2017 State Legislative Priorities
Adopted by the Board of Directors, December 20, 2016
The Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce is a membership-driven organization comprised of business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals. As the voice of business along the Seattle-Tacoma business corridor, the Greater Federal Way Chamber represents 400+ businesses, employing an estimated 25,000+ workers in the South Sound region. Our vision is to create a prosperous economy in the South Sound region.
Strategically vital to international trade and commerce in our state, Federal Way is the 5th largest city in King County and 11th largest in the State. The Chamber’s regional scope also includes Pierce County, the State’s second largest labor market behind King County.
The business community in the greater Federal Way region recognizes that we are part of an economic interdependent region and state, with diverse needs and interests, and that no one area can progress without another. The Chamber recognizes that funding these priorities will require a mix of funding sources and encourages the legislature to explore options that do not unfairly burden the business community, spreading tax revenues fairly across businesses and individuals with an accountability for those taxes.
The Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce supports the following 2017-18 legislative priorities:
- As an economic hub in the South Sound region, transportation along its business corridors is critical for our economic vitality, creating sustainable jobs, and moving goods to and from one of the largest distribution centers in Washington. The Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce continues to support the funding and construction of the I-5 / SR 18 interchange and the SR 18 / SR 161 intersection, also known as the “Triangle Project.”
- We encourage the state legislature to continue to support transportation initiatives which merge the infrastructure needs of highways, mass transit, bridges, ferries, and transportation corridors. Any legislation should recognize our need to move both products and people in a manner that enhances our economic capacity. The Greater Federal Way Chamber encourages legislators to protect our many years of investment by adequately funding current maintenance and operations needs along with expanding our transit network for future growth opportunities. Legislation should include recognition of key corridors such as I-5, the Gateway project of SR 167 and SR 509, and other interconnecting mass transit and structural improvements.
- The Greater Federal Way Chamber supports the exploration of developing and/or enhancing a multimodal transportation strategy that moves people, services, and goods with easy access along east-west and north-south corridors within the South Sound region. Connecting consumers to the marketplace that includes both King County and Pierce County is a critical component in the retention and attraction of business and its workforce to our area.
- The Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce recognizes the necessary investment of mass transit / light rail to meet the growing demands of a growing residential and business community. We welcome Sound Transit’s investment in South King County and support ongoing planning for the Federal Way Transit Center station area as an economic development driver which meets commuter needs. With the passing of ST3 the Chamber will monitor the cooperation and implementation between Sound Transit and the state legislature.
- Puget Sound is engaged in a constant national and global competition for our precious employers and revenue generators. Puget Sound’s efforts to retain its position as a key competitor in a global economy mandates that policies be embraced which stimulate economic competitiveness and do not burden our private sector businesses to balance a deficit.
- The Greater Federal Way Chamber recognizes Port activities in Puget Sound as significant to the economic health of the state of Washington and supports the Seaport Alliance as a regional economic engine for the Seattle-Tacoma business corridor.
- Noting that 35% of Chambers across the country are engaged in economic development activities and recognizing that business growth and development is a core function of the Greater Federal Way Chamber, the Chamber looks for support in initiatives that delineate it as an economic development partner in business retention, attraction, and expansion efforts in the South Sound region.
- The Greater Federal Way Chamber recognizes that destination management is an economic engine nationally incorporated into the program of work at Chambers of Commerce, 21% of which include tourism, and therefore encourages support of the Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce for initiatives designed for destination promotion within our region And, as is a best practice nationally and regionally, the Greater Federal Way Chamber seeks funding support for promotional efforts, collateral outreach, and inventory development as related to Tourism Promotion (HB1279) as part of its work in destination management.
- The Greater Federal Way Chamber seeks for legislators to address Washington’s constitutional obligation to comply with the court order to fund basic K-12 public education as preparation for an educated workforce. As we look to create a competitive regional balance, The Greater Federal Way Chamber encourages our legislators to address the issue of levy rollbacks in order to decrease reliance on local levies which place South King County in an unequitable funding position.
- The Greater Federal Way Chamber believes our elected officials should work to protect business and individual economic prosperity by adequately funding the community and technical college system. Further, as employment forecasts show strong growth in health care related jobs, the Greater Federal Way Chamber supports full funding of the Allied Health Building at Highline College to enhance the workforce opportunities of the South Sound region.
- Legislators are asked to ensure students have access to post-secondary education and training by keeping tuition affordable and maintaining financial aid programs.
- The business leaders at the Chamber support funding to prepare students for college and careers in high need/high demand fieldsat community and technical colleges, including support for English language learners and funding resources for technology infrastructure which prepares all students for the workforce.