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Bad for Business, Unacceptable Risk

Bad for Business, Unacceptable Risk

This is part of our "Opposing Viewpoints" series. Check out its counterpoint "U.S. Oil By Rail Boosts Economy, Independence."  There is a rapidly growing threat to Washington’s powerful mix of local economies, natural beauty, and internationally significant tech and...

It’s a Wrap! 2016 Legislative Session Ends

The 2016 legislative session has come to a close. The supplement to the 2015-17 budget contains new spending including $190 million from the state's emergency fund to address damage from the last round of wildfires, $28 million for the state's mental health hospitals,...

Legislators Set Stage for Emerging Statewide Debate on Minimum Wage

Legislators Set Stage for Emerging Statewide Debate on Minimum Wage

Minimum wage is increasingly a central political issue across Washington State. Motivated by victories in SeaTac and Seattle, last month the state House passed HB 1355, which would raise Washington’s statewide minimum wage to $12/hour by 2019. At the March 30th Senate...

Lessons Learned As An NGO Dives Into Data

The torrent of online content - so much of it dressed as authoritative but laced with bias - can make it hard to accurately assess core public concerns and develop real solutions. The problem can be acute for stakeholders in states and regions struggling to shepherd...

Life Sciences Research Lost Funding in 2015

Last year, the Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) was defunded. 2015’s legislative session was shaped by a squeeze for education spending and a transportation package that did not leave appetite for renewing LSDF funding. The 2015-17 state budget shifts $11 million...

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back, Looking Forward

We’ve made significant progress this year at the Washington Business Alliance in our mission to unlock our state’s potential. In 2016 we focused on two major projects: 1) preserving career-connected education in our K-12 system and 2) advancing a balanced compromise...

Machinist Uses AJAC Apprenticeship Program to Reach New Heights

Machinist Uses AJAC Apprenticeship Program to Reach New Heights

Arlington, Washington, once dubbed “The Shingle Capital of the World” is a small-sized town located 20 miles north of Everett that was built on the economic success of the timber, railroad and farming industries throughout the 20century. Arlington is also home to one...

Three Rs and So Much More

Three Rs and So Much More

Cobalt Enterprises, the award-winning Granite Falls aerospace parts manufacturing plant on the Mountain Loop, participated with Granite Falls High School teacher Michael Werner’s manufacturing class in providing a first-hand opportunity for students to see the...

Many Challenges Ahead For Electric Vehicles

Washington’s Electric Vehicle (EV) statistics look great on a national level.  The that are EVs is higher in Washington than in any other state and the number of public charging stations and outlets makes Washington fourth in the country. Yet Washington’s high...

May 11th Legislative Update

May 11th Legislative Update

The Legislature is halfway through its 30-day special session, but a budget deal is still elusive. The most spirited activity so far was a Senate hearing and floor vote on tax proposals put forth by House Democrats, which saw a capital gains tax and a change to the...

Impact of WA Outdoor Rec. a Whopping $31.2B

As Washington continues to grapple with sustaining its cash-strapped state parks system, a new gubernatorial task force is accenting the sizable contribution to Washington’s economy of outdoor recreation: some $31.2 billion annually in consumer spending, wages and...

Imports are Like a Thousand Flash Floods

The issue of trade competition and lost jobs is well discussed in the media.I work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are negatively affected by trade competition, what is often called “trade impact" in policy lingo. It’s a big issue. According to the...

Infrastructure Trumps McCleary

Mercer Island residents learned an important lesson last week when contamination in their drinking water forced school closures. That was a failure of the infrastructure that carries water from a source, treats it and ensures it is “safe” to ingest; pipes and...

“Inside Olympia” Probes PLAN Washington

by Hans D. Stroo on May 23, 2014 PLAN Washington and achieving results to better the state's competitive position was the focus when the co-founder of our parent 501c3 The Washington Business Alliance David Giuliani appeared yesterday on TVW's "Inside Olympia" with...

Agricultural Exports in 50 States

Agricultural Exports in 50 States

     State Agricultural Exports ($) Per Capita, 2012 Source: United States Department of Agriculture This interactive map was made using VIDA data visualization software, freely available at vida.io. Data is sourced from the United States Department of Agriculture...

Production of Washington Wine By County, 2011

Data was sourced from the April 2012 report on the Economic Impact of Washington Wine, produced by the Washington State Wine Commission. The report estimates that in 2011, the total economic impact of Washington's wine industry was an astounding $8.6 billion within...

Introduction to Washington’s Solar Industry

The cluster model of economic development posits that like-minded industries and associations foster innovation and lead to higher and more sustainable economic growth. Clusters serve as the chicken the egg – a growing pool of talent and resources attract investment...

Is College-Readiness Contributing to the Achievement Gap?

Is College-Readiness Contributing to the Achievement Gap?

Education is the hottest of topic this 2015 legislative session. Legislators must come up with additional funding for K-12 by the 105th day of the session, and with these new dollars comes the opportunity to attach reforms to address our system’s thorniest problems....

Is Marijuana Washington’s Second Largest Crop?

by Hans D. Stroo on September 25, 2014 Research commissioned by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) estimated that residents consume a combined 175 metric tons of marijuana annually. Another report from WSLCB estimated the market value of annual pot...

How To Heal The Heartland

It’s tornado season, the springtime tempest, which means the Big Empty of the United States will get another cameo on the nation’s stage. Prepare for the annual montage of heartbreak and houses tossed to the wind, of schools scalped of their roofs and trailer parks...

How Well is Washington State Performing?

Every year, the Washington Business Alliance releases an update to its PLAN Washington policy framework. PLAN Washington is a round-up of the best public policy ideas for improving quality of life in Washington State. We convene stakeholders from business, government,...

