December 16, 2019
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Car-tab debate coming to 2020 legislative session

Gov. Jay Inslee says he won't ask the Legislature to pass $30 car-tabs anytime soon. Inslee told The News Tribune that he's waiting to see how the state Supreme Court rules on the recent Initiative 976 vote, when about 53 percent of voters statewide approved a ballot measure to lower the car-tabs, among other changes. The outcome of the election is currently tied up in court. It's unclear when the case will be settled.

When asked why he wouldn't push for the $30 car-tabs before a court ruling, the governor said: "The reason is we have to have a transportation system in our state. The economy is dependent on it. Our personal lives are dependent on it."

Meanwhile, state Sen. Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup, is getting an earful, to say the least. He says the Legislature should pass car-tab relief right away.

"I've never seen the kind of outrage we are seeing right now following I-976, whether it's in my email inbox, social media, conversations I'm having with people," Zeiger said.

Zeiger serves on the Senate Transportation Committee.

"It’s like, 'King County just doesn't get it, and they're out to kind of silence the will of the voters in the rest of the state.' That’s the attitude I'm hearing from a lot of people now," Zeiger added.

Recently, Inslee paused some state transportation projects while the issue plays out in the courts. Also, state Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, has said about $478 million will need to be cut from the state transportation budget.

For more information on transportation issues, please contact AWB's Mike Ennis at MikeE@awb.org or 360.943.1600.



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Spreading Christmas Joy
Holiday Kids Tree

Sharing the Spirit of the Season Across Our State

By AWB President Kris Johnson

As the state's business and manufacturing association, AWB is proud to lead a number of statewide efforts. Perhaps the most heartwarming is our job each December to coordinate the decorations and lighting of the state's holiday tree. Those decorations are always bundled up after the new year and donated to a local children's hospital.

Washington employers have donated a total of $438,000 to the Holiday Kids' Tree project over the last three decades. Just before the annual tree-lighting ceremony, we give bags of toys and checks to representatives from rural fire districts who distribute the food and toys to families in need. This year we were able to spread holiday cheer to families across the state, from Camano Island to Chelan and Walla Walla.

And speaking of trees, your state Capitol this year was filled with the greenery of a 34-foot noble fir, donated by Weyerhaeuser from its Vail Tree Farm near Rainier.

The tree was harvested from a small area that is being cleared to make room for a series of wind turbines at the new Skookumchuck Wind Farm. This 38-turbine project, a partnership between Puget Sound Energy, Weyerhaeuser, TransAlta and RES, will generate 137 megawatts of power -- enough to power 48,000 homes. That will be a gift for generations to come...

Read the full guest column in The (Centralia) Chronicle