Department of Commerce

A new roadmap to speed the spread of electric vehicles in Washington state

BY: - October 2, 2023

When it comes to meeting Washington’s ambitious electric vehicle goals, bolder cash incentives and charging outlets in thousands more locations are needed now.  Rules pushing drivers to forgo cars and trucks that run on gas for ones powered by batteries are needed soon. And an aggressive outreach and education campaign must be sustained if the […]

A low angle photo of an unfinished four-story apartment building, showing exposed plywood and other lumber

How Washington is treating housing as health care

BY: - August 18, 2023

Washington is trying something new when it comes to housing: treating it as health care. Apple Health and Homes is a multi-agency state program launched last year that focuses on providing housing to people with health and behavioral health challenges. What’s unique is that the program taps Medicaid dollars to pay for housing subsidies, tenant […]

Members of Congress press Inslee on plan to shift dollars away from drug task forces

BY: - August 17, 2023

A bipartisan group of Washington’s congressional delegation has told Gov. Jay Inslee that the state’s plan to divert a sliver of federal funding away from regional crime-fighting and anti-drug task forces “could prove disastrous for Washington.” Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen of Everett sent a letter to the governor earlier this month seeking answers on how […]

New law pushes Washington cities and counties to plan for climate change

BY: - July 24, 2023

Planning for severe storms, flooding, wildfires and poor air quality will soon be required for Washington cities and counties. A new law passed by the Legislature this year requires local governments to consider climate change in their 20-year comprehensive plans beginning in 2025. The Department of Commerce released early guidance last month for how to […]

Washington awarded $1.2 billion from feds to expand internet access

BY: - June 26, 2023

Washington will receive more than $1 billion to expand and upgrade broadband access as part of a new round of funding from the Biden administration to get every home in the country connected to high-speed internet.  The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration allocated nearly $42.5 billion to all 50 states, the […]

Tracy Williams sits in her Seattle apartment at George Fleming Place, which is funded in part by the state's Housing Trust Fund.

For residents, housing backed by state funding can be life-changing

BY: - June 21, 2023

SEATTLE – When Tracy Williams moved into a tiny home village almost three years ago, she brought with her two bins of clothes and a TV.  At the time, it was all she had. Williams had spent two years living in her car and on the couches of friends and family.  “I was starting all […]

$121 million awarded to broadband projects across Washington

BY: - May 22, 2023

Nineteen construction projects that will expand access to broadband internet in Washington are set to receive federal funding from the State Broadband Office.  The office announced more than $121 million in grants to projects that will help deliver high-speed internet to communities across the state where it’s nonexistent or lacking. Washington Commerce Director Mike Fong […]

A low angle photo of an unfinished four-story apartment building, showing exposed plywood and other lumber

Breaking down the biggest chunk of state housing dollars

BY: - May 9, 2023

Central to the package of housing legislation that state lawmakers passed in Olympia this year is a record investment in the Housing Trust Fund, the largest individual pot of state money that is available to help get more people into affordable homes.  Lawmakers raised the amount of money going to the trust fund to $400 […]