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Hear from your Legislators on January 8 and Happy Holidays!

Posted By Lincoln Vander Veen, Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Festive Photos at Eastside Elected Officials Reception

The Chamber hosted its Eastside Elected Officials Reception in Bellevue on December 9. We had a great time mingling and toasting our wonderful public servants to end 2014! Check out the pictures here.

Bellevue Holiday Guide has a Holiday clearing-house-of-sorts for all Bellevue Holiday events. The Blitz knows many of you have already brought family and friends to extraordinary events such as Snowflake Lane and Garden d’Lights but if you haven’t visited Bellevue yet for the festivities, please do so! The Huffington Post highly recommends it!


Hear from Your Legislators in Bellevue on January 8!

REMINDER: on Thursday, January 8, from 7 – 9 am at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, the East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition is holding its Legislative Breakfast. The timing is such that business people can hear from Eastside legislators just a few days before the legislative session kicks off in Olympia on January 12. Register today to get insights and enjoy thoughtful discussion from an Eastside business perspective and the Coalition’s 2015 Legislative Agenda!


Wanted: Eastside Congestion Relief

Jim Kleppe, the co-chair of the Chamber’s Transportation Committee, was included in this look at Eastside growth and the desperate need for additional capacity on I-405, especially between Bellevue and Renton.


Governor Inslee’s Budget Proposal

The Chamber’s message to Eastside legislators on the 2015-2017 biennial budget is relatively simple: expand under the sustainable 2013-2015 biennial budget by passing significant business tax reform legislation to spur economic growth and entrepreneurship.  Unfortunately, Governor Inslee’s proposal may not be “financially feasible” – at least when that phrase is accurately defined.


“Paramount Duty” and Governor Inslee’s Budget Proposal

The title of this article includes the headline, “Inslee promises $2.3B more for schools…” and ends with this:

Inslee’s plan would make education spending 47 percent of the state general fund. That’s up from 39 percent in 2007 and up from 45 percent in the most recent budget cycle.”

Would 47 percent make education the state’s “paramount duty”? The word paramount means “superior to all others.” The East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition (Coalition) supports a legislative proposal that would direct a majority of new general fund revenue increases from existing sources toward education, including early learning and higher education. Check out the Coalition’s top three priorities for 2015 here.


Governor Inslee’s Cap-and-Trade Proposal

Governor Inslee announced last week a statewide cap-and-trade program that is similar to California’s cap-and-trade scheme. The Coalition is opposed to the implementation of a cap-and-trade scheme at either the state or local level.


Business Pulse

Smart Space to boost Bellevue startups

"What we wanted to provide was a class A facility for startup companies, so that would give them a similar feeling of working at a world-class office facility," extraSlice CEO Binu Reghunathan said. "I see a great opportunity for Bellevue and the Eastside area to become a technology hub there."

Dept. of Ecology updating stormwater permits

“Currently, local governments in Western Washington are seeing a few changes to the permits that are required for managing their stormwater.”

China’s wealth finds home in Washington state

“Behind their growing economy, wealthy Chinese homebuyers have poured into the U.S., spending $22 billion on property in the states, tops among all foreign purchasers over the 12 months preceding a March study from the National Association of Realtors.”

Tags:  Bellevue Chamber of Commerce  Binu Reghunathan  Governor Jay Inslee  Jim Kleppe 

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The Legislative Session is Coming...

Posted By Lincoln Vander Veen, Thursday, December 18, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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 “cromnibusbudget 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.”

Tags:  Bellevue  city council  Governor Jay Inslee  Linda Pillo  Representative Ross Hunter  Senator Andy Hill  Senator Curtis King 

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