a report, full of interesting facts and charts. For people in a rush, here’s the TL;DR: Washington state’s unemployment rate is 6.8 percent, a bit lower than the national average of 7 percent; the highest job growth is in King County; and families in Washington make $11,000 more than average American households. Everyone else can read … Continue reading

My work over the interim

December 16, 2013 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

My work over the interim

During the interim, I was honored by an appointment to the Pacific Northwest Economic Region Advisory Board – an engine for economic development in our beautiful Pacific Northwest. I have attended conferences where I had the opportunity to delve into clean energy and economic development policies, as well as hear from other states’ legislators about their approaches. Just last month, I graduated from its Legislative Academy, and I wanted to share this picture with you. I am excited to represent … Continue reading

Breaking good: More of us are (or one day will be) affluent

December 13, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Breaking good: More of us are (or one day will be) affluent

The storied American Dream is, well, merely a story for many Americans. Current, and numerous, “fails” in the U.S. economy are well-documented. Just a few months ago, for example, research reported in an AP newspaper item — “Jobs gap between rich, poor sets record” — revealed the perhaps-unsurprising information that America’s poorest citizens are far more likely to be out-of-work than the country’s richest. The unemployment-gulf separating the $20,000-a-year folks from the $150,000-a-year folks is wider, deeper, and more forbidding than … Continue reading

The truth about rules and standards: job killers or job makers?

December 5, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

The truth about rules and standards: job killers or job makers?

Washington legislators often hear from constituents that rules, standards and regulations are economy-crushing job killers.But are they? Two new studies, according to experts cited in this Salon story, say the opposite is true: the economic benefits far outweigh the true costs of things like worker safety rules and fuel efficiency standards for cars. The Office of Management and Budget – the non-partisan policy experts who staff Congress — studied this issue and said major federal regulations cost between $57 and … Continue reading

Revenue uptick: State is ‘moving in the right direction’ … but ‘Southwest Washington still needs jobs’

November 21, 2013 - Rep. Jim Moeller

According to the November revenue forecast, the state of Washington’s “projected General Fund revenue” went up “by $25 million, compared to the previous forecast in September.” The next forecast will come out in February. “Undoubtedly, this positive revenue news demonstrates that our economy is moving in the right direction. No, of course we’re not out of the woods. We’re not yet free-and-clear of the recession that for more than five years has been devastating state, national, and international economies. “But … Continue reading

Why is the middle class shrinking, and how can we fix it?

November 18, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Why is the middle class shrinking, and how can we fix it?

Americans believe it doesn’t matter where you start out in life—rich or poor, city mouse or country mouse—hard work and determination can push you up the ladder to the middle class and beyond. But is that American Dream in trouble? A poll by the Pew Charitable Trusts says 40 percent of Americans believe it’s still common for a person to start out poor, then work their way up to the middle class or even the top. You can read the … Continue reading

Legislature approves aerospace job training and investment package

November 9, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Lawmakers in Olympia approved an aerospace package that will ensure the new Boeing 777X and composite wing will be built in Washington state. The package will maintain and create thousands of family-wage jobs and ensure the world’s best airplanes continue to be built by Washington workers. Speaking in support of the workforce training measure (HB 2088), Rep. Mike Sells (D-Everett) highlighted the importance of a well-trained workforce. “The future ain’t what it used to be,” Sells stated in quoting Yogi … Continue reading

House bills for special session are public

November 7, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

House bills for special session are public

Two of the bills in the special session package agreed to by Governor Inslee, the Boeing Company, and the Machinists Union in order to assure the 777X will be built in Washington are available online. On the House Finance committee hearing schedule at 1:30 today is HB 2089, aerospace tax preferences. You can watch the hearing live on TVW. HB 2088 will expand workforce training capacity and make sure Washington workers are first in line for Boeing jobs. Both bills … Continue reading

Washington state a leader in jobs – while America is still No. 1 in the world

November 4, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Washington state a leader in jobs – while America is still No. 1 in the world

“All politics is local,” said former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil, and we’re certainly proud that our fine state of Washington keeps getting ranked as a great place to live, work and start a business. Here are some recent posts about how Washington state is rebounding from the global recession and ranking among the best states in the nation for our strong economy: Washington ranks near the top in GDP growth Oops, we did it again Top-rated state … Continue reading

We’re getting a good economic bang for our driving buck

October 22, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

We’re getting a good economic bang for our driving buck

We motorists in the Evergreen State contribute more to our economy than drivers in most other states contribute to theirs, says a recent study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). Essentially, this analysis compares the amount of miles we travel to the amount created or spent (i.e., each state’s gross domestic product, or GDP) when we get to where we’re going. The research here at hand — “Distance Driven and Economic Activity” — looks at the 50 … Continue reading

Washington is listing — but in a good way

October 4, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Washington is listing — but in a good way

An Advance item from a few weeks back lists the many areas in which our state of Washington has garnered nationwide kudos in recent years. Here’s a new one: The Evergreen State is No. 9 on the annual Forbes list of the Best States for Business. ​We moved up from last year’s No. 11 standing. Tellingly, says Forbes, our “5-Year Annual GSP Growth” is 1.2 percent. That’s actually better than all but a couple of states in this top 10, … Continue reading

