Don Brunell

Higher minimum wage misses the target | Don Brunell

Washington has the nation’s highest minimum wage at $9.47 an hour and now the state legislature wants to hike it to $12. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D) wants to boost it to $15 to go in step with the SeaTac initiative, which voters barely approved last year.

An Example for Us All | Don Brunell

Adversity often brings out the best in people. We find ways to pitch in and solve problems that government can’t.

Fossil fuels aren’t going away soon | Don Brunell

Folks in the Pacific Northwest may not like what Matt Ridley has to say, but we should consider his points about energy.

Connecting the dots… | Don Brunell

How is Seattle’s Lighthouse for the Blind connected to the Export-Import Bank? Very closely. Since 1918, The Lighthouse for the Blind has provided education, training and manufacturing jobs for people with visual and hearing disabilities. Of the 400 people currently employed there, approximately 240 are blind or deaf-blind.

Redefining the Bush tax cuts | Don Brunell

Everyone is talking about the “fiscal cliff” deadline looming on Dec. 31, when automatic tax increases and spending cuts take effect unless Congress reaches a compromise. Both political camps are in full campaign mode, blaming the other for the lack of progress.

Regulating America out of jobs | Don Brunell

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce looked at the cost of regulations in America and found that excessive regulations are undercutting our economy and costing us jobs.

Climate policies should be comprehensive | Don Brunell

The flurry of climate regulations coming out of federal agencies is an example of what to avoid. Whether those new rules are based on laws enacted by Congress is questionable.

IRS strikes Olympic gold | Don Brunell

Guess who was among the first to welcome our Olympic athletes back home from Rio? None other than the IRS. For U.S. athletes, winning an Olympic medal comes with pride, glory – and a hefty federal tax bill.

Investors want high-tech companies to save water | Don Brunell

Recently, Bloomberg reported that investors in massive data centers are making water availability a critical measurement in their decisions--especially in drought-ridden California.

National energy policy must be broad and inclusive | Don Brunell

America must have a thoughtful and comprehensive national energy policy which focuses on supplies that are environmentally friendly, abundant and affordable. Our strategy needs to include all energy sources. It must have balance and we need to have the patience, persistence and wisdom to implement it. It should encourage innovation.

Maintaining low cost electricity vital to Washington’s clean tech industries | Don Brunell

Since the construction of Grand Coulee and Bonneville dams, Washington has enjoyed an abundance of low cost, reliable hydropower. It has been one-key competitive advantage for energy intensive industries and now it is vital to our state burgeoning “clean tech industries.”

Made in America | Don Brunell

In the presidential campaign leading up to the November elections, hopefully we will hear about ways to “Make America Great Again!” One of the most effective strategies is to entice U.S. companies with foreign factories to relocate back home. Another is to encourage those who remained in America to reinvest here.

Watch South Carolina closely | Don Brunell

Washington leaders need to keep an eye on South Carolina. It is a state which is becoming a strong magnet to attract business. A couple of years ago, the front page news was the competition between Seattle and Charleston to lure Boeing’s 787 assembly production. Now, it has grown to include international trade and the associated economic development and jobs.

Detoxifying Congressional politics | Don Brunell

Thankfully, June 8 marked a milestone for Congress. Members came together and overwhelmingly approved a sweeping bill that regulates tens of thousands of toxic chemicals in everyday products, from household cleaners to clothing and furniture.

Oregon’s tax measure a potential boom for Washington | Don Brunell

Washington's next economic development plan may be written by Oregon voters next November. The plan's center piece is a new gross receipts tax which would transform Oregon from one of the nation's lowest business tax burden states to one of the nation's highest.

Owen served “Our Washington” well | Don Brunell

For the last 20 years, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen (D) has served Washington well. Now, he is retiring and leaving the state senate as he found it---a dignified place to debate and enact public policy.

Be careful about imposing trade sanctions | Don Brunell

On March 1, the Wall Street Journal carried a sobering editorial that ought to force us to look behind the toxic presidential campaign rhetoric and ask two very important questions about how we position our nation to compete internationally.

Today’s railroad emphasize innovation and safety | Don Brunell

In January, the American Association of Railroads or AAR published its first-ever state of the railroads annual report focusing on the industry’s economic value, innovations and emphasis on safety.

Get practical over waterways regulations | Don Brunell

The seemingly endless stream of Obama Administration rules to circumvent Congress and states is driving people away from finding practical solutions to problems and into courtrooms filled with highly-paid attorneys waging a “paperwork” war.

Keeping manufacturing in America | Don Brunell

As we approach 2016, we need to stop and look at what it takes to keep manufacturing in America.