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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Public Affairs Council Update; Legislative Session Nears Mid-Point; Eastside Chambers Swarm State Capitol; How to Testify from Home

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, February 5, 2018

Chamber Members Weigh in on Important Issues

Your Chamber Public Affairs Council has a full slate of hot topics queued up for 2018. Last month, we endorsed legislation to extend existing tax incentives for data center development statewide. Upcoming topics include a progress report on transportation projects funded by Bellevue Prop 2, the future of the Bellevue Way SE project and a check-in on Energize Eastside.

However, in lieu of our February Public Affairs meeting, we invite all Chamber members to attend the upcoming Business Lunch with Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak on Thursday, February 15, Noon at the Westin Bellevue. Register here today.

Legislative Session Nears Mid-Point

In a short 60-Day Legislative Session, the pace is always fast and furious, and this year is no exception. As Day 30 nears on February 6, bills of importance to the Eastside business community are still alive.

Leading the “wish list” are bills proposing to lower the top B&O tax rate for manufacturing to 0.2904 percent, including: House Bill 2947 and Senate Bill 6542. Also still alive, but not moving, is legislation to re-institute a R&D tax preference for high tech and life sciences, House Bill 1894.

There’s good news in the struggle achieve to condo construction liability reform! House Bill 2831 has move out of House Judiciary and is on its way to the House Floor.

And the Bellevue Chamber continues to lead a coalition, advocating public law changes in support of disruptive transportation technologies. Here are a few examples:

Note: All policy bills must make it out of the House of Origin by February 14th.

Eastside Chambers “Swarm” State Capitol

Representatives of Chambers of Commerce from across the Eastside, made their voices heard at 2018 Chamber Day on January 24th. Bellevue Chamber Board Chair Jim Hill and CEO Betty Capestany, led a strong delegation, which delivered a unified request for business tax relief, and better tools to create affordable housing and mobility solutions.

By the end of the day, the group had met with nearly all of our suburban crescent legislators. A highlight was our audience with Senate Transportation Chair Steve Hobbs (44th LD), regarding a possible flexible van pool pilot program on I-405, as construction between Bellevue and Renton begins in 2019.

Stay tuned for further details on this one.

How to Testify from Your Home or Office

Too busy to travel to Olympia during Session?

You can watch legislative hearings live from the state capitol on your television or laptop, courtesy of TVW. Click here for their broadcast schedule, including links to current and past programming.

Would you like to submit written testimony for the record?

If you know the bill number, go to the Bill Information page, enter the bill number in the Search by Bill Number field, then click Search. Click Comment on this bill to the right of the bill number, then complete the comment form.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: All Star Lineup of Legislators at Annual Breakfast; Eastside Business Leaders Ready to Swarm the Capitol; Business Priorities Set for Legislative Session.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Wednesday, January 10, 2018

All Star Lineup of Legislators at Annual Breakfast

Eastside business leaders have been hosting a legislative breakfast for decades. This year, over 160 business, non-profit and community leaders packed the Hyatt Regency Bellevue on January 4, for an up close and personal discussion with local legislators.

With a record 15 senators and representatives on the platform, audience members heard there is still more work to be done on basic education, holding down the cost of housing and keeping people moving on I-405.

Most agreed the state B&O tax needs an overhaul, if not an outright repeal, but that won’t likely happen until we have a larger discussion about changes to our tax system after Session.

And despite the Governor’s proposal for a new carbon tax, there was little enthusiasm for this going into an election year. One thing everyone agreed on: after several years of Special Sessions, the odds are high for ending on time this year in early March.

Eastside Business Leaders Ready to Swarm the Capitol

Right on the heels of our annual legislative breakfast, business leaders from across the Eastside, are poised to swarm the capitol for 2018 Chamber Day in Olympia.

Here’s your chance to bring the business voice directly to our legislators from Bothell to Maple Valley, right on their turf. Join us on Wednesday, January 24, 11 AM – 3PM on the capitol campus. We’ll provide lunch, talking points and set appointments for you with the people who represent you in state government.

For more information and to register, visit our Chamber Day page.