A progressive state with a regressive tax system

September 26, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

A progressive state with a regressive tax system

Our state is great and we’re not the only ones saying that; it’s a fact you can read about in these past HDC Advance posts: •Top-rated state economy: North Dakota? Texas? New York? Nope… •Washington ranks near the top in GDP growth •Oops, we did it again •Who says Washington state is great for jobs? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that’s who! •Washington a national leader in workplace safety •Washington Department of Revenue wins national award •We’re No. 6! •Washington, … Continue reading

Top-rated state economy: North Dakota? Texas? New York? Nope…

September 25, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Top-rated state economy: North Dakota? Texas? New York? Nope…

 …it’s our very own Washington state. That’s according to Governing magazine, in an article that looks at the effect of a state’s economic well-being on the popularity of its governor. The analysis does not consider Washington and its governor specifically, but the article includes a state-by-state ranking of economic prosperity, based on unemployment rates, state GDP and personal income, applied to a weighted formula. When the numbers are crunched, Washington comes in at No. 1, followed by Iowa and Texas.

Grand Coulee to Grunge

September 17, 2013 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

Earlier this month, the Office of the Secretary of State opened their latest exhibit “Grand Coulee to Grunge,” which looks at eight Washington stories that changed the world. The exhibit features stories about the Grand Coulee Dam, the Hanford nuclear plant, Washington’s global impact on the timber and agriculture industries, air travel, innovation, and music. I had the pleasure of speaking about Washington’s trade-based economy at the unveiling ceremony a few weeks ago. You can view those comments below and … Continue reading

Better and better

September 17, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Better and better

Happy days – as in the Roaring Aughts of a decade or so ago, pre-Great Recession – may not be here again quite yet, but happier days than lately certainly seem to be. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area created jobs at the fastest rate of any major metropolitan area in the country in August, according to a report from the online employment aggregator Bright.com. With 168.44 job openings per 10,000 residents, the area ranked comfortably ahead of the runner-up, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington in … Continue reading

The transportation dilemma: more people driving more miles on crumbling highways

September 16, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

The transportation dilemma: more people driving more miles on crumbling highways

Sometimes, a good thing can also be a bad thing. Our state’s population is growing, because people want to live here. The Seattle area just created more jobs than any other metro region in America. So more people are driving on our highways – yet they’re using less gas, because cars are so much more fuel efficient than before. Most people would say that’s a win, and it is great that people are getting better mileage and paying less to … Continue reading

Is $9.19 an hour a living wage?

September 5, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Is $9.19 an hour a living wage?

Last week, fast food workers in more than 50 cities across the nation walked off the job to protest their low wages. Workers making $7 or $8 per hour protested for $15 per hour wages. Governor Inslee voiced his support for the striking workers saying that they “bring needed focus to hard working people struggling to share in Washington’s prosperity.” SeaTac may become the first city in Washington with a $15/hr minimum wage – a living wage. Voters signed a … Continue reading

SCCC Maritime Academy will receive former Navy vessel

September 3, 2013 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

SCCC Maritime Academy will receive former Navy vessel

Our 36th district’s Seattle Central Community College Maritime Academy acquired a former Navy vessel, a great opportunity to expand the school’s training program for merchant mariners and help us secure the workforce for Seattle’s working waterfront. From the Seattle Times: The ship called Vigorous began its career as a Navy vessel at the end of the Cold War, working the North Atlantic Ocean and listening for signs of enemy submarines. Later, it was re-christened the Bold and retrofitted for marine … Continue reading

State Representative Roger Freeman brings home $2.6 million for jobs

August 14, 2013 - Rep. Roger Freeman

State Representative Roger Freeman brings home $2.6 million for jobs

OLYMPIA — The 2013 legislative session that went in to double overtime seemed like it just might run right in to 2014.  Yet by June 29, the legislature pulled together and produced an operating budget and a construction budget. Thanks to the hard work of Rep. Roger Freeman, both budgets were big winners for the people Federal Way, Milton, and Algona. “The good quality of life in the 30th district is about to get even better,” said Rep. Roger Freeman, … Continue reading

Strong housing market means revenue growth for state

August 9, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Strong housing market means revenue growth for state

​In what comes as good news for the state budget, the housing market continues to show strength across Washington, according to a report this week from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Comparing July 2013 to July 2012, the report said that prices and sales volume both were higher this year, while listed homes are selling quickly. The housing industry is a key component of the state economy and generates significant government revenue through sales taxes on construction activity and excise … Continue reading

Washington ranks near the top in GDP growth

August 6, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Washington ranks near the top in GDP growth

Economic productivity in Washington state grew strongly in 2012 relative to the rest of the nation, with the percentage increase in the state’s GDP ranking fourth. The state’s GDP, or gross domestic product, rose by 3.6 percent over the 2011 level, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said. GDP is the value, based on average nationwide prices, of all the goods and services produced in the state. The cumulative U.S. GDP by state grew 2.5 percent in 2012. North Dakota, … Continue reading

Ro/Ro is a Go Go!

