October 7, 2019
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Bellevue's 5G Innovation Partnership Zone is newest addition to Innovation Partnership Zones

The Washington State Department of Commerce has named a new Innovation Partnership Zone intended to spur collaboration between the public and private sectors to advance 5G mobile networks and technology.

The 5G Open Innovation Lab is sponsored by the city of Bellevue. Supporters aim to create a global hub to develop the next generation of 5G technology, the department reported in a news release.

“The 5G Innovation Partnership Zone in Washington exists as a focal point for global 5G ecosystem development, and engages the breadth of Seattle’s community stakeholders from technology, business, academia and the public sector,” said Professor Sumit Roy, Integrated Systems professor at the University of Washington.

The Department of Commerce also reauthorized six other Innovation Partnership Zones aimed at boosting economic growth in key industries like manufacturing, global health and technology, the agency reports.

“The new 5G Innovation Partnership Zone showcases public-private collaboration at its best," said Dr. Lisa Brown, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. "Each of Washington’s IPZs is a unique success story of research, industry and local leadership creating vibrant ecosystems for growth.”

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A Win-Win for Washington Communities

Innovative mills help economy, environment at same time

By AWB President Kris Johnson and state Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz

Business, government, and residents share the same values. We place the highest premium on vibrant communities, healthy lands, and clean water.

With the right leadership and bold vision, we can create jobs and economic opportunity and preserve a healthy and clean environment. This clearly is apparent with the emergence of cross-laminated timber, which will play a key role in creating jobs in rural communities, providing building supplies to cities and towns, and reducing wildfire danger.

Read the full op-ed in the Spokane Journal of Business.
Let's call a timeout on rulemaking

Washington state's massive rulemaking is strangling businesses and must be reined in

By state Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver

During the final three days of the 105-day legislative session in April, more than $2 billion in new and higher taxes were approved by majority Democrats. These included new and increased business and occupation taxes on more than 90,000 employers and certain banks, a graduated real estate excise tax on both residential and commercial sales, a higher tax on oil and ending the sales tax exemption for Oregonians and changing it into an annual remittance program.

Because Oregon is so close to Southwest Washington's 17th Legislative District, which I represent, I've been concerned about how these tax increases affect us locally, especially our smaller businesses operating on razor-thin margins...

Read the full column in The Reflector of Battle Ground.