March 18, 2019
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Reports point to a cooling economy, lawmakers should heed business economists' warning

Even as Washington state's economy outperforms the nation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' February jobs report highlighted flat hiring. Opportunity Washington says of the news, "caution lights are flashing."

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Does Viadoom cooperation offer a future model to solve Washington's big challenges?

Former Gov. Chris Gregoire is working with Challenge Seattle, an alliance of company executives and community leaders, to help solve the Puget Sound region's biggest challenges. In an interview with the Puget Sound Business Journal, she cited Seattle's recent Alaskan Way Viaduct closure as a good example of what happens when the public and private sectors work together.

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Washington employers, schools invited to take part in pilot study for earthquake early warning system

A solid plan and some good preparation can save millions of dollars, reduce injuries and save lives. The Washington Emergency Management Division is looking for Washington businesses and schools to take part in an earthquake early warning system and engrain automatic reactions in the case of an earthquake.

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Employment Security Dept. to host 2019 economic symposium in Seattle on April 1

The Labor Market and Economic Analysis division of the state's Employment Security Department will present its 2019 economic symposium in Seattle on April 1. "Connecting the Dots: Metrics that Matter" will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center.

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Competitiveness Matters

State won 'economic lottery;' it doesn't need new taxes

By Kris Johnson and Steve Mullin

Imagine winning the lottery tomorrow. You'd have $10 million to spend on whatever you wanted in an instant.

Of course, the prudent thing would be to get a financial adviser and plan for the future. Ensure you have a strong foundation and adequate savings, then decide what you can splurge on. This scenario is not unlike the position our state finds itself in after years of economic recovery and expansion.

Economic and tax revenue growth in Washington state has been extraordinary over the last decade.

So much so that state and local tax growth in Washington was the highest in the nation from 2015 to 2016. The state expects tax collections will top $50 billion for the first time during the next two-year budget cycle. That's $4 billion more than the last cycle and nearly $11 billion more than it had in 2015-17.

Washington has leveraged this growth to invest in important programs, dramatically increasing state funding for public education, for example.

But we need to recognize that this lottery-like period of growth is far from normal. And it has come at a time when Washington also steadily increased the cost of doing business here...

Read the guest commentary in The (Everett) Herald
Competitiveness Matters

Former Rep. Chandler: Inslee threat to prosperity

By Charles H. Featherstone in The Columbia Basin Herald

MOSES LAKE -- Gary Chandler has a message for Gov. Jay Inslee.

"Don't take away our opportunity to be competitive."

The drive for 100 percent clean energy would deprive the Pacific Northwest of its competitive edge on power prices, and the governor's proposed $4 billion in new taxes would hit the state's small business people particularly hard, Chandler said.

"The economy is good, but the economy is starting to slow," Chandler said. "Don't spend everything, don't tax everything."

Read the full story about Chandler's recent talk in The Columbia Basin Herald
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