Opportunity Washington: Priorities for Shared Prosperity is a roadmap for expanding Washington’s culture of opportunity to individuals, families, employers, and communities in every corner of the state. It is organized around three guiding priorities: ACHIEVE (education quality and outcomes), CONNECT (transportation reliability and efficiency) and EMPLOY (economic vitality). Check out our research studies and Opportunity Scorecard to learn more.
The Blog for News, Analysis and Perspectives on Important Issues
Washington Research Council senior analyst Emily Makings assesses the state budget outlook following this week's good news revenue forecast. Makings writes, ...the revenue estimate is still well below the February forecast (on which the current state budget is based). The chart shows how the forecast has changed. Revenues from funds subject to the outlook are now expected…more
Washington Research Council senior analyst Emily Makings assesses the…Read more
More than 19,000 new initial regular unemployment claims were filed wi…Read more
The weekly unemployment report shows a nation still struggling with th…Read more
Improved revenue forecast makes state budget challenge more manageable, but problems remain. How would you advise lawmakers?
Yesterday's official state revenue forecast added $2 billion to antici…Read more
Education expands opportunity. By 2020, 70 percent of Washington jobs will require postsecondary education or training. Preparing our students for these opportunities requires high-quality education at every level.
Provide a high-caliber education and workforce development system geared to the demands of the 21st century.
Expand access to postsecondary education that boosts career opportunity and supports economic growth.
Ensure all students graduate from high school career- and college-ready.
Drive interest and performance in STEM among K-12 students and increase access to STEM postsecondary programs.
Focus early learning assistance on children most at risk of entering kindergarten unprepared.
ACHIEVE 50-State Ranking: 25 • Score: 76
Our state drops seven spots in the Achieve ranking and nine points in the category score as compared to the most recent update. This is due to a drop in graduation rate from 79.7 for the class of 2016 to 79.4 for the class of 2017. Washington also saw drops in 4th grade reading and 8th grade math performance, as well as lower associate’s and bachelor’s degrees awarded per capita. The bright spots include increases in STEM bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded per capita.
Everyone depends on the transportation system, from farmers and manufacturers to individuals and families. It’s time to invest in transportation to support a prosperous future.
Provide an efficient, multimodal transportation system that links Washington’s communities to each other and the world.
Invest in the preservation and maintenance of Washington’s road and bridge networks and make improvements in key economic corridors.
Improve freight mobility and connections between roads, rail, and ports.
Provide options for regions to plan, prioritize, and fund local transportation needs.
CONNECT 50-State Ranking: 35 • Score: 63
Washington moves up one spot in the Connect rankings. The average commute time increased slightly from 27.8 minutes to 28.4 minutes, but the percent of highways not rated good or very good decreased. This positive movement is both welcome and expected, as the state further implements new projects and overdue maintenance of roads, highways, and bridges as a result of the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation package.
Expanding opportunities means encouraging and rewarding innovation and risk-taking and providing employers with a predictable and efficient regulatory and tax environment.
Pursue policies that encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation.
Support policies that encourage investment, job growth, and economic opportunity.
Budget for long-term sustainability and prosperity.
Streamline the regulatory system to improve predictability and efficiency.
EMPLOY 50-State Ranking: 20 • Score: 79
Washington moves up one spot and now ranks 20th with an Employ score of 79. Business taxes per employee increased from $7,000 to $7,800 per year in Washington, and our state’s Tax Climate Index dropped slightly from 5.4 to 5.3. However, the unemployment insurance tax per employee dropped from $545 to $496, driving the slight improvement in Washington’s Employ ranking.