Welcome to the first Blitz in its new format! The Blitz has been a good tool to update Bellevue Chamber members and many others on what's happening at Bellevue City Hall, in Olympia, and in your community. In its new format, The Blitz will allow members and others to comment on the stories and information below. Let's engage in a conversation!
Bellevue City Hall
The City Council is off and will resume its regular work on Monday, January 5.
City Manager Brad Miyake is taking a different approach this time around in the City’s search for a new police chief to replace Linda Pillo.
What’s Happening at the Bellevue Chamber?
On Thursday January 8, from 7:00 – 9:00 am, at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, the East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition is holding its annual Legislative Breakfast. The Breakfast conversation, moderated by Robert Mak, will focus on the legislative priorities of the Eastside business community: education, economic development, and transportation. Of course, other legislative issues will be touched on and those in attendance will have the opportunity to actively engage in the conversation as well. Please register to hear from the State’s budget writers – Representative Ross Hunter (D-Medina) and Senator Andy Hill (R-Woodinville) – and other influential Eastside legislators.
The Session is Coming…
Senate Transportation Committee Chair Senator Curtis King (R-Yakima) wrote an op-ed at Crosscut that takes a look back to look forward. His piece focuses mostly on the reforms and streamlining that has to occur at the Department of Transportation and elsewhere along the line of delivering capacity-relieving projects to major State corridors.
Eastside Chambers of Commerce believe the legislature should pass a statewide transportation package to provide funding for transportation projects that allow continue economic expansion, increase personal mobility, reduce congestions, improve travel time reliability, and enhance our natural environment. We do not disagree with Senator King and the many other voices of the Majority Coalition Caucus who are insisting on transportation reforms – the so-called “reform before revenue” movement. We simply believe legislative paralysis on a transportation package cannot continue. Investments must be raised. We support an increase in the gas tax to finish incomplete projects and improve the corridor’s that are critical to the economic success of our region and State, such as I-90 and SR-18, SR-520 and I-405, and SR-169.
Governor Jay Inslee revealed his education plan but has yet to explain how it will be paid for. He also wants a carbon tax to fund a transportation package. The Eastside Chambers believe a gas tax hike should pay for a transportation package and have testified in favor of an 11.5 cent increase. The most interesting question now that he has revealed his carbon tax plan, is whether he will take executive action on a low carbon fuel standard as well.
The Other Washington
A $1.1 trillion “cromnibus” budget bill helped the federal government avoid a shutdown.
Business Pulse Stories For Your Attention
Fed Seen Looking Past Russia Crisis as U.S. Growth Picks Up
“The options aren’t binding and Fed officials can always negotiate their own statement language. The timing of events in Russia makes it possible that policy makers would hear from the Fed’s international and financial stability experts on the risks around the decline in oil prices or Russian output. The Fed also uses models to study the global economy that could run simulations on the impact of currency movements or a slide in oil prices on world-wide growth.”
Governor unveils $2.3 billion education plan
“Funding allocations per student in the 2015-16 school year would be increased from $848 to $1,216, which will allow for, ‘full implementation of the state’s new learning standards in English, math and science, and support the use of behavior intervention curricula.’”
Bellevue inventor gets again in national spotlight
“The product was chosen by David Muir and ABC News as one of their select gift ideas that is completely made in America. The caddy and its packaging are all manufactured in Tacoma.”