2018 Coalition Agenda Highlights:

Economic Development

  • Provide tools for infrastructure funding through tax increment financing
  • Enact a business and occupation tax credit for qualified research and development expenditures
  • Make changes to GMA relating to vesting and plat management, enact condominium liability; reform, mandate shorter permitting processes, incentivize zoning that encourages higher density, extend the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) beyond 12 year
  • Extend aerospace tax incentives to include the commercial space sector and enact a B&O tax reduction for manufacturing

Education

  •  Continue to fund basic education
  •  Increase opportunities for children to access quality early childhood education across the State
  •  Enhance accountability and improve outcomes
  •  Improve state support for meaningful Workforce Training (CTE)
  •  Fund higher education programs

Transportation

  • Fund additional improvements to I-405
  • Eliminate statutory barriers to shared employer shuttles
  • Create a statewide business license for transportation network companies (TNC’s)
  • Allow private shuttle providers access to publicly funded park and ride lots
  • Incentivize use of TNC’s and flexible van pools under the 1991 Commute Trip Reduction Act.

To see our complete 2018 Legislative Agenda, visit the East King Chambers Coalition webpage.

 

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Eastside Business Alliance Candidate Endorsements; Bellevue Way SE Construction Update

Posted By Chris Johnson, Friday, November 3, 2017

Eastside Business Alliance Candidate Endorsements

As a possible national economic slowdown appears around the corner, the Eastside Business Alliance is supporting candidates who will focus on preserving core services, while limiting spending on new initiatives and keeping both the cost of government and tax rates low.

The Eastside Business Alliance has endorsed the following candidates for Bellevue City Council, which offered the strongest statements in support of business-friendly public policies:

Bellevue City Council, Position 2: Conrad Lee
Bellevue City Council, Position 4: Jared Nieuwenhuis
Bellevue City Council, Position 5: Phil Yin
Bellevue City Council, Position 6: Steve Fricke

EBA has also offered endorsements in these other local races:

Sammamish City Council, Position 1: Mark Boughman
Sammamish City Council, Position 3: Karen Moran
Sammamish City Council, Position 5: Chris Ross
Kirkland City Council, Position 5: Amy Walen
Redmond City Council, Position 2: Steve Fields
Port of Seattle Commission, Position 1: John Creighton
Port of Seattle Commission, Position 3: Stephanie Bowman

Thanks to all Chamber members who have made contributions to the Eastside Business Alliance in 2017!

Bellevue Way SE Construction Update

After a series of construction closures on Bellevue Way SE over the last six months, relating to Sound Transit’s East Link light rail project, expect a hiatus to begin soon. There will be no weekend closure November 11th- 12th and a final weekend closure relating to utility relocation is scheduled for the weekend of November 18th -19th.

Phase 2 of construction to build the guideway adjacent to Bellevue Way Southeast is expected to begin in January. For additional details, visit the East Link construction webpage.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Leg Wrap Up coverage; EBA list of endorsements; Chamber Public Affairs Council to launch.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, September 25, 2017

Leg Wrap Up coverage

The East King Chambers Coalition has been around for over 20 years, but this year’s legislative wrap up was one of the best ever. Once again, our panel was skillfully moderated by longtime friend of the Chamber, Randy Bannecker of Bannecker Public Affairs.

We heard a true diversity of opinion on issues such as the property tax funding package for basic education, future tax relief for emerging sectors such as biotechnology and whether autonomous vehicles and flexible van pools can help reduce congestion.

For news coverage of this event and terrific photos, please see the following story in the Snoqualmie Valley Record, republished with permission of Sound Publishing.

Eastside Business Alliance list of endorsements

As a possible national economic slowdown appears around the corner, the Eastside Business Alliance is supporting a new direction on the Bellevue Council, one that will focus on preserving core services, while limiting Council spending on new initiatives and keeping both the cost of government and tax rates low.

EBA has endorsed the following candidates, which offered the strongest statements in support of business-friendly public policies.

