Chamber Sets Its Priorities For State Advocacy In 2019

By: Editorial Staff Posted: 02/28/2019

Policy agenda focuses on advancing economic prosperity, ensuring a vital business environment, and building healthy communities

Olympia_wide

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is the region’s largest independent business and employer association. In 2019, the Chamber will advocate for the following local policy improvements to advance economic prosperity, ensure a vital business environment, and build sustainable and healthy communities in our region.

For more information, please contact Dominick Martin, our vice president of external relations.

STATE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
Download a PDF version.

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

  • Support actions that would limit municipalities from pursuing policies that would hinder economic competitiveness and increase the burden on business.
  • Maintain Washington state’s aerospace incentives and other key incentive programs that contribute to the economic vibrancy of our state.
  • Reinstate affirmative action to support minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses.
HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

  • Authorize the City of Seattle to extend the Multi-Family Tax Exemption to buildings that are being substantially renovated as the Preservation Tax Exemption, per the HALA recommendations.
  • Support reform of Washington state condominium act to reduce the risk of developing condominiums. Reforms should include opportunities for developers to fix any construction defects before buyers can litigate.
  • Maintain the statewide ban on rent control, and instead pursue proven strategies to increase housing affordability around the state, including working through the remaining HALA recommendations.
  • Support at least $200 million in capital funding for the Housing Trust Fund, and increased funding with a supplemental capital budget.
  • Support efforts to create a regional housing strategy and a funded entity to administer the strategy.

WORKFORCE POLICIES

  • Ensure labor policies benefit both employers and employees, are simple to implement, harmonize across jurisdictions, and seamlessly integrate with existing definitions and laws.
  • As more workers participate in the gig economy and prefer short-term contracts and freelance opportunities, ensure that they have increased opportunity to participate in existing or similar programs to those employed in traditional jobs.

TRANSPORTATION & MOBILITY

  • Support the outcome of the 2016 Sound Transit 3 ballot measure, ensuring full funding for the efficient and unimpaired implementation of all ST3 projects. Support tools that allow Sound Transit to expedite delivery of the ST3 package.
  • Support the development and adoption of new technologies that will increase the safety of Washington roads, improve freight mobility, alleviate congestion, increase affordable transportation options for all citizens, and reduce the environmental impact of personal transportation around the state, including further investigation of high-speed rail in the Cascadia corridor.

EDUCATION

  • Any new investments should align with and advance progress toward the state’s two achievement goals: 100% high school graduation and 70% post-secondary education by 2023.
  • Continue to support high-quality early learning programs, specifically the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP).
  • Maintain the current path for funding K-12 education.
  • Implement the proposals of the Washington Student Achievement Council to better support post-secondary education (certificates, apprenticeships, two-year, four-year, and graduate programs), as well as the expansion of Core Plus programs for high school students and the Career Connect Washington initiative.
  • Increase state support for public institutions of higher education to improve degree completion rates and student access to high-demand degree programs.

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

  • Restore mental health and substance abuse treatment funding to pre-recession levels; both are critical to alleviating the homelessness crisis in Seattle and King County.

ENERGY

  • Support policies that allow utilities to be flexible and responsive to customer desire for cleaner and greener power while also maintaining affordability and reliability.