July 31, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Ro/Ro is a Go Go!

Thanks to the efforts of Reps. Hans Dunshee, Mike Sells, and John McCoy, the Port of Everett will receive a $1.5 million grant from the state to complete its roll-on/roll-off (Ro/Ro) facility. Among other roles, the Ro/Ro facility is a key part of the Boeing 777 assembly process allowing the aerospace company to meet their shipping needs. MyEverettNews has more: Ro/Ro capabilities are critical to maintaining the Port of Everett’s ability to meet the shipping needs of the local aerospace … Continue reading

Rep. Hansen to aid efforts in career education

July 31, 2013 - Rep. Drew Hansen

Rep. Hansen to aid efforts in career education

Rep. Hansen will apply his interest and experience in career development as a new member of the Legislative Task Force on Career Education Opportunities, with his appointment announced this week by House Speaker Frank Chopp. In the 2013 Legislature, Rep. Hansen successfully sponsored House Bill 1247 to expand small-business access to the state Job Skills Program,in which employers partner with community colleges to train employees and equip them with the skills they need to do their jobs better. The bill … Continue reading

Fair season’s in full swing

July 26, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Fair season’s in full swing

No doubt a modern-day Alexis de Tocqueville would write home about our love of a good summertime soirée. Any chronicler of everyday life in our 50 states would need search high, low, and in-between ​to find anything more Uncle Sam than community festivals. These homegrown doings, not to mention our dozens of county and state fairs, are as much a part of the communal scene here in the Evergreen State as apple pie and baseball. An HDC Advance post just … Continue reading

State’s economy keeps getting stronger

July 25, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

State’s economy keeps getting stronger

Retails sales hit $26 billion during the first part of 2013, according to the state Department of Revenue. That represents an 8 percent rise from last year. Here’s what the report tells us about our state’s economy: •    Spending on hotels and restaurants increased 4.7 percent •    Sales of cars — new or used — jumped 11.6 percent •    Building materials and landscaping/garden supplies got a 14.2 percent boost •    Construction jumped 16.9 percent This means retails sales have almost … Continue reading

Wylie to work on helping businesses with financing options

July 22, 2013 - Rep. Sharon Wylie

Wylie to work on helping businesses with financing options

Speaker of the House Frank Chopp recently appointed Rep. Sharon Wylie to the Washington Economic Development Finance Authority (WEDFA), an independent agency within the executive branch of state government. WEDFA, which was created by the legislature and started operations in 1996, finances qualifying projects, mainly in the manufacturing, processing and waste disposal sectors, through “non-recourse” low interest loans and bonds that reduce the borrowing costs for the businesses. “I am pleased to become more involved in ensuring our state supports … Continue reading

Unemployment rate remains at 6.8%, the lowest since late 2008

July 19, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Unemployment rate remains at 6.8%, the lowest since late 2008

The Employment Security Department released its June report yesterday and the news is that we’re doing well. Paul Turek, a labor economist for the ESD put it this way: “It’s a strong jobs report that is split between a re-energizing private sector and a sagging government sector.” Our state added 9,800 private sector jobs with major wins in construction, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services. In contrast, the manufacturing sector had a slight drop … Continue reading

Oops, we did it again

July 18, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Oops, we did it again

Well, it happened again. As often as our critics try to label our caucus policies as “job killers” and bad for small business, yet ANOTHER publication has given Washington some pretty good praise on the business front. Entrepreneur.com recently ranked Seattle as the #2 startup city in America based on several factors like median tech wages, taxes, and housing costs. Austin, Texas took the top spot while Seattle beat out large players like San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Washington, … Continue reading

Boeing 777X a “project of statewide significance?”

July 12, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Boeing 777X a “project of statewide significance?”

The Legislature created the “Project of Statewide Significance” designation in 1997 to give certain high-importance projects an expedited permitting process, but to date it has never been used. Governor Inslee would like to change that.  He suggested yesterday that giving the “statewide significance” designation to the Everett Boeing plant expansion project would ensure it receives expedited permitting and assistance from the Office of Regulatory Assistance — and help assure that Washington gets the new jobs that will be created as … Continue reading

Who says Washington state is great for jobs? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that’s who!

July 11, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Who says Washington state is great for jobs? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that’s who!

Washington state is a great place for business. That’s the conclusion of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which ranked all 50 states and consistently put the Evergreen State among the top performers, with an overall ranking of 6th best in the nation. The Chamber of Commerce examined five areas: exports, business climate, talent pipeline, infrastructure and innovation/entrepreneurship. By comparison, the state we keep hearing will steal our Boeing jobs – South Carolina – got ranked 41st out of 50 states. … Continue reading

Construction budget creates 36,000 jobs to build a better Washington

June 29, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Construction budget creates 36,000 jobs to build a better Washington

The state’s new capital budget will build things like elementary schools, parks and college science labs – while creating 33,000 private jobs in the struggling construction sector. “Our population is growing because Washington is a great place to live,” said Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish), Capital Budget chair. “That means more kids need schools, more families need parks and more college kids need lecture halls and dorms. Building those things creates jobs today and jobs tomorrow.” Earlier in the session, the … Continue reading