  • Bellevue City Council, Position 2: Conrad Lee
  • Bellevue City Council, Position 4: Jared Nieuwenhuis
  • Bellevue City Council, Position 5: Phillip Yin
  • Bellevue City Council, Position 6: Steve Fricke

Support these and other pro-business candidates, by making an online contribution to the Eastside Business Alliance.

Chamber Public Affairs Council to launch

After a summer hiatus, your Chamber advocacy programs are back with a new look and feel. Please join us on Thursday, October 12 at Noon, as we launch the new Chamber Public Affairs Council. We’ve combined two previous committees into one and plan to take on a broader range of topics, relating to what makes our community vital.

Mark your calendars for the following events:

  • Everything bike and pedestrian in Bellevue - Thursday, October 12, Noon
  • Sound Transit East Link construction update - Thursday, November 2, Noon   

The Public Affairs Council will generally meet on the third Thursday of the month at Noon; November 2nd will be an exception. All meetings will occur at the Chamber office in the Microsoft Business Center.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Bellevue bike share survey; Students back on the road; Program to reduce neighborhood cut-through traffic

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, September 11, 2017

Bellevue bike share survey

In preparation for our October briefing on Bellevue’s Bike Rapid Implementation Plan, we invite you to learn more about bike share programs already underway in cities across the nation. In addition to checking out and returning bikes to fixed locations, users can utilize GPS technology to return their bikes to designated hubs or existing bike racks.

Would you like to see a bike share program in DT Bellevue? Do you have stories to relate about bike share programs in other cities? Take the City of Bellevue’s bike share survey today.

Students back on the road

Classes began in the Bellevue School District nearly two weeks ago, so please pay attention to flashing lights around school zones and observe the 20 mph speed limit. Protect the safety of our school children by paying attention when driving near schools, coming to a full stop at school bus stops, and always keeping an eye out for pedestrians, especially at crosswalks.

If you have school-aged children or grandchildren, you can contribute to safety and reduce congestion near schools, by encouraging family members to carpool, bike or walk to school. Learn more and participate in the Bellevue SchoolPool Program.

Program to reduce neighborhood cut-through traffic

With the East Link light rail construction program going “full bore” on Bellevue Way SE, the City has launched a program to deter cut-through traffic in adjacent neighborhoods. As of last week, the following restrictions are in place:

  • On 108th at SE 16th, no through traffic will be permitted to the intersection at Bellevue Way SE
  • On SE 16th, at 108th SE, westbound traffic will be prohibited across Bellevue Way SE, as well as left-hand turns southbound on to Bellevue Way SE

The program will run for three months; for additional details, check out the pilot webpage.

 

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Legislative Wrap-Up; New Enatai Park and Ride Lot Opens; Procurement Workshop; Sound Transit Construction Alerts

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, August 21, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2017 East King Chambers Legislative Wrap-Up

The dog days of summer have arrived and it is time for the public policy event of the season. Come join us as we hear from East King legislators as they tell us the back story behind the biennial budget and the deal to fund basic education, as well as what to expect in 2018.

And this year we have a new twist – we’ve asked legislators to grade themselves!

Details are as follows:

Thursday, September 14, 2016 | 4:00 – 7:00 PM                                                                                                                                                                                       The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, Cascadia Room/Ballroom                                                                                                                                                                         36005 SE Ridge Street, Snoqualmie, WA 98065

Attendance at this event is limited to members of Coalition Chambers and invited guests, and always fills up quickly. Don’t delay, register today.
 

New Enatai Park and Ride Lot Opens

Do you live along the Bellevue Way SE corridor and need a place to park your car and catch the bus? Sound Transit has just announced the opening of a new, temporary park and ride lot, just south of the intersection of SE 16th and Bellevue Way SE.

The new Enatai Park and Ride Lot at 1624 Bellevue Way SE, is located in the vacant lot adjacent to Chace’s Pancake Corral. With up to fifty stalls available, you could have breakfast and then jump on the ST 550 Express Bus.

Get more information here.
 