Not an Either/Or Relationship

Solar and hydro are often viewed as direct substitutes when discussing renewable energy sources. In Washington state, it is more accurate to view these renewable energy sources as competitors complements. “Hydroelectricity’s low cost, near-zero emissions, and ability...

Ideas, Innovations & Inventions

Ideas, Innovations & Inventions

My children had such great ideas. They were so good that I thought they would grow up to be famous inventors. My one son dreamed of inventing the perfect time machine, one that would whisk him briefly back to 1975 so he could buy Microsoft stock 11 years before it...

Mike Sotelo’s Seattle Times Op-Ed

Mike Sotelo’s Seattle Times Op-Ed

Business Alliance Board Member Mike Sotelo wrote an excellent op-ed you can find in today's Seattle Times. He argues for better appreciating the financial and personal success that can result from careers in construction and manufacturing trades.  "We have to start...

How Strong is Washington’s Economic Climate?

How well is Washington State performing as a competitive environment for businesses? We’re 18th best in the nation according to a state agency that keeps track. Every year the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council releases a report that tracks 46 business...

How to Ease Tuition Burden In Washington?

A fresh approach to financing higher education is gaining interest in Olympia. Called Pay It Forward (PIF), it would cover upfront tuition costs of public colleges and universities in Washington, in return for the student paying a fixed percentage of their income for...

Export Intensity Over Time & Top Exports

Value of Exports as Percent of State Personal Income, 2008-12 Source: Washington State Economic Revenue Forecast Council Dec. 2013 Economic Climate Study, p.59 Scroll over each state to see it's top export and 50 state rank. Each time the page is refreshed, it will...

How Washington State is Kicking Coal

by Hans D. Stroo on December 5, 2014 Washington’s hydropower resources provide the state with the lowest combined electricity price across all sectors and one of the least carbon intense electricity mixes in the nation. Maintaining this competitive edge is key to...

Revenue and Emissions Impact – Preliminary Analysis

The Washington Business Alliance developed the Washington State GHG Reduction Explorer to project the outcomes of various policy proposals that tax/regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The software is based on the Carbon Tax Assessment Model (CTAM) maintained by the...

How Clean is Washington State’s Electric Grid?

Washington State has the second cleanest electricity grid in the entire country. We rank just behind Vermont in the latest state-by-state comparison of who has the least carbon-intensive electricity supply. Even better, Washington has the nation's most affordable...

Data Dive: Washington Driving & Road Safety

Data Dive: Washington Driving & Road Safety

by Hans D. Stroo on February 18, 2015 Onroad vehicles are a huge part of daily life. Everyday, Washington State transports children to school, adults to work, and goods to domestic & international markets. Cars, trucks, bicycle, motorcycles, transit, fleets, and...

Washington State Carbon Emissions

by Hans D. Stroo & Quintin Barnes on April 2, 2015 Apologies to mobile viewers, this data visualization will only display properly on desktop. Dive into & manipulate this data set illustrating Washington State's carbon emissions by subsector. See actual changes...

Obesity in 50 States, 7 Years

by Hans D. Stroo on May 21, 2014 More than a third of U.S. adults are classified as obese and annual medical costs to the nation are $147 billion, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. A Catalyst data visualization developed in partnership with Tableau...

Obesity in Washington State Counties

by Hans D. Stroo on May 22, 2014 From 2004 through 2010 in Washington state's 39 counties, obesity was most prevalent in Adams, Cowlitz, Lewis, Gray's Harbor and Pacific and least prevalent in San Juan, King, Jefferson, Whatcom and Chelan. Among the most improved were...

Washington Competes for Information Economy Jobs

U.S. state economies are intricate and evolving ecosystems. The most successful states are those which can adapt to the relentless disruptions of the new economy. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s (ITIF) 2014 State New Economy Index ranks all 50...

Washington State Student Achievement Gap

by Hans D. Stroo on January 22, 2015 Achievement gaps in Washington State widened significantly between 2003-2013. The "achievement gap" refers to difference in educational performance between students based on their socioeconomic, racial, or ethnic characteristics....

Innovation Drivers For Washington, U.S.

by Hans D. Stroo on April 17, 2014 Among 35 performance indicators in the Dec. 2013 Economic Climate Study by the Washington Economic Revenue and Forecast Council are four "innovation drivers" accented in this Catalyst data visualization created in cooperation with...

Data Viz: Job Growth in Puget Sound, 2000-2013

by Andrew Cheung on July 31, 2014 Explore this interactive data visualization to make your own discoveries. A few things we noticed: In the four counties of Central Puget Sound - King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap - a handful of cities stood out as the biggest job...

Seattle’s 2014 Budget

by Hans D. Stroo on August 29, 2014 This treemap illustrates the breakdown of spending in the City's most recent - mid-biennium - 2014 Endorsed Budget. The map above is sourced from the City of Seattle's open online data portal, located at data.seattle.gov. The state...

Ecology Responds to Clean Air Rule Comments

On July 22nd, 2016 the Washington Business Alliance submitted comments to the Washington State Department of Ecology regarding their draft Clean Air Rule. Our comments were created in collaboration with stakeholders guided by the intention of charting a productive...

Interactive Timeline, Innovation in Washington

Vinyl, as in those LPs you still cherish and play on a turntable. Invented by a University of Washington chemical engineering grad student in 1926. The automated fish cleaner, single-handled water faucet, portable heart defibrillator, kidney dialysis machine, the bone...

Electric Battery Buses to be King of the Road in King County

"These new battery buses will multiply our ability to protect our climate and clean air in King County,” says Councilwoman Claudia Balducci. Transportation creates nearly half of all of Washington’s greenhouse emissions. The King County Strategic Climate Action Plan...

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