LIFT bill heads to Gov. Inslee’s desk

June 28, 2013 - Rep. Sharon Wylie

LIFT bill heads to Gov. Inslee’s desk

A bill (HB 1306) that will extend the expiration date of the Local Infrastructure Financing Tool Program (LIFT) from June 30, 2039 to June 30, 2044, was approved by the Legislature yesterday. “This critical extension to finish the project and keep our promises to our community could not have happened without bipartisan teamwork,” said the bill’s prime sponsor, Rep. Sharon Wylie (D-Vancouver) who worked closely with Sens. Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver) and Ann Rivers (R-La Center) to move the bill forward. … Continue reading

Employment up in Washington, but new investments necessary to sustain economic growth

June 21, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Employment up in Washington, but new investments necessary to sustain economic growth

Families across Washington who have been struggling since the recession began have another reason to be hopeful this week, as new employment figures show that our state’s job market continues to trend upward. According to the Employment Security Department, Washington added an estimated 4,100 jobs last month, dropping our state’s unemployment rate to 6.8 percent. That’s down from April’s rate of 7 percent, well below the national average of 7.6 percent. Economists note that our unemployment rate has fallen by … Continue reading

Innovation in higher ed means jobs

June 10, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Innovation in higher ed means jobs

When you hear the words “education reform,” you picture elementary and high schools, not colleges and universities. Yet innovation happens in higher education, too. Our medium-sized square state on the West coast is a national leader, with 20 other states looking to copy our program (I-BEST – Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training) to make sure college students are ready to learn and succeed. The traditional approach to making sure every student is ready for their college coursework is this: … Continue reading

Washington’s infrastructure

May 31, 2013 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

Washington’s infrastructure

Thankfully, no one was killed or seriously injured in the I-5 Skagit River bridge collapse. This is a reminder of how important it is to invest in critical infrastructure. It will be a jobs-generating move for our economy. Check out this piece by John Stang of Crosscut. Economists and engineers have jumped into overdrive to deal with last Thursday’s collapse of part of Interstate 5′s Skagit River Bridge. But politically, it is difficult to say if the incident will have … Continue reading

Unemployment now below Dec 2008 rate

May 17, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Unemployment now below Dec 2008 rate

Earlier this week, the Employment Security Department (ESD) reported that Washington’s unemployment rate has dropped half a percentage point since January. The 3,800 jobs added last month brings April’s rate down to 7 percent, the lowest point since December 2008, when it was 7.1 percent. Scott Baily, an ESD economist said the state’s labor market is improving faster than the nation’s. The sectors with the most job gains were: Retail trade, up 3,800 Leisure and hospitality, up 1,600 Professional and … Continue reading

Ballard’s brewers are our new manufacturer entrepreneurs

May 15, 2013 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

Ballard’s brewers are our new manufacturer entrepreneurs

It’s official: Ballard’s brewers are our new manufacturer entrepreneurs. Just visit these modern manufacturing wonders. I took a tour of Hilliard’s last February to learn about the industry taking off in the Ballard-Interbay Manufacturing Industrial Center (BINMIC). This is serious business for our local economy. The brewers are using Washington-grown products and creating local jobs. If anyone wonders whether we still know how to manufacture home-grown products, Ballard’s brewing industry is 100 percent proof. I’m proud to represent them in … Continue reading

Washington a national leader in workplace safety

May 8, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Washington a national leader in workplace safety

We know we live in an outstanding state. It seems that not a week goes by without a new study, survey, ranking or analysis that says Washington is number one for this, or in the top five for that. Despite the constant whining from some quarters that Washingtonians are heavily taxed, for example, numerous organizations and think tanks – some extremely conservative – place us at the other end of the spectrum by actually looking at the facts. And despite … Continue reading

Small-business jobs get boost as governor signs Hansen bill

May 2, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Small businesses will now get help equipping employees with the skills they need to do their jobs better, thanks to a bill by Rep. Drew Hansen of Bainbridge Island that was signed into law by Gov. Inslee today. Hansen’s House Bill 1247 makes it easier for small businesses to work with community colleges to help employees upgrade their skills. The bill expands small-business access to the state Job Skills Program, where employers partner with community colleges to train employees, and … Continue reading

Governor signs Rep. Hansen’s bill boosting jobs for small businesses

May 1, 2013 - Rep. Drew Hansen

Governor signs Rep. Hansen’s bill boosting jobs for small businesses

Small businesses will get help equipping employees with the skills they need to do their jobs better under a bill by Rep. Drew Hansen that was signed into law by Gov. Inslee today. House Bill 1247 makes it easier for small businesses to work with community colleges to help employees upgrade their skills. The bill expands small- business access to the state Job Skills Program, where employers partner with community colleges to train employees, and ensures that money from this … Continue reading

Manufacturing jobs in Washington climbed last year

April 30, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Manufacturing jobs in Washington climbed last year

