December 30, 2022

WEDA sets 2023 legislative priorities

The 2023 legislative session kicks off Jan. 9, and the Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA) is ready. WEDA’s legislative agenda for 2023 was recently finalized following the release of Gov. Inslee’s proposed 2023-25 budget.

Working for all of Washington

WEDA is the state’s only trade association laser-focused on economic development. Its legislative priorities zero in on the most important steps Washington State lawmakers and agencies can take to help communities across the state recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

WEDA’s top legislative priorities for this session:

  1. Strengthen the economic development ecosystem.
  2. Foster catalysts for job recovery and growth.
  3. Increase prosperity for all of Washington State.

“Everything WEDA supports in their 2023 agenda is important for economic development across Washington State,” said Bruce Kendall, President of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. “For the EDB, four priorities rise to the top.”

  • State-level leadership and funding for economic development, including business recruitment, retention and expansion programs.
  • Increased funding for regional capacity to coordinate and deliver economic development services. While Gov. Inslee’s proposed budget does not include a hoped-for increase in funding for Associate Development Organizations (like the EDB), it does include a maintenance level proposal for current ADO funding. WEDA will continue to pursue legislation for additional ADO funding this session as well as a budget proviso for an increase in funding that would accelerate initiatives fostering innovation, sustainability, partnership and equity.
  • Funding to support site readiness for shovel-ready manufacturing projects. Good news for economic development: The governor’s budget proposal includes new site-readiness programs and funding with an emphasis on the clean energy sector. His proposal for siting projects of statewide significance creates a new designation for additional state and local coordination. You can read more about it here.
  • Protection of new diversity, equity and inclusion investments. Outreach and assistance programs for equitable and inclusive statewide recovery ensure that historically disadvantaged businesses – particularly underserved and underrepresented communities across the state – have an equal opportunity to achieve economic recovery and prosperity.

Read the full WEDA 2023 Economic Legislative Agenda on the WEDA website.


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