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The legislature finds that the long-term economic health of the state and its citizens depends upon the strength and vitality of its communities and businesses. It is the intent of this chapter to create a department of commerce that fosters new partnerships for strong and sustainable communities. The mission of the department is to grow and improve jobs in Washington and facilitate innovation. To carry out its mission, the department will bring together focused efforts to: Streamline access to business assistance and economic development services by providing them through sector-based, cluster-based, and regional partners; provide focused and flexible responses to changing economic conditions; generate greater local capacity to respond to both economic growth and environmental challenges; increase accountability to the public, the executive branch, and the legislature; manage growth and achieve sustainable development; diversify the state's economy and export goods and services; provide greater access to economic opportunity; stimulate private sector investment and entrepreneurship; provide stable family-wage jobs and meet the diverse needs of families; provide affordable housing and housing services; and construct public infrastructure.
The legislature further finds that as a result of the rapid pace of global social and economic change, the state and local communities will require coordinated and creative responses by every segment of the community. The state can play a role in assisting such local efforts by reorganizing state assistance efforts to promote such partnerships. The department has a primary responsibility to provide financial and technical assistance to the communities of the state, to assist in improving the delivery of federal, state, and local programs, and to provide communities with opportunities for productive and coordinated development beneficial to the well-being of communities and their residents. It is the intent of the legislature in creating the department to maximize the use of local expertise and resources in the delivery of community and economic development services.


Purpose2010 c 271: "In 2009, the legislature changed the name of the department of community, trade, and economic development to the department of commerce and directed the agency to, among other things, develop a report with recommendations on statutory changes to ensure that the department's efforts: Are organized around a concise core mission and aligned with the state's comprehensive plan for economic development; generate greater local capacity; maximize results through partnerships and the use of intermediaries; and provide transparency and increased accountability. Recommendations for creating or consolidating programs deemed important to meeting the department's core mission and recommendations for terminating or transferring specific programs if they are not consistent with the department's core mission were to be included in the report.
In accordance with that legislation, chapter 565, Laws of 2009, in November 2009 the department of commerce submitted a plan that establishes a mission of growing and improving jobs in the state and recognizes the need for an innovation-driven economy. The plan also outlines agency priorities, efficiencies, and program transfers that will help to advance the new mission.
The primary purpose of this act is to implement portions of the department of commerce plan by transferring certain programs from the department of commerce to other state agencies whose missions are more closely aligned with the core functions of those programs. This act also directs additional efficiencies in state government and directs development of a statewide clean energy strategy, which will better enable the department of commerce to focus on its new mission." [ 2010 c 271 § 1.]
Effective date2010 c 271: "This act takes effect July 1, 2010." [ 2010 c 271 § 803.]
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