Manufacturers’ News, Inc. (MNI) reported today that Washington gained 6,612 manufacturing jobs from January 2012 to January 2013, that’s a 2.2% growth, which is more than double the increase reported for 2011. According to MNI, there are 6,716 manufacturers in Washington employing 303,182 workers. The greater job gains were in: Transportation: 49,826 jobs, up 3% in 2012. Food products: 39,311 jobs, up 1.5%, Fabricated metals: 30,417 jobs, up 3.3%. The largest manufacturing job concentration is in Northwest Washington with 200,312 … Continue reading

2013 Regular Session Victories

April 29, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

2013 Regular Session Victories

Education – Early Learning through Higher Education Integrating early learning (HB 1723) – Creates a framework for developing an integrated, high quality early learning continuum for low-income children ages birth to 5. Reforming Working Connections Child Care (SB 5595) – Develops user-friendly customer service and creates a legislative task force to develop recommendations to transition the program to a high quality, integrated, early- education oriented service. State-Tribal education compacts (HB 1134) – Allows OSPI (rather than the State itself) to … Continue reading

Clean energy solutions coming to a school near you!

April 17, 2013 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

Clean energy solutions coming to a school near you!

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction announced today that 28 school districts around the state will collectively receive $20 million to improve energy efficiency in public schools. Seattle Public Schools will receive $500,000. From today’s news release: The award is part of a $40 million commitment by the state Legislature to help schools produce long-term energy and operational savings, improve the indoor environmental qualities of schools and help stimulate construction-industry jobs in the state. “We’re pleased with the … Continue reading

Senate Budget: Bad for Kids, Families, and Our Future

April 8, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Senate Budget: Bad for Kids, Families, and Our Future

Top 10 Reasons the Senate Budget is bad for Kids, Middle Class Families and Our Future 15 NEW tax loopholes; zero eliminated – The Senate plans to add 15 new tax breaks while not eliminating even one existing corporate giveaway.

Let’s tell the truth: taxes are low — and education creates jobs

April 2, 2013 - Rep. Tami Green

Let’s tell the truth: taxes are low — and education creates jobs

by Rep. Tami Green Some myths never die. Unlike urban legends about what happens when you put a Twinkie in a microwave, myths about government and taxes actually do real damage to real people. There’s a good post here (The $2 billion budget myth) that’s worth reading to understand what the fight about the budget is about. It’s misleading to say that everything is fine because state revenues are up $2 billion. Revenues are only up from the depths of … Continue reading

Veterans get boost from House in transition to civilian careers

March 14, 2013 - Washington House Democrats

Veterans get boost from House in transition to civilian careers

Veterans would get recognition from the state for the training they received in the military under a pair of bills passed by the House Wednesday that aim to boost later progress in education and professional life. “The training our veterans received in the military provided them with valuable skills, and it makes sense for our colleges and professional licensing programs to give them credit for that experience,” the bills’ sponsor, Rep. John McCoy, said. “By making that happen, we help … Continue reading

House gives Hansen’s bills — and jobs — a boost

March 9, 2013 - Rep. Drew Hansen

House gives Hansen’s bills — and jobs — a boost

The state’s job market would gain strength for the future under four bills by Rep. Drew Hansen that cleared the state House this past week. “There are signs we’re rebounding from the depths of the Great Recession, but we’ve got a long way to go,” Hansen said. “I want to protect the jobs we have and prepare our young people for opportunities in the 21st –century economy. It’s very encouraging to me to get the strong, bipartisan support of my … Continue reading

House passes extension for LIFT program

March 9, 2013 - Rep. Sharon Wylie

House passes extension for LIFT program

“Library Square” project in Vancouver can move forward with Wylie’s bill. The House of Representatives approved a measure (HB 1306) today to extend the expiration date of the Local Infrastructure Financing Tool Program (LIFT) from June 30, 2039 to June 30, 2044. “This bill is necessary for the completion of LIFT projects around the state,” said State Rep. Sharon Wylie (D-Vancouver), the bill’s prime sponsor. “Library Square, an incredible asset to downtown Vancouver, is one of those projects. To carry … Continue reading

House passes Riccelli’s taxpayer transparency bill

March 5, 2013 - Rep. Marcus Riccelli

House passes Riccelli’s taxpayer transparency bill

A measure to increase transparency for taxpayers and ensure government accountability in how state dollars are spent cleared the state House today on a 96-0 unanimous vote.  It was a top priority for state Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D – Spokane), who sponsored the bill. “Millions of dollars fund capital and transportation projects in all 39 of our state’s counties,” Riccelli said.  “These projects create jobs, make our communities safer, and improve our quality of life. But the public has no … Continue reading

Hansen job bills advance in House

February 26, 2013 - Rep. Drew Hansen

A half-dozen measures likely to brighten the state’s employment picture have cleared their first big hurdle to legislative approval with the active support of their sponsor, Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island. The bills all were approved without dissent by state House committees before last Friday’s policy committee deadline, putting them on track for debate by the full House. The bills will next go before House fiscal committees and then the House Rules Committee before they reach the floor. “The overwhelming … Continue reading

Protect Washington state’s system of workers’ compensation – Special to the Seattle Times

