Chamber Sets Its Priorities For State Advocacy In 2020

By: Editorial Staff Posted: 01/02/2020

Policy agenda focuses on advancing economic equity and vitality and building healthy communities

Seattle Downtown_wide

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most diverse business association in the region. In 2020, the Chamber will advocate for the following state policy priorities to help the 2,600 companies we represent thrive in an equitable and inclusive regional economy.

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

STATE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
Download a PDF version.

ECONOMIC VITALITY

  • Promote racial and gender diversity and equity in the workplace and promote government contracting with minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses.
  • Limit municipalities from pursuing policies that hinder economic competitiveness and increase the burden on business.
  • Maintain predictable and transparent taxes and business regulations.
  • Maintain Washington state’s key tax incentives that keep our state economically vibrant.
  • Support association health plans that allow small businesses to provide their employees with high-quality, affordable health insurance options, such as the Business Health Trust.
  • Fully fund Associate Development Organizations (ADOs) in King County and beyond to retain and grow existing businesses in Washington state.

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

  • Extend Washington’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) to preserve affordable homes for middle income-residents and promote the creation of additional homes for households of all incomes.
  • Create a state Preservation Tax Exemption to retain older affordable housing while funding necessary improvements. 
  • Maintain the statewide ban on rent control, and instead, pursue proven strategies to increase housing affordability around the state, including working through the HALA recommendations. 
  • Support efforts to create and implement a regional housing strategy.

TALENT AND WORKFORCE POLICIES

  • Support policies and programs that make affordable, high-quality child care and preschool more accessible. 
  • Maintain the approved path for funding K-12 education in Washington state.
  • Create and promote learning and training paths, including certificates, apprenticeships, and two- and four-year degrees, that align with the skills employers recruit for.
  • Ensure labor policies benefit both employers and employees, are simple to implement, harmonize across federal, state, and local jurisdictions, and integrate with existing definitions and laws.
  • Preserve diverse employment options, including independent contracting and short-term contract opportunities.

TRANSPORTATION AND MOBILITY

  • Support efforts to reduce the impacts of I-976 and restore transportation funding.
  • Prepare for and influence the large, statewide transportation funding package expected in 2021.
  • Support the development and adoption of new technologies and funding that make Washington roads safer, improve freight mobility, alleviate congestion, increase affordable transportation options, and reduce the environmental impact of personal transportation, including investigating high-speed rail in the Cascadia corridor.

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.