April 8, 2019
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Amazon announces new urban campus in downtown Bellevue

Amazon is expanding in Bellevue, creating a new "urban campus" for thousands of employees in several buildings between Interstate 405 and Bellevue Square.

“Our vision is to create an urban campus in downtown Bellevue where employees will all be within walking distance of each other and have easy access to public transit,” said Dave Clark, Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations, to employees in an email last Wednesday.

The company has amassed more than 1 million square feet of real estate in Bellevue over the last two years, which will now be home to the current Seattle employees who handle its massive operations organization (which handles delivery of orders to customers). Over the next four years, those employees will move across Lake Washington to the new campus.

There are many factors leading to the move, The Seattle Times reports, including the cost of housing and the desire to have large offices on both sides of the lake for employees who would rather not move.

"Amazon’s fraught relationship with Seattle City Hall is also in the mix, with the 2018 head-tax fight still reverberating and the uncertainty of a wide-open City Council election later this year," The Seattle Times reports.

In its statement, Amazon praised Bellevue, where Jeff Bezos founded the company in 1994, for its amenities, quality of life, talent pool and “business-friendly environment.”

Moving a large and critical team away from Amazon’s Seattle headquarters is a significant relocation of employees on its own, but it’s also a weighty symbolic gesture — the clearest sign yet that the tech giant is cooling on its hometown while doubling down on a neighboring city, GeekWire wrote in breaking the story.

The Seattle Times also covered the news.

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Expand career-connected learning across Washington state

By Maud Daudon

If you're a Washington business owner or manager wondering where to find skilled workers, you're not alone. And if you're a Washington parent or high school student, wondering how to get from school to a great job, you're not alone either.

You may also be the solution to each other's problem.

Last summer, the Career Connect Washington initiative convened groups of parents to discuss education and career preparation in Washington state. As part of a 10-year effort, we are learning how to better help students connect to both jobs and advanced education so they will be well positioned to step into the state's job market. Business, labor and education organizations are all stepping up; we need the Legislature to act as well...

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A capital gains tax would be highly volatile. Taxpayers can arrange their affairs to avoid them, and the value of capital gains realized by Washington taxpayers varies significantly year to year. Also, swings in capital gains are much bigger in percentage terms than swings in state sales tax revenue. Volatile taxes require stronger reserves to manage downturns, but the House bill would avoid constitutionally-required transfers to the rainy day fund by directing revenues from the tax to the education legacy trust account.

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