February 25, 2013 - Rep. Mike Sells

Protect Washington state’s system of workers’ compensation – Special to the Seattle Times

Several bills pending at the state Legislature could peel back worker protections, according to guest columnists Bob Hasegawa and Mike Sells. By Representative Mike Sells and Senator Bob Hasegawa UNLESS you’re self-employed, you’re probably covered by our state’s workers’ compensation program. It affects pretty much anyone who brings home a paycheck. Still, a serious injury on the job is something many of us never have to worry about. When we think of injured workers, we tend to think of loggers … Continue reading

Rep. Wylie’s e-newsletter for February 22, 2013

February 22, 2013 - Rep. Sharon Wylie

Rep. Wylie’s e-newsletter for February 22, 2013

It’s been a busy week in the Legislature.  Today is our first cut-off, which is the last day a policy bill can be considered in committee in its house of origin.  Fiscal bills get an extra week beyond that – the fiscal bill deadline is next Friday, March 1st.   The session follows a cut-off calendar, which determines the deadlines for public hearings and executive action on bills, as well as floor action in both the House and Senate. Watch my … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update, Feb. 15, 2013

February 15, 2013 - Rep. Mike Sells

Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update, Feb. 15, 2013

What’s Important This Session I was on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” last week. We discussed the injured workers insurance that Republicans want to cut, which have no effect on the Operating Budget.  I stressed that we should concentrate on funding education and supporting families in time of need. Focusing on the 27,000 homeless students in our state, families struggling to make ends meet, and our employers getting the skilled workers they need should not be a partisan issue. Instead of working … Continue reading

Rep. Freeman Leading Efforts to Protect Independent Truck Drivers

February 14, 2013 - majeskiq

Rep. Freeman Leading Efforts to Protect Independent Truck Drivers

Rep. Roger Freeman, D-Federal Way, is sponsoring legislation that would offer greater protection for port contractors who are being taken advantage of under the current system. “Right now there are two Washingtons: one where hard workers earn living wage that lets them support their family, and one where hard workers are trapped in poverty without protection,” said Freeman. “It is time to reconcile these disparate narratives in our state.” The bill would classify independent port contractors who do short-haul, regional … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” Feb. 7, 2013

February 7, 2013 - nietol

Rep. Mike Sells on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” Feb. 7, 2013

Click on the image to watch Rep. Mike Sells discussing jobs, workers’ comp, and workforce development issues on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” with Austin Jenkins

Rep. Tarleton’s Feb. 5, 2013 E-Newsletter

February 6, 2013 - mcvicara

Rep. Tarleton’s Feb. 5, 2013 E-Newsletter

Friends and neighbors, I am excited to share with you my first e-newsletter. We are now starting the fourth week of the session, and I want to catch you up on how I’ve been working for you here in Olympia. Legislative Update Video If you missed the introductory video from the first week of session, please take a moment to watch it and learn about my goals for this year. It also outlines how you can reach me during the … Continue reading

Rep. Riccelli talks jobs on TVW’s “Inside Olympia”

February 1, 2013 - Rep. Marcus Riccelli

Rep. Marcus Riccelli, the freshman representative from the 3rd Legislative District, was featured this week on TVW’s show “Inside Olympia.”  In the following two-minute clip, he talks about one of his top priorities for the 2013 session, which is job creation in the Spokane area. You can view the entire half-hour segment here.

ICYMI: Rep. Tarleton featured in the Ballard News Tribune

January 29, 2013 - mcvicara

ICYMI: Rep. Tarleton featured in the Ballard News Tribune

The Ballard News Tribune recently spoke with the newest lawmaker from the 36th Legislative District – Rep. Gael Tarleton. In the interview, Rep. Tarleton discusses her goals of making college more affordable for students, the need for a new transportation package, and moving our state away from fossil fuels. Here’s a brief snippet of the conversation. Incoming Freshman Rep. Gael Tarleton’s first official week in the 2013 legislative session was intense, but nothing new. After all, she’s had plenty of … Continue reading

Rep. Roberts talks working families

January 15, 2013 - toyrab

Over the summer, State Representative Mary Helen Roberts traveled to Denver to attend the National Conference of State Legislature’s Opportunities for Working Families Leadership Forum. During the forum, four legislators from three states were interviewed on the challenges facing working families. Rep. Roberts, former vice chair of the Early Learning and Human Services Committee, weighed in on job creation and workforce development. “We know there are jobs available, but often times people don’t know they are available or how to … Continue reading

“Our caucus is organized and energized”

January 12, 2013 - Speaker Frank Chopp

<em>“Our caucus is organized and energized”</em>

Legislative leaders from each caucus spoke with reporters earlier this week during the annual Associated Press Legislative Preview. The leadership panel answered questions from reporters on several issues that will face the Legislature over the next 105 days. After opening his remarks by stating, “Our caucus is organized and energized,” Speaker Frank Chopp outlined the top five priorities for House Democrats this session: Support basic education Expand health care through the Affordable Care Act and the Basic Health Plan Strengthen … Continue reading