Congressman Adam Smith Hosts Procurement Workshop September 15

Congressman Adam Smith invites you to join other interested small business owners to learn about government contracting opportunities and various resources for small businesses. Topics include government contracting essentials; panel of government agencies facilitated by Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). A light breakfast will be provided.The event is free on September 15; 9am-12:00pm at the Federal Way Community Center. Space is limited. Please RSVP with your name, phone number and email address to rsvpsmith@mail.house.gov.

Sound Transit Construction Alerts

Monday – Friday, Aug. 21-25

  • One NB lane of 112th Avenue Southeast between Main and Southeast 6th Street may be closed for utility work, 8 AM – 3 PM and one lane SB, from 7 AM – 3 PM.
  • Bellevue Way SE may see one NB lane closed from S. Bellevue Park and Ride Lot to the “Y” at 112th SE, from 10 AM – 8 PM.               
  • The Bellevue Way SE to I-90 west HOV ramp may be closed overnight, Monday – Friday, from 8 PM to 3 PM the following day, as needed.

For additional information or to sign up for alerts, see the East Link construction webpage.

Tags:  2017 East King Chambers Legislative Wrap-Up; New E 

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2017 East King Chambers Legislative Wrap-Up

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, August 7, 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2016 | 4:00 – 7:00 PM
The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, Cascadia Room/Ballroom
36005 SE Ridge Street, Snoqualmie, WA 98065
(I-90 east to exit 18, 2.5 miles on SR 18/Snoqualmie Parkway)

Register Online at www.bellevuechamber.org or call (425) 454-2464.

The Third Special Session is over and legislators have left the state capitol. Here is your chance to catch up with them and find out the real story behind the 11th hour budget deal, K-12 funding and more.

Come join Delegates to the East King Chambers Coalition, local business leaders and our Eastside legislators for the Coalition’s annual Legislative Wrap-Up. Emcee Randy Bannecker will moderate a panel of legislators, as they discuss how to get things done in a closely divided state capitol, take a look ahead to 2018 and respond to your questions.

For more information contact Bellevue Chamber Director of Government Relations Chris Johnson or (425) 213-1208.

Tags:  2017 EAST KING CHAMBERS LEGISLATIVE WRAP UP 

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Food Truck Roundup; Air Quality Warning; Summer Construction Alerts

Posted By Chris Johnson, Thursday, August 3, 2017

Food Truck Roundup

Why labor over a hot stove when it’s ninety degrees outside? Throw off your apron and head to the annual Bellevue Parks & Community Services Food Truck Roundup on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 4-8 PM at Bellevue’s Ashwood Park. Vendors will serve up everything from traditional hot dogs and hamburgers, to vegetarian sandwiches, falafel and ice cream treats.

Park at the Bellevue Library and enjoy live music from 5:30 – 8:00 PM. Learn more at Bellevue.com.

Air Quality Warning

While temperatures continue to climb to historic levels, the heat wave has been somewhat dampened by “HEATZILLA,” the flow of smoke from British Columbia fires into our area. Consequently, the Puget Sound Air Quality Agency has issued a summertime air quality burn ban. This means no barbecues, bonfires or free-standing fire pits. And if you can, stay indoors and use air conditioning.

Learn more about the ban and how to stay safe at pugetsoundair.org.

 Summer Construction Alerts

During the weekdays of August 7 – 10, watch for ongoing Sound Transit construction-related closures:

Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.: One NB lane of Bellevue Way SE may be closed from South Bellevue Station to the “Y” at 112th Avenue Southeast;

Monday-Friday 8 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Daily/overnight closure of the Bellevue Way Southeast to I-90 west HOV ramp.

During the weekend of August 12-13, Bellevue Way SE and ramps to I-90 closed:

All lanes of Bellevue Way SE in both directions, between the “Y” at 112th Ave SE and I-90 will be closed;

All ramps between Bellevue Way SE and I-90 will be closed.

See the latest East Link construction alert bulletin online.

Additional local traffic revisions include:

NE 2nd Pl between 108th & 110th Ave NE: Mon - Fri, 8/8-25, 7 am - 4 pm. Road closure to install sewer and water connections.

Downtown Park - NE 1st St between 99th Ave NE & 100th Ave NE: Mon - Tues, 8/7-8, 7 am - 4 pm. Road closure to do grind & overlay.

