The Roundtable works to effect positive change on public policy issues that are most important to supporting state economic vitality and fostering opportunity for all Washingtonians. That work includes sharing news and analyzing policy developments affecting our state.

Crosscut: What politicians can do to help business climate

Less than two weeks remain in the special legislative session and it’s time for lawmakers to finish the state’s business.  A recent update of the Washington Roundtable’s Benchmarks for a Better Washington – an annual report measuring our state’s economic vitality – underscores the need for action on education and transportation policy.   Two key takeaways:

  • Washington ranks among the bottom half of all states for high school graduation rates (32nd) and bachelor’s degrees awarded per capita (39th).  We know 70 percent of jobs in Washington will require postsecondary education by 2020, yet nearly a quarter of high school students aren’t making it to graduation, let alone college.
  • Washington ranks 41st for bridge conditions, with 21.6 percent of bridges deemed functionally obsolete (including the Skagit River Bridge that recently collapsed), and 29th for road conditions.   We have more than $3 billion in identified maintenance, operations and preservation needs and we aren’t investing enough to take care of the system we have.

We want to make Washington a top 10 state in all of those categories.  The 2013 Legislature has an opportunity to make progress to that end.

Read the full story on Crosscut.

Return to News