Jobs, fish and farmers

December 13, 2012 - Rep. Hans Dunshee

Jobs, fish and farmers

Cleaning up the environment can create jobs and help farmers, too. That’s what happened at Port Susan Bay, where citizens, community leaders, lawmakers and volunteers celebrated the completion of two projects this month. Here are two photos by Marlin Greene and a write-up about the projects by the Nature Conservancy. Two Restoration Projects Ensure Healthy Future For Port Susan Bay Healthier tidal wetlands will mean more food in the system for salmon, waterfowl, Dungeness crabs and people. http://www.nature.org/newsfeatures/pressreleases/washington-restoration-projects-ensure-healthy-future.xml Two projects … Continue reading

Rep. Appleton elected vice chair of House Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee

December 11, 2012 - Rep. Sherry Appleton

Rep. Appleton elected vice chair of House Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee

Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo), vice chair of the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee during the 2011-12 legislative session, has been tapped to retain that position in its successor committee, Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs. Democrats, who hold a sizeable majority in the state House, restructured several policy committees in preparation for the coming session, narrowing the focus of some and expanding the duties of others. In this case, the state-government portfolio of the former committee has been … Continue reading

Sells elected to chair Labor Committee again

December 11, 2012 - nietol

Sells elected to chair Labor Committee again

Rep. Mike Sells, who took on the chairmanship of the Labor and Workforce Development Committee in 2011, has been elected by his peers to go at it again this coming session. “I will be working closely with business, labor and the public around issues of workplace safety, worker training and education, unemployment compensation and how we can help improve our business climate,” he said about his responsibilities chairing the committee. The House Labor & Workforce Development Committee considers issues relating … Continue reading

Reykdal secures spot on newly-formed Finance Committee

December 11, 2012 - toyrab

Reykdal secures spot on newly-formed Finance Committee

State Representative Chris Reykdal (D-Tumwater) received his committee assignments for his sophomore term in the House of Representatives when the House Democratic Caucus released their committee structure this morning. Rep. Reykdal, a longtime proponent of tax fairness, will serve on the newly-created Finance Committee. The House Finance Committee will be charged with considering issues of state and local revenues, including tax increases, decreases and exemptions. “The creation of a finance committee in the House is a signal of our caucus’ … Continue reading

Rep. Lytton elected vice chair of House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee

December 11, 2012 - frizzelld

Rep. Kristine Lytton (D-Anacortes) has been elected by her colleagues to serve as vice chair of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee during the upcoming 105-day legislative session, which begins Jan. 14. The official charge of the Agriculture & Natural Resources panel is to consider and shape legislation “relating to agricultural production, marketing, and sales; animal and plant disease control; fisheries and wildlife; forest practices and forest fire protection; water; and mining.”  The committee also deals with bills relating … Continue reading

Dunshee picked to lead jobs effort again

December 11, 2012 - Rep. Hans Dunshee

Will chair committee that controls state construction budget After creating 20,000 jobs statewide – including 1,700 in Snohomish County – House Democrats elected Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish) once again to continue that effort as chair the Capital Budget Committee. “We’re not out of this downturn yet, and the way to strengthen families and communities is to focus on jobs,” Dunshee said of his role as chair of the committee that controls the state’s construction budget. “That is what I will … Continue reading

Moeller working to reinforce state’s standing in global economy

November 8, 2012 - mcvicara

It’s a jungle in here. Yes, it’s a terribly competitive economic jungle here in the Pacific Northwest. What with Washington being one of the most trade-dependent states in the nation, that is, and with the Port of Vancouver day after day wrangling against other West Coast waterfronts for business dollars like nobody’s business. State Rep. Jim Moeller wants to hook up more of the Evergreen State’s firms and companies with potential Chinese consumers — who, after all, represent the world’s … Continue reading

Car sharing saves money and time — while creating jobs

June 25, 2012 - bergstromg

by Zack Hudgins and Barbara Bailey Most cars sit idle 23 hours a day. But there’s a new business model that lets people rent cars and trucks from private citizens. Peer-to-peer car sharing is one of those solid policies that Democrats and Republicans alike can agree on.  This innovative way of bringing new business into our state will reduce pressure on our transportation system and put more money back into your own pocket. Many neighbors and family members borrow things … Continue reading

Rep. Seaquist: Washington White Board – Higher Education & Unemployment

March 2, 2012 - mcvicara

In this edition of the Washington White Board, Larry discusses the important connection between higher education and unemployment. Investing in education is critical to getting our economy moving forward.