For more information on other local closures, see Bellevue’s traffic advisories page.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Governor vetoes B&O tax break; Eastside Business Alliance candidate endorsements; Grand Connection art and cultural plan

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, July 24, 2017

Governor vetoes B&O tax break

The state budget deal negotiated on June 30 included a proposed reduction in the B&O tax rate for manufacturing, from the current 0.484 to 0.2904 over four years. As reported in the last Bellevue Blitz Roundup, the Governor vetoed these provisions, as contained in Part II of 2SSB 5977.

This same tax rate was granted to Boeing in 2003 and extended in 2040. If offered to other manufacturers, the proposal would have amounted to an estimated $64 million over the next two biennia.

Legislators weighed whether or not to override the Governor’s veto, but ultimately, with the clock ticking on the 3rd Special Session, elected not to do so. However, the Legislature subsequently adjourned without adopting a $4.2 billion capital budget.

For additional background on the B&O tax reduction proposal, please see this op-ed by the Washington Research Council.

Eastside Business Alliance candidate endorsements

With just a week to go until the 2017 Primary Election, the Eastside Business Alliance has announced endorsements for the following candidates:

Bellevue City Council, Position 4: Jared Nieuwenhuis

Port of Seattle Commission, Position 1: John Creighton

Port of Seattle Commission, Position 3: Stephanie Bowman

Bellevue City Council, Position 2: Conrad Lee

Kirkland Mayor: Amy Walen

 

The Eastside Business Alliance supports candidates for local, non-partisan office, who advocate business-friendly public policies. Chamber members may elect to make a donation to the Eastside Business Political Action Committee, as part of their monthly dues remittance.


Grand Connection art and cultural plan

Last year, Bellevue residents were invited to shape design concepts for the Grand Connection, linking Meydenbauer Bay with Old Bellevue, the Civic Center District and ultimately, the Wilburton neighborhood. Now the City has issued a draft Art and Cultural Plan, offering a vision for creative opportunities along the corridor.

Learn more about the Art and Cultural Plan or provide feedback on the Grand Connection Framework Plan at the project website.

 

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  B&O tax break for manufacturing veto 

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Sound Transit construction closures continue; East King Chambers support B&O tax reduction; Eastside Business Alliance early endorsements

Posted By Chris Johnson, Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sound Transit construction closures continue

Last month, the I-90 center roadway was permanently close to vehicle traffic, in preparation for conversion to light rail operations in 2023.

Motorists utilizing the new HOV lanes on the bridge deck between Mercer Island and Seattle should take note of the following:

I-90 Westbound HOV lane will close between East Mercer Way and Interstate 5 in Seattle. Closures will occur nightly between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., from Wednesday July 12 until Friday July 14.

Check Sound Transit’s East Link project webpage for more details.

East King Chambers support B&O tax reduction

Included in the budget deal agreed to by Governor Inslee on June 30, was a proposed reduction in the B&O tax rate for manufacturing, from the current 0.484 to 0.2904 over four years. However, the Governor bowed to pressure from 24 legislators and agreed to veto these provisions, as contained in a separate revenue bill.

The East King Chambers have long offered strong support for targeted B&O tax reduction for life sciences and technology firms, as well as the aerospace and commercial space sectors. Please see the attached letter from the Coalition, urging Governor Inslee not to veto this proposal.

To learn more about the adopted biennial operating budget, read SSB 5883. For information about the proposed B&O tax reduction for manufacturing, see Part II of 2SSB 5977.

 

Eastside Business Alliance early endorsements

The Eastside Business Alliance recently announced three early candidate endorsements, for the 2017 election cycle. A political action committee which supports business-friendly candidates for local, non-partisan offices, EBA was pleased to renew endorsements for the following longtime friends of business:

  • Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman
  • Bellevue City Councilmember Conrad Lee
  • Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen

Please see the attached news release for additional details. EBA will be back with additional endorsements for business-friendly incumbents and challengers alike, in the coming weeks. 

 Attached Files:

Tags:  East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative   Eastside Business Alliance 

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