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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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