House construction budget creates 22,000 jobs

February 21, 2012 - bergstromg

House construction budget creates 22,000 jobs

Jobs Now, Jobs Tomorrow OLYMPIA – The construction budget unveiled by the House of Representatives would use innovative methods to create an estimated 22,297 jobs. “This is about putting people back to work in a hurry,” said Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish), chair of the Capital Budget Committee. “If we act quickly, people can get back to work during the spring construction season, we can also build the foundation of the economy of tomorrow.” The budget is built to create the … Continue reading

Rep. Hansen’s floor speech on SHB 2747 improving job training for firefighters at Fire Service Academies

February 11, 2012 - mcvicara

Career Pathways Act, expanding career guidance in middle school and high school

February 11, 2012 - mcvicara

Rep. Hansen’s floor speech on HB 2502 removing a tax barrier to create jobs

February 10, 2012 - mcvicara

Statement by Rep. Hans Dunshee on Jobs Now

January 25, 2012 - bergstromg

Statement by Rep. Hans Dunshee on Jobs Now

I appreciate how everyone is working together – business and labor, the House and Senate, Republicans and Democrats – to create jobs. It’s an urgent need, with 30 percent of construction workers unemployed on the west side and 60 percent east of the mountains. There rightly is a sense of urgency. I’m releasing proposed lists of construction projects in the House version of Jobs Now so that people can see what this would look like and where jobs would be … Continue reading

Speaker Chopp gives opening day remarks to kickoff the 2012 legislative session

January 12, 2012 - mcvicara

Speaker Chopp addresses the House Floor on issues such as job creation, education funding, and marriage equality on the opening day of the 2012 segislative session.

Governor signs Rolfes-Kilmer bill easing transition from military to civilian jobs

May 17, 2011 - frizzelld

New law cuts red tape for qualified veterans entering a number of professions OLYMPIA – Another hurdle faced by military veterans returning to civilian life in Washington state fell Monday (May 16) afternoon. Surrounded by a group of both peacetime and combat vets, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed Rep. Christine Rolfes’ House Bill 1418, which lets veterans use their relevant military training to satisfy state licensing requirements for a number of professions. A month ago, the governor signed into law Senate … Continue reading

Governor signs Probst’s PASS Act into law

May 16, 2011 - bergstromg

Reform aimed at cutting high-school dropout rate OLYMPIA — Everybody talks about fixing the high school dropout rate. Now Washington State has a new law that will use proven tactics to make sure more students graduate from high school. “After years of high school dropout rates remaining fairly unchanged, I truly believe this bill will mark the beginning of a new era for high school graduation rates all across Washington state,” said Rep. Tim Probst (D-Vancouver) after Gov. Chris Gregoire signed … Continue reading

Probst’s PASS Act passes in last hours of session

April 25, 2011 - bergstromg

New law aimed at boosting high school graduation rates OLYMPIA — The Pay for Actual Student Success (PASS) Act passed the Senate in the last hours of the legislative session with a strong bipartisan vote of 40-6.  It is now on the governor’s desk awaiting her signature. Sponsored by Rep. Tim Probst (D-Vancouver) and a bipartisan collection of 14 other legislators, House Bill 1599 creates a statewide reform to make high school graduation rates go up. The bill is designed … Continue reading

Senate passes Rolfes/Kilmer legislation to help veterans

April 12, 2011 - waldrefj

OLYMPIA — Legislation to eliminate unnecessary training for military veterans who seek civilian employment passed the Senate today on a 46-0 vote. Sponsored in the House by Rep. Christine Rolfes and in the Senate by Sen. Derek Kilmer, the legislation would evaluate the skills veterans already possess and apply it to educational and licensing requirements in a wide variety of professional fields. “Redundant training is a waste of resources,” said Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island. “The Legislature really stepped up to the … Continue reading

Legislature passes Kilmer/Rolfes legislation to help veterans

April 1, 2011 - waldrefj

OLYMPIA — Legislation to eliminate unnecessary training for military veterans who seek civilian employment is on its way to the governor to be signed into law. Senate Bill 5307, sponsored by Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, would evaluate the skills men and women already possess and apply it to educational and licensing requirements in private-sector health professions. SB 5307, having already passed the Senate, passed the House today on a 91-2 vote. Rep. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, sponsored companion legislation … Continue reading

Ormsby bill targets unscrupulous contractors

March 5, 2011 - frizzelld

House Bill 1701 sets up level playing field for ethical general contractors competing in tightly-squeezed construction industry OLYMPIA – Lawmakers in the state House of Representatives approved legislation Friday night designed to take a significant bite out of the estimated $100 million lost annually to Washington taxpayers by illegal activity in the underground construction economy. Sponsored by Rep. Timm Ormsby (D-Spokane), HB 1701 clamps down on unscrupulous general contractors who populate job sites with so-called “independent contractors” in an effort … Continue reading

Rep. Probst: Clear connection between education and jobs

January 11, 2011 - bergstromg

I found the attached graph revealing.  It is one more indicator of the clear connection between the economy and education.  I hope you find it interesting, as well. Our old economy relied too much on debt and consumption, and it failed.  With your help, we will build a new economy on a solid foundation.  Talent, job skills, and a strong work ethic are the keystone to a production-based, export-driven economy. Please feel free to use this graph or forward it … Continue reading

$100 million now available for school energy, operational improvements

June 10, 2010 - waldrefj

Jobs Act grants will fund improvements to deliver energy and operational costs savings in state’s K-12 public schools and colleges OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire and State Superintendent Randy Dorn today announced the availability of $100 million in competitive grant funds for public school districts and public higher education institutions for improvements to their facilities that save money in energy and operational costs. The grants are designed for energy projects in education facilities that use the performance-based contracting method, which … Continue reading